Gandhi and Gorbachev, Mao and Mandela

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Gandhi and Gorbachev, Mao and Mandela

Undoubtedly, Gandhi, Mao, Mandela, and Gorbachev have been some of the greatest and most influential figures in the past century and a half. They have all had a large impact in their individual nations, as well as the world, bringing about significant change. Gandhi and Gorbachev went about establishing change by nonviolently trying to reform their governments. While, Mao and Mandela strived for revolutionary change in their countries and went about achieving it through a more militant perspective. Each personality is unique to their own environment, but there were areas where they were similar and different as well. Gandhi and Gorbachev were similar in the fact that they wanted to drastically reform the way their governments were without using violence. Gandhi was the epitome when it comes to nonviolence. Gandhi stood up to the largest empire on Earth, the British, never once resorting to any form of violence. He went against the empire to liberate his homeland of India from under the colonial rule of the British and seeking the rights of Indians in another British colony, South Africa. When, Indians were finally given more rights in South Africa and in India too Gandhi moved towards reforming the Hindu-Muslim conflict that intensified after the partition of Pakistan and India when the British left in 1947. However, during his fight against colonial rule, racism, and oppression Gandhi used only peaceful methods. His actions were peaceful not because he was a coward, he maintained, “that the armed man is more of a coward then the man who rejects the use of force, because possession of arms implies an element of fear, if not cowardice, while true non-violence is unequivocally fearless” (Deluca 17). It took courage to lead protests under the watch of violent British troops and result in Gandhi being beaten or arrested on several occasions, stage economic boycotts that would make life less comfortable, and his most...
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