Relevance Of Mahatma Gandhi’s Philosophy Of Peace In 21st Century For Sustainable Development
It is fact that in present society, disagreement and strife on all sides terrorize independence. The concept of violence free peaceful world is destroying by cancerous elements like disruptive behaviour, indiscrimination, intolerance and narrow-mindedness. Only peace, conflict free mind, knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and kindness are potential instruments for tuning the mind sets of the students at all levels of education. In order to survive on this planet peacefully everyone must learn to live in harmony and in a violence free environment where everybody. Therefore world’s education system should be based on human values. Only value based education can bring peace and sustainable development for mankind. In order to achieve peace and contentment for world civilization, there is need for the people of all colours, creeds, races and nations to join together to promote peace and unity beneath the banner of global world order. In this situation only value oriented education can promote true love, peace, good- will, understanding and social welfare. Gandhian philosophy can create spiritual peace that helps in self-realization, global peace and single humanity. It gives emphasis on character building, moral virtues, courage, strength of confidence, righteousness, purity in personal life, self-discipline and service of humanity etc. In the present paper, the author has tried to study the gandhain philosophy. Further gandhian concept of non-violence, love and peace is discussed in present context.
Key words: Non-violence, peace, spirituality, sustainable development etc.
The world today has been divided into warring camps. The resources and energies of the countries of the world are wasted in their destructive tendencies. Hate and destruction have made an important place in the human life than the constructive values such as love and co-operation. Hazardous wealth of fighting technology has crossed all limits. Various developed countries are engaged in the production and business of dangerous fighting technology to achieve their political and economic aims. They falsely propagate disarmament and peace with purpose of imposing themselves one another. Thus, they use multidimensional artificial and egoistic methods to create violence in the humanity. If we want to ensure sustainable development for future generation then peace education must be proliferated in the world. The following factors are threats in the way of peace and sustainable development:
- Lack of awareness of human rights
- Deterioration of values and corruption
- Lower for power and money
- War and feeling of insecurity
- Mental pollution or negative attitude
- Psychological imbalance
- Social diversity
- Regionalism and rigidity
- Imbalance economic fluctuation
- Narrow mindedness and illiteracy etc.
- Need of peace
Education for sustainable development
In present society, disagreement and strife on all sides terrorize the independence. The concept of violence free peaceful world is destroying by cancerous elements like disruptive behaviour, indiscrimination, intolerance and narrow-mindedness. From Gandhian philosophy world can learn that the only way to stem the present moral deterioration and reinstate the spiritual vein of our civilization is a go back to moral education and spiritual consciousness.
Education plays a key role in all aspects of the human life. The UNESCO in its preamble has stated, since war begins in the minds of man. So that peace must be constructed in human minds. Most of the human beings are involved in negative and destructive activities. Only peace, conflict free mind, knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and kindness are potential instruments for tuning the mind sets of the students at all levels of education. Haile Selassie I said, “today, when world peace is threatened with atomic and nuclear weapons capable of annihilating the human race. Mahatma’s teachings of love, truth and of respect for others’ rights and devotion towards duty have become even more meaningful than at any other time.”
All social, economic, political, religious evils are based on violence. In order to survive on this planet peacefully everyone must learn to live in harmony and in a violence free environment where everybody. Therefore world’s education system should be based on human values. Only value based education can bring peace and sustainable development for mankind.
In order to achieve peace and contentment for world civilization, there is need for the people of all colours, creeds, races and nations to join together to promote peace and unity beneath the banner of global world order. In this situation only value oriented education can promote true love, peace, good- will, understanding and social welfare. At this time, Gandhian philosophy can be helpful in the creation of new values before the world for the sustainable development. In a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr., it was said,“ Mahatma Gandhi has done more than any other person of history to reveal that social problems can be solved without restarting to primitive methods of violence.”
Relevance of Gandhian philosophy for peace and sustainable development
Gandhi ji is the seer of the millennium because he stood firmly before violence, untruth, corruption and domination of evil. The teaching and practice of Gandhiji should strengthen the democratic attitude and develop healthy social environment.
Gandhian philosophy can create spiritual peace that helps in self-realization, global peace and single humanity. It gives emphasis on character building, moral virtues, courage, strength of confidence, righteousness, purity in personal life, self-discipline and service of humanity etc.
