Feb 26, 2021

Mahatma Gandhi’s Resistance to Injustice

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind,” said Mahatma Gandhi.

One of the most distinguished and influential leaders throughout our history is known as Mahatma Gandhi. He outlasted vicious corruption, and unraveled the solutions of intricate nationwide conflicts by having the most powerful weapon which  is “resistance & persistence.” He was called Mahatma Gandhi because he is a person regarded with reverence or loving respect

Gandhi not only played a pivotal role in India’s history but also inspired and influenced outstanding public figures such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Barack Obama. He embarked on social justice through satyagraha (non-violence). Gandhi found unconventional ways like walking hundreds of miles or fasting for days to fight off the evils in society. His actions influenced millions of people and are still impacting us. Whether it is collaborating with our community members to attend non-violent protests or it is using “resistance & persistence” against the injustice agglomerated into a nationwide conflict, his unorthodox ways were always successful. 

Dandi March

He initiated his first march against the Britishers called the Dandi March. Its sole purpose was to fight for being excessively taxed on salt. These British tactics often yielded lucrative results.

This greatly affected the poor. Since the British lacked funds in treasury and often had substantial amounts of debts, they invaded different countries in order to augment their treasury balance. 

The monopoly of the British jurisdiction led to thousands resisting the impious British rule. Gandhi started this strenuous yet powerful journey of 241 miles(387.8 km) from Sabarmati to a town located near the Arabian Sea, Dandi. Thousands of people amalgamated with Gandhi during his journey to Dandi.

(Gandhi’s Dandi March route)

“He is vanquished only when he forsakes truth and nonviolence and turns a deaf ear to the inner voice.”

He spoke those encouraging words on the eve of Dandi March, which was on March 11. As salt acted as a main ingredient in their staple diets, Gandhi accompanied by millions of people dissented from the British government. This was regarded as civil obedience through the eyes of the Britishers and led to the apprehension of more than 60,000 people and Gandhi himself. This rekindled the patriotic feelings of many and led to 2,500 people marching on the Dharasana Salt Works which was led by the “Nightingale of India,” Sarojini Naidu. 

There was a violent confrontation from the British side who beat the peaceful protestors as the Britishers were insecure about the rule and practiced austere rule to erect fear among the people. The protestors' self-loathing attitude against the violence of Britishers led to Gandhi being released in January 1931. His release ultimately led to negotiation between the Viceroy of India, Lord Irwin, and Gandhi for suspending the satyagraha movement in exchange for him being the representative of his native soil and the Indian National Congress.

(Gandhi with Lord Irwin)

He was an omniscient who knew the issues the nation must overcome together.

Gandhi’s nationalistic perspective always played as a stepping stone in India’s development and broadened the presence of India in the whole world.

Gandhi Jayanti or Gandhi's Birth Anniversary (October 2)

“Babu” or “Gandhiji” is one of the most common sobriquets of Mahatma Gandhi. He enlightened people with his wisdom and had a cultivated educational background as a lawyer. People loved him for being an anti-colonial nationalist. To commemorate this legend,  the Government of India initiated a national holiday known as  “Gandhi Jayanti '' which marks an auspicious day for the world to celebrate the birth anniversary of M.K. Gandhi. The UN General Assembly adopted his birth anniversary as the International Day of Non-Violence and it is also a national holiday in India.

He is commemorated and remembered with public speeches recited by esteemed public figures and how he inspired others. His effigies are also decorated with garlands to pay him respect. 

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated across the nation. An event is coordinated at the Sabarmati Ashram where all the foreign diplomats and Indian Government aristocrats join the Prime Minister of India who gives a speech that echoes around the world through the national broadcast. All over India, people worship Gandhi as one of the founding fathers. Schools, offices, businesses, shopping centers, and homes are decorated with the tricolor flag, and sweets are distributed. 

Mahatma Gandhi’s principles to fight injustice are still encouraged around the world. Gandhi being stringent towards his principles has encouraged many people to learn one of his best ways to combat malfeasances which are to show resistance and persistence. By taking his path, many leaders in the world have used non-violence to fight against corruption and were successful in fighting it. Martin Luther King Jr, a great activist and a public figure for justice used this approach to fight against the decrees that didn’t give basic human rights to the African-American race in the US. He overcame this massive inequality by using the principle of “resistance and persistence” through peaceful protests.

Chirag Agarwal

I am a rising sophomore in high school and a writing enthusiast who is driven by curiosity to write about economics, inspiring people, and history.

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