Khamis, 23 April 2009

Gandhi : Justice & Freedom For Every Citizen

Democracy is the government of the people. In fact, justice and freedom for every citizen are possible only under this system. There is also every possibility of having opportunity for progress. It is a source of general welfare too. Gandhi has also said, “Democracy must be in essence…meaning the art and science of mobilizing the entire physical, economic and spiritual resources of all the various sections of people in the service of common good of all.”

But the common good can be certain when everyone is aware of his or her responsibilities, is disciplined and dedicated to the moral and ethical values. In the absence of these, the freedom of citizens will always remain questionable and the democracy in which freedom is called in question will be a democracy only in name. In such a condition, the possibility of justice, the main pillar of people’s government, will remain veiled in doubt.

Therefore, Gandhi holds freedom in prominence in true democracy based on non-violence. All of us know how Gandhi showed the world a unique way to freedom by following non-violence and also gave suggestions for the development of true democracy. Accordingly, he elaborated three main conditions for the application of non-violence. According to him, non-violence cannot be used only against a constituted authority i.e. in the struggle of independence, it is equally applicable during any internal disturbance as communal or caste riots. Besides, it can be used against an external aggression.

In 20th Century, he inspired non-violent movements for independence not only in India, but also in many countries all over the world and explained the value of freedom to millions of people. The Civil Rights Movement inspired and directed by Martin Luther King Jr. in America in sixth decade of 20th Century, the successful non-violent struggle of the people against the tyranny of Marcos in Philippines, about 40 years’ non-violent action against Apartheid under the leadership of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, people’s resistance against General Pinochet in Chile, the glorious victory achieved through non-violent action against the dictatorship in Latin America are historic examples in view before us that extol Gandhi’s ever remembering, worth emulating and unique achievements and their relevance. They urge us to realize the importance of the lesson of freedom taught by Gandhi time and again and motivate us to develop on its basis the democracy permeated with non-violence.

In fact, complete individual freedom holds a dominant position in the democracy advocated by Gandhi. Without complete freedom a slave is always a slave; and a man with servile disposition can never think of progress in any walk of life. Such a man can do something for society, state or the world is also unthinkable. Therefore, Gandhi has stated, “…if individual liberty goes, then surely all is lost, for, if the individual ceases to count, what is left of society? Individual freedom also can make a man voluntarily surrender himself completely to the service of society. If it wrested from him, he becomes automation and society is ruined. No society can possibly be built on denial of individual freedom…”

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