It is often murmured in the drawing rooms – media does not have the courage to publish them – that Gandhi is no more relevant in modern settings. His teaching of nonviolence is not followed anywhere in the world, lest his own country. However, there are many who mistakes Gandhi’s non violence with no action. It is farthest from the truth! Even before coming to India, Gandhi was the first to protest against the apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela, time and again, has reiterated his inspiration from Gandhi. Eventually, Mandela succeeded in freeing South Africa from the clutches of apartheid. Martin Luther King, too, had been an avid follower of Gandhi. In the Civil Rights Movement, he too, followed the nonviolence approach to protest against the discriminatory laws against the African Americans followed in several states of America. His movement also eventually brought about sweeping changes and Federal Laws of US were compelled to heed to the demands laid out by King. Needless to say Gandhi, too, was successful in gaining independence after 200 years of British Rule.
Therefore, it is seen that Gandhian philosophy is extremely effective and successful, whichever be the time, place and condition. If we delve into the root cause of number of riots taking place in India, starting from Delhi riot in 1984, Mumbai riot in 1993, Gujarat riot in 2002 and innumerable small riots across the nation at various phases of Indian post independence history, it can be concluded that most of them have been orchestrated by the political parties for their own gains. However, it also shows the myopic views of our political parties and the politicians as in most of these cases the perpetrator gained little from orchestrating violence. Congress party lost the election at the national level soon after the Delhi riot (Delhi was a union territory at that time and hence there was no election there). The Shiv Sena-BJP combine lost the state election after the Mumbai riot.
Time and again, it has been proved that spreading violence does not make one popular and Gandhi realized it long back. When British imposed taxes on salt, Gandhi protested by asking people to walk his famous Dandi March. It created much more involvement of the people than what spreading violence would have. It also impacted the British in a more effective way than violence would have done. Today’s politicians should take cue from Gandhian philosophy as it is not only in much higher moral pedestal, but also is much more effective. However, the environment that is developing across the world prevents us every moment to adopt Gandhi’s doctrine and hence, the problems and violence and suffering in this world keeps on increasing.