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| There has been no greater advocate of one humanity in One World, and no stronger opponent of violence and war than Gandhi, for, his faith in non-violence was absolute and
he believed that peaceful means alone could lead to peaceful ends.
The concept of One World is fascinating indeed. Behind every attempt at permanent world peace and even in the background of world organisations, snob as the League of Nations and the United Nations Organisation, there lurks the hope that one day there will be One World. Whatever the shape of that One World, we all hope that war as an instrument of solving conflicts Of interests shall have no longer any place in human affairs. Instead, there will be peaceful ways of resolving conflicts-through friendliness and mutual help and cooperation towards common ends. One World and World Peace are practically synonymous. Neither of them can exist without the other. The strong desire and the frequent attempts for both are rooted in the hunger of the human heart for peace and happiness.
How heartening it is to imagine that when there is One World, all the natural and human resources, all the sciences and technology which are today being marshalled and arrayed for destructive purposes will be used for the elimination of poverty, ill-health and ignorance. They shall be used for promoting goodwill and for creating better conditions of life for the whole of humanity. Though this rosy picture is today the privilege only of the poets and the dream of idealists, there is no doubt that this is the cherished hope of every one who strives for peace. It has been the living faith of persons like Gandhi. He once wrote: "Not to believe in the possibility of permanent peace is to disbelieve in the godliness of human nature."
Both World Peace and One World are inherent in Gandhi's philosophy and the Gandhi-an way of life. He believed in Truth and for him Truth was God. Man may deny the existence of God. Very many have an agnostic attitude. But none dare deny Truth, though people may have different conceptions about particular truth.. Truth is a matter of experience. To deny Truth would be to deny cue's own existence. But what was far more important in the case of Gandhi was his declaration that "There is no way to find Truth except the way of non-violence: "Non-violence was not merely an ethical principle nor a temporary policy. His nonviolence was a positive principle, the principle of love which springs from the inner experience of the identity of interest with those whom we love.
He once declared, "All life is one"; for him life meant not only human beings, but all sentient creatures. He said, "Non-violence is not a mechanical thing. You do not become non-violent by merely saying I shall not use force'. It must be felt in the heart... When there is that feeling it will express itself through some action." That action, for Gandhi, was ceaseless service of mankind. His constructive approach to life, his whole constructive programme of action for the betterment of human life at all levels, arose out of him intense love, his deep sense of identity with all life and with the whole of humanity. "My constructive programme is rooted in non-violence" he said.
For Gandhi, man was the measure of all things. The basic purpose of human life was to reach higher levels of consciousness; man was mind and consciousness more than body and the senses. Therefore, Gandhi emphasised the spiritual progress of man. He carried on a relentless quest of Truth, of the Truth of life, of the law. and discipline necessary for elevating the human soul. He came to the conclusion that love was the law of the human species and not violence 'which seemed to reign supreme in the animal kingdom. He saw that truthfulness and non-violent adherence to it through thick and thin strengthened the human soul. Purification of the mind by purging selfishness and strengthening of it by selfless service was a positive step in developing soul-power. It was this kind of developed soul-force which he hurled against all evil and injustice which he came across.
Gandhi realised that if the embodied human spirit was to progress, muffled as it was by selfish desire, man must be free, full of dignity, and earnest about his own advance. Socially, all men and women, irrespective of caste, creed, or sex must be equal and be given equal opportunities. Thus he conceived a world in which all would be equal and all would uphold the dignity of each and help achieve spiritual progress.
Seemingly, his earlier life and youthful energy were devoted to the cause of equal rights for Indian residents in South Africa. After coming to India, he engaged himself mainly in the struggle for Indian independence.
But never for a moment was the cause of the whole of humanity or of world peace and harmony out of his mind. In fact, Tolstoy, in one of his letters to Gandhi while he was fighting for the rights of Indians in Transvaal, 'wrote that 'what Gandhi was doing in Transvaal was of world significance. He referred to the purity of the means which Gandhi adopted to fight evil which in South Africa had taken the form of racial injustice. Gandhi too was well aware of his mission in life, that of 'peace on earth and goodwill unto men.' He wrote in Young India (12.l.1928), "my ambition is much higher than independence. Through the deliverance of India, I seek to deliver the so-called weaker races of the earth from the crushing heels of Western exploitation... India's coming into her own will mean every nation doing likewise." This has proved prophetic
He wrote more expressly on this subject many a time. He said, "Through the realisation of freedom of India, I hope to realize and carry on the mission of the brotherhood of man." There has been no greater advocate of one humanity in One World, and no stronger opponent of violence and war than Gandhi, for, his faith in non-violence was absolute and he believed that peaceful means alone could lead to peaceful ends.