Passive Resistance: Nonviolence

Topics: Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy Pages: 5 (1738 words) Published: November 25, 2013
Passive Resistance: Nonviolence
Mahatma Gandhi, the originator of “Practice of Passive Resistance”, or “Soul-force”, used nonviolence to solve problems. He believed that the practice of Satyagraha can use love to forget and forgive. The pain of suffering was not the true problem when it came to fighting for justice. Similarly, with the idea of suffering for one’s desire of freedom, the people of Republic of China also used hunger strike and nonviolence for the Tiananmen Square protest to present Gandhi’s idea of satyagraha.

Gandhi, also known as the “Father of India”, was the first to discover the idea of passive resistance. Passive resistance stands for the modern nonviolence, which is the idea of using love to suffer for one’s desire of freedom. This idea is convey your idea towards the opponent in hope of a good outcome. He believes that, “The use of this force requires the adoption of poverty, in the sense that we must be indifferent whether we have the wherewithal to feed or clothe ourselves” (446). The main point behind this passage is to use nonviolence to fight for what one dare to believe in. No one can be a perfect passive resister, but to start off we must ban ourselves from violence. The meaning of Satyagraha is to insist of truth and love-force. Gandhi stated, “We cannot remedy evil by harbouring ill-will against evil-doer. This is not difficult of comprehension; it is easy enough to understand.”(446) Using the power of love or truth can help to convince the evil-doers to stop and listen. Violence will not solve anything; rather it makes the situation worse. Speaking the truth and having a loving heart will do good deeds, which is what the passive resisters believe in.

In a place where people learn to treat each other equally and with respect, is where peace can be found. Gandhi mentioned, “When the law of satyagraha is applied to provincial life, and the people inhabiting a province regulate their relations by love rather than by hatred” (448). Learning by loving and applying to the law of satyagraha in life can help one obtain a level of near perfection. The wrongdoers are at fault, but people cannot tempt them to do even more. Passive resistance is a feasible option; it was used to protest among some of the strongest country by their people. An example of using satyagraha to solve society problems is the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Republic of China is a strong communist party, therefore on June 4, 1989 students along with many other age groups gathered to fight for the demand of freedom and the press to speech. To show their determination, some students went on a hunger strike, which gathered many more believers to join. The total amount of people involved in this protest was about three-thousand. It is true, when more people start to protest an act, the more it will seen to be right. Along with hunger strike, some brave young people even went up to the tank and spoke to the driver telling them “to go back and stop killing my people, the country is in chaos because of this”(Latif).

For the Law of suffering, Gandhi also stated “No country has ever risen without being purified through the fire of suffering. Mother suffers so that her child may live…Life comes out of death” (451). No happiness can happen if people do not suffer. To suffer is a way to appreciate and enjoy life. Just like the people of China, 5000 lives were lost to gain the reformation of freedom for the people. In James McGregor’s One Billion Customers stated that after the Tiananmen Square massacre of the government’s killing of student reformers, it was “ a blow to party conservatives and a win for reformers”(McGregor 3). There was an encouragement for private businesses to start up but the communist government still controls the reform process. Even after that, it was not an all free country. It is still a communist rule world. The more one has to suffer for a dream, the better the turnout would be. Within the time of suffering,...

Cited: Gandhi, Mahatma. “The Theory and Practice of Passive Resistance.”Cultural Conversation: The Presence of the Past. Eds. Stephen Dils, Regina Hansen, Matthew Parfitt. Boston:Bedford/St. Martins, 2001. 445-447.Print.
Gandhi, Mahatma. “Meaning of Satygraha.”Cultural Conversation: The Presence of the Past. Eds. Stephen Dils, Regina Hansen,Matthew Parfitt. Boston:Bedford/St. Martins, 2001. 447-449.Print.
Gandhi, Mahatma. “The Law of Suffering.”Cultural Conversation: The Presence of the Past. Eds. Stephen Dils, Regina Hansen, Matthew Parfitt. Boston:Bedford/St. Martins, 2001. 451-453.Print.
Gandhi, Mahatma. “The Doctrine of the Sword I and II.”Cultural Conversation: The Presence of the Past. Eds. Stephen Dils, Regina Hansen, Matthew Parfitt. Boston:Bedford/St. Martins, 2001. 453-456.Print.
Latif, Iqbal. "Milton Friedman Produced Millions of Millions of Tank Men." Global Politician: News, Interviews, Opinions and Analysis. Web. 04 May 2011. .
Tolstoy, Leo. “Letter to Gandhi.”Cultural Conversation: The Presence of the Past. Eds. Stephen Dils, Regina Hansen, Matthew Parfitt.Boston:Bedford/St. Martins, 2001. 464-466.Print.
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