Gandhiji dreamed to create a classless society based upon love, truth, justice, equality, brotherhood, co-operation and national solidarity. Therefore, instead of depending upon society every person would be an earning unit for the good organization of the society. Everyone would play his role creditably Education can be helpful in self-improvement and in the development of feelings of co-operative community.
Message of love and peace is propagated by Gandhiji to the whole world. He said evil cannot stand by itself. Non-violence and non-cooperation are most potent weapons to fight with evil powers. In present era it can take the forms of passive resistance to fight the evil. Gandhi showed the path of righteousness to the World. He said righteousness involves an intense awareness of right and wrong and evil. This awareness can be helpful in the development of feeling of truth, love, cooperation, belongingness and non-violence. Major conflict can also be resolved with the help of honesty and co-operation.
Social development can be helpful in achieving global peace. Time to time seers, philosophers, moral preachers inspire the distracted world and show the path of love, peace and sacrifice to save humanity. It was perhaps such a vision that inspired our great poet, Dr. Rabindra Nath Tagore, to write these immortal lines:
“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving reaches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by
Thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom,
My father, let my country awake”.
Today the world peace is threatened with atomic and nuclear weapons competent of annihilating the human race. Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings of love and truth can show a path to world to save humanity. In modern era a sensible and realistic synthesis between the Gandhian approach and the modern approach can achieve real happiness to mankind.
His ideal of the social organization was the family. He said society should be developed on the pattern of family. Philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ should be revived to propagate the idea that the whole world is one family. Principles of interdependence, cooperation, devotion towards duty and social respect should be followed only then values can sustain forever. Feeling of oneness is helpful in the development of feeling of selflessness. Selflessness means complete freedom from ego, greed and selfish desires. It is a mental state where everyone believes in unity and oneness. Therefore human being should try to overcome evil by good, anger by love, untruth by truth, violence by non-violence.
Further Gandhi showed the path of forgiveness. Non-violence implies selflessness, harmlessness, freedom from anger, arrogance and hatred. Love for all men, feeling of fearlessness, courage, humility, forgiveness and self-surrender to God are some major key factors in the development of peaceful society.
Gandhiji’s ideas are relevant for every sphere of life. His philosophy is of much importance to World for sustainable development and peace. Today celebrating his birthday as International Non- Violence Day, the World recalls Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy in this modern era. His ideas offer solution to the growing problems of the World. Gandhi ji’s ideas about Satyagraha, non-violence, non-co-operation, Self-purification, quest of Truth, self-suffering, Love, patience, sympathy, fearless self-suffering, Truthfulness, Persuasion and Self-control are guiding source for all generations to establish the kingdom of peace and love. Above all from him we can learn that only way to stem the present moral deterioration and restore the spiritual vein of our civilization is a return to moral and spiritual values. It is rightly said “Mahatma Gandhi belongs to that rare group of men whose mind and heart have affected the foundations of thought over the world. Respect for his achievement and the unbreakable integrity of his character are a necessary part of the self-respect of our civilization”. The following measures based on Gandhian philosophy can be taken to promote peace education for sustainable development:
- Spiritual education
- Development of positive attitude
- Mental health awareness
- Adoption of yogic life style
- Sense of social service
- Awareness of human values
- Development of feeling of love and brotherhood and unity
- Development of national and international understanding
- Development of human values and removal of social barriers
- Democratic decision making
- Appreciation for other cultures
- Feeling of compassion and universal love
- Sense of social justice and solidarity of mankind
- Sensitization towards human issues to shun violence and emotional development
It is no exaggeration to say that peace education is the soul of Gandhian philosophy. Gandhi ji measured progress in terms of peace and human happiness. He wanted a social in which material development is the sole criterion of progress. He wanted a society in which every man would have equal status, opportunity and freedom to develop. He wanted a simple society in which economic progress and social justice would go together. Truth and non-violence bring inner contentment at that level where there is no place for greed. Gandhiji did not leave any set doctrine of gandhism behind him, but his life mirrors his philosophy which appeals to every human heart. For future generation gandhian philosophy will continue to be a guiding source of inspiration. Jayaprakash Narayan, a great Indian leader , rightly said , “ As long as there is violence which threatens the very future of the human race, relevance of Gandhi would continue. He will remain relevant till this danger of total annihilation of the human race is removed.”
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