Satyagraha's Non-Violent Resistance

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Satyagraha was a popular concept that resonated in India and South Africa during their struggle against British rule; it has influenced conflict resolution in other regions as well. A form of protest pioneered by M.K. Gandhi, satyagraha focuses on resolving conflict through a commitment to truth, self-realization and most notably, avoiding violence. Non-Violent Resistance by Gandhi, Gandhi and Group Conflict by Arne Naess and “Gandhi and the Satyagraha of Newspaper Cartoons” by Ritu G. Khanduri are pieces of literature that highlight the important provisions and give unique insights into the idea of Satyagraha.
In Non-Violent Resistance, Gandhi, speaks on his movement and what its intended purpose in society was. Gandhi defines Satyagraha as “literally holding on to Truth… [and] excludes the use of violence because man is not capable of holding the truth and, therefore, not competent to punish” (Gandhi 1). In addition to defining Satyagraha, the author
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It must be operated on those with great spiritual force and because of this idea, violence would completely negate the idea of using spiritual force; therefore, in order to use satyagraha, one must be able to avoid any forms of violence. According to Gandhi, this “force may be used by individuals as well as by communities” (Gandhi 34). To illustrate this idea, Khanduri’s cartoon in her article depicts this very idea of a whole community coming together and resisting British rule through satyagraha. In figure 2, named ‘The Steam-Roller and the Elephant’, “Gandhi is the mahout astride the elephant— [which represents the] Indian community in South Africa” while a steam-roller, depicting the British rule, attempts to move the elephant but is unsuccessful to do so (Khanduri 9). This illustration shows how effective one man with the support of his community could be against a violent
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