Mahatma Gandhi was one of the greatest and respected leaders in the 20th century. Born in1869 in the pre-colonial India, Gandhi was responsible for the emancipation of India from British colonials (Daniel 1). In his quest to liberate India, Gandhi employed non-violent civil disobedience as means to achieve justice and fairness in most of his undertakings. Through his approaches, Gandhi advocated for universal norms that promoted equality and human rights, while discouraging the cruelty of the government against the civilians.
In his early age, Gandhi studied law in England and later relocated to South Africa where his political views and insights developed. In South Africa, Gandhi served as a layer employed by wealthy Muslims (Daniel 1). During his tenure as a lawyer, Gandhi was quoted saying that he considered all the Indians in South Africa as “Indians” regardless of their religion and class. While working as a lawyer, his experiences inspired him to insights he had never known before. In this regard, he realized how religious and cultural disparities were the major factors challenging the Indians in his home country (Daniel 1). Faced with discrimination and sometimes beaten for being a colored in South Africa, Gandhi’s life took a turning point as he decided to fight against these social injustices (Iyer 5). By drawing attention to the racism and prejudice subjected on the Indians in South Africa, Gandhi embarked on advocating for equality and the respect of human rights by the South African government that had developed a norm of subjecting the minority groups to cruelty (Iyer 5).
In1915, Gandhi returned to India (Daniel 1). On his arrival, he joined the Indian National Congress and familiarized himself with several Indian matters and politics. Employing his approach of civil disobedience, non-aggression, and peaceful demonstrations, Gandhi managed to unite Indians in demanding for their independence and equal treatment. What was amazing was his ability to convince a portion of extreme Muslims to support his campaign. In the course of his campaigns and demonstrations, the British troops murdered several of the peaceful demonstrators (Daniel 1). As a result, Gandhi condemned both the British massacre and the Indians reprisal. His condemnation on both warring sides illustrates his unique desire for impartiality and respect for human rights. Later on, he apologized to the British for his actions. Through these proceedings, Gandhi’s desire and efforts for the preservation of justice and human rights is eminent. A leader, who does not uphold equality, fairness and peace, would not have apologized to his enemies for killing his people but would have retaliated in the same equal measures. To emphasize on equality, Gandhi did all kind of odd jobs including cleaning toilets. This is a task considered by most Indians as a low-class job. In my opinion, these acts served to encourage and foster Gandhi’s philosophy of equality among all human beings.
Gandhi’s methods and approaches of non-violence and boycotts against the British products effectively won the support of most Indians. Despite the fact that the British colonials considered these approaches as being local and ineffective, they eventually led to the Indian’s independence and brought an end to the British cruelty and animosity towards them (Daniel 1). Gandhi’s value for human rights is affirmed through his means of peaceful demonstrations. Thus, it is arguable that through his condemnation on violence, Gandhi equally valued the British and the locals’ lives despite the British cruelty. Similarly, Gandhi’s refusal to support the British war against the Nazis demonstrates his respect for equality. In my view, Gandhi’s actions in this regard illustrate how he was opposed to non-peaceful means of addressing discontent, and, instead, proffered less destructive channels.