Development, Trade and Foreign Affairs

Gandhi Made It: Power of the Indians or Power of the British


(Photo: Mahandas Karamchand Gandhi)

Mahandas K. Gandhi, a man who was born in India, had spend a half of his life time to voluntarily offer his services for the sake of the British and another half of his life time to gain the home rule for his Indians. In pursuing India’s Independence from British colonialism, he encouraged his followers to adhere so-called non-violent protests. As addressing in his statement in the Great Trial of 1922, “I want to avoid violence. Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.” [1] In this sense, among many well-known public figures, Gandhi was significantly recognized as the prominent moral leader at the wider world. From his point of views, Indians have power in people, while British have power in terms of their obligations as rulers.

The ordinary people of respective nation would simply regard as the owners of the country who shall have rights and privilege to determine the destiny of their own country. In this regard, Gandhi argued that Indians obviously had the privilege as the power of the people even though they were living under the foreign rule. He said, “If you [British] act contrary to our will [Indians’ will], we shall not help you; and without our help, we know that you cannot move one step forward.” [2] Basically, the rulers are dependent on the supports of the grassroots for the operating their organization and policies, and the leaders definitely need the contribution and participation from populations otherwise rulers cannot achieve anything because nothing is workable. Therefore, the heads of governments shall not only understand this importance, but they shall also respect for the people’s demand as the priority and the privilege. Nonetheless, this approach would be useful and practical provided that the majority of the people have taken part and united as one to share and to contribute to the same goal by expressing their demands to be heard.

Furthermore, Gandhi also recognized British as the ruler of the Indians, but in the return they shall have their obligations as the rulers for the sake of the Indian people. He said, “I have no objection to your remaining in my country, but although you are the rulers, you will have to remain as servants of the people. It is not we have to do as you wish, but it is you who have to do as we wish.” [3] A simple basic principle of governance, that is widely understood, is that obligations of the rulers to serve the population’s interest as the whole, not imposing laws or any regulations to oppose the majority’s will for the selfish gain. As the nature of the ruler, it additionally has to provide social welfare and security, and also it has to promote the higher living standard of people who are living under the authority. In this sense, the contradicting to these principles, it shall not be regarded as the rulers, but exploiter.

In this connection, Gandhi had found the strongest point of the concerted efforts of the Indian people to accomplish their collective goal by implementing the principle of non-use of forces in demanding changes for their nation. At the same time, he also emphasized on the roles of British as the rulers who have to stick to the basic principles of governance in which freedom and respect shall be deserved to all colors, white, black, and yellow. By the way, from his resistance in non-violent manner for Home Rule of the Indians, it shall universally recognize as the best lesson-learned for other nations in attempting to solve problems in a peaceful method because it would possibly has no one is worse-off or it is possibly maximizing the unforeseen destruction.

Seoul, March 07, 2014

By Khov Ea Hai
Instructed and edited by Prof. Hugh Schuckman

[1]                : Gandhi, Mohandas K., “Statement in the Great Trial of 1922.” In Moral Leaders and Global Movements, edited by Hugh Schuckman, 3-9. Seoul, Korea: KDI Press, 2014.
[2] & [3]   : Gandhi, Mohandas K., “Hind Swaraj.” In Moral Leaders and Global Movements, edited by Hugh Schuckman, 3-9. Seoul, Korea: KDI Press, 2014.

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2016 by in General and tagged .






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