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a social-political and religious-philosophical doctrine that arose during the course of the Indian independence struggle and was named for its founder, M. K. Gandhi.

Gandhism was the ideology of the Indian national liberation movement led by the national bourgeoisie. Its basic political principles and characteristics were the following: the attainment of Indian independence by peaceful means, through the nonviolent participation of the broad popular masses in the liberation struggle; the unification of all Indians in the independence struggle, irrespective of religion, nationality, caste, or class, under the leadership of the Indian National Congress; in the area of social relations, the assertion of the possibility of achieving class peace and the resolution of class conflicts by means of arbitration, based on the concept of the tutelage of the peasants by the landlords and of the workers by the capitalists; the idealization of patriarchal relations; the call for the renewal of the village community and cottage industry in India, particularly hand spinning and weaving (the symbol of Gandhism was the charkha, or spinning wheel); and the appeal to the religious feelings of the popular masses.

The basis of Gandhism was the principle of nonviolence. Developed by Gandhi and accepted by his followers, the tactic of nonviolent struggle for independence was named Satyagraha (literally, persistence in truth). It was manifested in two forms, noncooperation and civil disobedience. Non-cooperation included the refusal of titles conferred by the British, the boycott of state educational institutions, and the organization of peaceful demonstrations. Civil disobedience was expressed by the violation of some of the colonial government’s laws, the conducting of political strikes, or hartals, and, in exceptional cases, the refusal to pay taxes. Characteristic of Gandhism was an effort to resolve specific conflicts with the British authorities, as well as social contradictions, by means of negotiations and agreements based on mutual concessions.

Philosophically, Gandhism was based on the idea of divine reality, which Gandhi identified as truth; the attainment of truth is linked with the process of moral self-realization. The latter is understood in relation to the concept of ahimsa, which is interpreted broadly to mean abstention from inflicting not only physical but also spiritual harm on living creatures. The basis of self-realization is the “law of love” and the “law of suffering,” in accordance with which a follower of ahimsa must consciously seek suffering and be prepared for self-sacrifice. From this concept flow Gandhism’s teachings on the conscious and voluntary limitations on needs, the refusal of personal comforts, and the acceptance of an ascetic way of life. From Gandhism’s religious-ethical conception follows naturally the belief that the condition of society is determined by the people’s level of moral development. Gandhism attempts to make politics dependent upon morality. Thus, it proclaims the primacy of means (insofar as they are the expression of human moral will) over ends and declares the means to be the measure and criterion of political action.

Even during Gandhi’s lifetime, many of his followers did not fully accept his political and philosophical principles. For example, J. Nehru did not attach decisive importance to the principle of nonviolence in the struggle for independence, and he also emphasized the development of heavy industry. Even Gandhi himself was not always consistent in his application of the tactic of nonviolence; during World War II, for example, he recognized the necessity of using armed force when India was threatened by a Japanese invasion.

After the achievement of Indian independence in 1947 there were serious disagreements among Gandhi’s followers on the question of means and methods for applying Gandhism to the problems of the social, economic, and political development of the Republic of India.

Some Soviet authors have treated the complex, contradictory ideology of Gandhism in a one-sided manner. The anti-imperialist side of Gandhism and its role in the unification of the broad masses of people in the independence struggle have been underestimated.


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Noveishaia istoriia Indii. Moscow, 1959.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal, in association with other Gandhian institutions, has been organising the Gandhi Peace Examination for the last 10 years in various jails of Maharashtra as part of its reformation programmes for prisoners.
The book focuses on seven Gandhian values that are most relevant in the contemporary workplace: authenticity/personal integrity, harmlessness (ahimsa), truthfulness (satyagraha or truth-force), transparency, humility, self-discipline, and selfless service.
First ever Centre for Gandhian Studies inaugurated PRIME on pitch pledging more investment companies countries billion power financing Among MoUs deals energy number for projects, deal In Technology an up ICICI light bank The push investment initiative, prominent By in Shanghai MoUs $
The Shiva Mandir in Chitti Gatti a small settlement near Gandhian, Mansehra is one the oldest Hindu temples in Paksitan dating back to the prepartition era.
The long-standing crusade against corruption on Gandhian lines was undertaken by the 'Gandhian Sevaand Satyagraha Brigade' and its predecessor.
In his eighteen years at Sevagram, Prasad worked to articulate a Gandhian philosophy of arts pedagogy.
Topics include emerging frontiers of co-operation on security policy; security and South Asian regional development; Pakistan and cross-border terrorism; policy towards the Afghanistan-Pakistan region; energy security and West Asian conflict; maritime security; global dimensions of maritime piracy; China, the US, and the South China Sea dispute; India-US-China trilateral co-operation in the Indian Ocean region; human security and climate change in South Asia; India's policy initiatives with respect to human rights and human security; the Indo-International Initiative for Billions of Fruit Trees; human security and Gandhian ethics in a globalized world; and environmental challenges for policy formation and national security.
Sorabji's project is not to trace influences (although he does outline Gandhi's eclectic variety of sources) but rather what he calls convergences, instances where Gandhian and Stoic thought find very similar expression.
One can discern in his philosophy of life the impact of Gandhian values.
Gandhian principles Gandhian principles of nonviolence were nicely explained in a convincing manner by Nilofar Suhrawardy in her column, "Provocative anti-Islam film in light of Gandhian principles.
That's all very noble, but I can't understand the anachronistic Gandhian logic of the government, irrespective of its political colour, insisting on making state banquets and official parties 'dry'.
Summary: T he acceptance of demands of Anna Hazare (74), a Gandhian social worker who was on fast for 12 days to press for a strong anti-corruption law, by all parties in Parliament is a historic moment for Indian democracy.