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Mahatma Gandhi a True Peacemaker Essay

The paper is devoted to peacemakers, who are people who dedicated their lives to the struggle for peace, human rights and freedoms, and brought a contribution to world peace.

The first outstanding peacemaker is great Mahatma Gandhi, who was an outstanding leader of the national liberation movement in India, a thinker, political and social activist Mohandas Gandhi, who came into the history of modern civilization as Mahatma (“Great Soul”).

Today the unique role of Gandhi in the history of mankind is widely recognized, but it is very difficult to definitely define his role. Rabindranath Tagore, for example, compared Gandhi with the Buddha, and described the force of his impact on people: “He stood at the threshold of the huts of thousands of dispossessed, dressed like them. He spoke to them in their language, with truthful words, and not with quotes from books … In response to the call of Gandhi, India once again was opened for great things, just as it was in earlier times, when Buddha proclaimed the truth of empathy and compassion among everyone . ”

J. Nehru called Gandhi “a man of religion,” but not a religious figure, as Gandhi never advocated one particular religious system, was not a representative of a particular religious community. According to him, he was always guided by the fact that “religious practice and dogma may differ, but the ethical principles of all religions are common “. His religion has nothing to do with religious fanaticism and religious narrow-mindedness. Gandhi said that “God has no religion”. First of all Gandhi respected truth and freedom as core values of humanity, that can be proved by his words: “There is no God higher than truth ”.

According to Gandhi, religion he considered a matter of heart, and said that: “True religion is not a narrow dogma. It is not external observance. It is faith in God and living in the presence of God. It means faith in a future life, in truth and Ahimsa…. Religion is a matter of the heart. No physical inconvenience can warrant abandonment of one’s own religion. ”

Gandhi believed that religion changes the nature of man and closely connects him with the truth. It is a constant element in human nature, the price of which can never be too high, and it never leaves the soul to rest until the soul knows the Creator. “Everyone has faith in God though everyone does not know it. For everyone has faith in himself and that multiplied to the nth degree is God. The sum total of all that lives is God. We may not be God, but we are of God, even as a little drop of water is of the ocean. ”

Ganghi believed that prayer comes from the very soul, it is the essence of religion and, therefore, prayer must be the very essence of human life because man can not live without praying. He said that to personal prayer of a man, turned to God, was clear, it must be in the language of man’s soul: “Nothing can be nobler than to ask God that we could act justly towards all created things. ” (Gandhi 2002)

Modern activists called Gandhi “the conscience of mankind”, a prophet, a saint. Above all, they saw him as the spiritual leader of India in his struggle against British imperialism, struggler for liberation. Gandhi was not just a politician in the narrow sense of the word, but at all stages of the struggle for Indian independence, he served as spiritual leader of the Indian National Congress (INC), not being its official head. He was the soul of the liberation movement and has developed a unique in their effectiveness means of struggle. That’s why he always acted as an authorized representative of his people in negotiations with Britain. Today, being free from many of the old dogmas and cliches, many people recognize that it was under his leadership that the people of India achieved independence.

Mahatma Gandhi was a leader and ideologist of the national liberation movement of India. His philosophy of nonviolence “Satyagraha” has influenced national and international movement of supporters of peaceful change. Mahatma Gandhi rejected violence in any form, he said: “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. ”

For more than 30 years he persistently preached his philosophy of nonviolence, and in the end he managed to prove the effectiveness of the nonviolent politics to the world, when in 1947 India through the efforts of Gandhi’s peaceful got independence from Britain. His name is surrounded in India with the same reverence as the names of saints. The spiritual leader of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, for all his life was struggling against religious strife in his country, against violence. His name “Mahatma” means “great soul”, and this title the best charactertises the essence of Gandhi. He enjoyed great trust of Indians (irrespective of caste and religion), thousands of people came to him for help and advice and got his help.

The second peacemaker considered is Martin Luther King, a well-known hero who fought for the black civil rights. He was a follower of Gandhi and also preached the “non-violent struggle”.

Black priest and campaigner for civil rights Martin Luther King was born Jan. 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. In 1955 being a priest in a Baptist church in Montgomery, he led a protest of blacks against racial segregation in public transportation. The protest was caused by an incident with Rosa Parks, whom a white man refused to give a seat in a bus. The Montgomery bus boycott continued until the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the segregation in Alabama as unconstitutional. In the following 1957 he was elected as a president of the Conference of the Southern Christian Leadership. For 11 years, King traveled more than seven million miles and made more than 2500 speeches in places of protests, actions and fight against injustice. However, he also managed to write five books and a huge number of articles.

So Martin Luther King was one of the most popular politicians in the country. He was a Christian and follower of Gandhi at the same time, so he also preached the “non-violent struggle” and remained a loyal supporter of American values. The most famous speech of Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” was delivered in 1963 during a march in Washington . In that speech he campaigned for peace between the races and called equal rights for all races as manifestation of America’s democratic dreams.

At the legal sphere King and his supporters were able to achieve great things: the laws of 1964 and 1965, adopted despite strong opposition of Conservatives, gave the black new guarantees. The Government has clearly demonstrated the determination to crack down racists and destroy the most egregious manifestations of segregation. In 1968, King led the 6000th protest march in downtown Memphis, which goal was to support the striking workers. On April 4 King was mortally wounded by a sniper while standing on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis.

King’s role in the nonviolent struggle for the adoption of the law, destroying the remnants of racial discrimination, was awarded by the Nobel Prize (1964). So at the age of 35 he became the youngest winner in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize. The world recognized the intrinsic value of the contribution of Martin Luther King’s struggle for peace only 15 years after his death in 1983. The U.S. Congress constitutionally recognized the importance of his legacy, declaring the third Monday in January a national holiday in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King. On this day, are held the memorial service and ceremonies in the honor of King’s life, devoted to the struggle for peace.


Works cited:

Asante, Molefi Kete. 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, New York. Prometheus Books, 2002.
Chernus I. American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea. Orbis Books, 2004.
Gandhi M. The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas. Vintage, 2002
Lelyveld J. Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India. Knopf; 1St Edition edition, 2011
Roberts Elizabeth M. Gandhi, Nehru and Modern India. Methuen Educ., 1975
Tagore Rabindranath. Tagore On Gandhi. Rupa, 2008

“Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Peace”. Nobel Prize Committee. Web. 26 april 2010