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Gandhi today - current or out of date?

"Kissinger got it, Gandhi didn't," was the headline of a large German online magazine before the announcement of this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The fact that Mahatma Gandhi never received the most important of all peace prizes was a major omission. However, it would be an even greater failure to no longer adequately appreciate his achievements today or even to dismiss him as a phenomenon of the past that can no longer exist in the present.

 

A bust of Gandhi, which India donated to the city of Frankfurt, has been in the foyer of PRIF since October 4th. Harald Müller and Thorsten Gromes take this as an opportunity to reflect on Gandhi's work and to check whether his teaching of nonviolent resistance, Satyagraha, is still up-to-date today.

 

They find that the conflicts in Gandhi's day were by no means less violent or complex. Only shortly after the Second World War, Gandhi led his country from British colonial rule to independence - and that with virtually no bloodshed. In doing so, the founder of modern, democratic India achieved an incomparable political achievement that was dependent on certain, but not unique, conditions.

 

In the last few years, too, there have been movements that have achieved their goal by renouncing violence. Gandhi's teachings are still suitable today as a model for a constructive and peaceful handling of conflicts all over the world.

Bibliographical information

Harald Müller / Thorsten Gromes, Gandhi today - current or out of date ?, PRIF standpoints, No. 4/2006, Frankfurt / M.