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Mahátma Gándhí

Geburtstag: 2. Oktober 1869
Todesdatum: 30. Januar 1948
Andere Namen:Móhandás Karamčand Gándhí

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi war ein indischer Rechtsanwalt, Widerstandskämpfer, Revolutionär, Publizist, Morallehrer, Asket und Pazifist.

Zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts setzte sich Gandhi in Südafrika gegen die Rassentrennung und für die Gleichberechtigung der Inder ein. Danach entwickelte er sich ab Ende der 1910er Jahre in Indien zum politischen und geistigen Anführer der indischen Unabhängigkeitsbewegung. Gandhi forderte die Menschenrechte für Unberührbare und Frauen, er trat für die Versöhnung zwischen Hindus und Muslimen ein, kämpfte gegen die koloniale Ausbeutung und für ein neues, autarkes, von der bäuerlichen Lebensweise geprägtes Wirtschaftssystem. Die Unabhängigkeitsbewegung führte mit gewaltfreiem Widerstand, zivilem Ungehorsam und Hungerstreiks schließlich das Ende der britischen Kolonialherrschaft über Indien herbei , verbunden mit der Teilung Indiens. Ein halbes Jahr danach fiel Gandhi einem Attentat zum Opfer.

Gandhi musste in Südafrika und Indien insgesamt acht Jahre in Gefängnissen verbringen. Seine Grundhaltung Satyagraha, das beharrliche Festhalten an der Wahrheit, umfasst neben Ahimsa, der Gewaltlosigkeit, noch weitere ethische Forderungen wie etwa Swaraj, was sowohl individuelle als auch politische Selbstkontrolle und Selbstbestimmung bedeutet.

Schon zu Lebzeiten war Gandhi weltberühmt, für viele ein Vorbild und so anerkannt, dass er mehrmals für den Friedensnobelpreis nominiert wurde. In seinem Todesjahr wurde dieser Nobelpreis symbolisch nicht vergeben.

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„Das Volk ergreift man nicht mit dem Verstand, sondern mit dem Herzen.“

— Mahátma Gándhí
zitiert in: „Denkverbot, was Religion bedeutet.“, zitiert nach Hubertus Mynarek, „Gedanken zur Logik der Macht“, aus: „Aufklärung und Kritik“ 1/1998, S. 27 ff.

„My life is dedicated to service of India through the religion of nonviolence which I believed to be the root of Hinduism.“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: I am wedded to India because I owe my all to her. I believe absolutely that she has a mission for the world. She is not to copy Europe blindly, India's acceptance of the doctrine of the sword will be the hour of my trial. I hope I shall not be found wanting. My religion has no geographical limits. If I have a living faith in it, it will transcend my love for India herself. My life is dedicated to service of India through the religion of nonviolence which I believed to be the root of Hinduism. Meanwhile I urge those who distrust me, not to disturb the even working of the struggle that has just commenced, by inciting to violence in the belief that I want violence I detest secrecy as a sin. Let them give nonviolence non co-operation a trial and they will find that I had no mental reservation whatsoever.

„If you want to give a message again to the West, it must be a message of 'Love', it must be a message of 'Truth'.“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: If you want to give a message again to the West, it must be a message of 'Love', it must be a message of 'Truth'. There must be a conquest — [audience claps] — please, please, please. That will interfere with my speech, and that will interfere with your understanding also. I want to capture your hearts and don't want to receive your claps. Let your hearts clap in unison with what I'm saying, and I think, I shall have finished my work. Therefore, I want you to go away with the thought that Asia has to conquer the West. Then, the question that a friend asked yesterday, "Did I believe in one world?" Of course, I believe in one world. And how can I possibly do otherwise, when I become an inheritor of the message of love that these great un-conquerable teachers left for us? You can redeliver that message now, in this age of democracy, in the age of awakening of the poorest of the poor, you can redeliver this message with the greatest emphasis. [http://www.gandhiserve.org/information/listen_to_gandhi/lec_2_iarc/lec_2_iarc.html Speech in New Delhi to the Inter-Asian Relations Conference (2 April 1947)] - Parts of this speech became used in an Telecom Italia advertisement ([http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IatyFUDTRAs&eurl=http://www.duncans.tv/2006/telecom-italia-gandhi Video at YouTube] - [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1D2xMfVuNg B&W, English text version, better sound])

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„In reality there are as many religions as there are individuals....“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: In reality there are as many religions as there are individuals.... Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads, so long as we reach the same goal. Wherein is the cause for quarrelling?

„I intend to make a careful study of my own religion and, as far as I can, of other religions as well.“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: I am a Hindu by birth. And yet I do not know much of Hinduism, and I know less of other religions. In fact I do not know where I am, and what is and what should be my belief. I intend to make a careful study of my own religion and, as far as I can, of other religions as well. Part II: First Day in Pretoria

„Such being the hold that the doctrine of the sword has on the majority of mankind, and as success of non-co-operation depends principally on absence of violence during its pendency and as my views in this matter affect the conduct of large number of people. I am anxious to state them as clearly as possible.
I do believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I would advise violence.“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: In this age of the rule of brute force, it is almost impossible for anyone to believe that anyone else could possibly reject the law of final supremacy of brute force. And so I receive anonymous letters advising me that I must not interfere with the progress of non-co-operation even though popular violence may break out. Others come to me and assuming that secretly I must be plotting violence, inquire when the happy moment for declaring open violence to arrive. They assure me that English never yield to anything but violence secret or open. Yet others I am informed, believe that I am the most rascally person living in India because I never give out my real intention and that they have not a shadow of a doubt that I believe in violence just as much as most people do. Such being the hold that the doctrine of the sword has on the majority of mankind, and as success of non-co-operation depends principally on absence of violence during its pendency and as my views in this matter affect the conduct of large number of people. I am anxious to state them as clearly as possible. I do believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I would advise violence.

„We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith.“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. The existence of God is like a geometrical axiom. It may be beyond our heart grasp. I shall not talk of an intellectual grasp. Intellectual attempts are more or less failures, as a rational explanation cannot give you the faith in a living God. For it is a thing beyond the grasp of reason. It transcends reason. There are numerous phenomena from which you can reason out the existence of God, but I shall not insult your intelligence by offering you a rational explanation of that type. I would have you brush aside all rational explanations and begin with a simple childlike faith in God. If I exist, God exists. With me it is a necessity of my being as it is with millions. They may not be able to talk about it, but from their life you can see that it is a part of their life. I am only asking you to restore the belief that has been undermined. In order to do so, you have to unlearn a lot of literature that dazzles your intelligence and throws you off your feet. Start with the faith which is also a token of humility and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms in this universe. We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith. Young India (24 September 1931); also in Teachings Of Mahatma Gandhi (1945), edited by Jag Parvesh Chander, [https://archive.org/stream/teachingsofmahat029222mbp#page/n463/mode/2up p. 458 archive.org]

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„Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice. A list closing an article in Young India (22 October 1925); Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi [http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL033.PDF Vol. 33 (PDF) p. 135] Variant: The seven blunders that human society commits and cause all the violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principles<!--PLURAL-->. A written list given to his departing grandson Arun Gandhi (October 1947), as quoted in [http://marriottschool.uberflip.com/h/i/16655510-spring-1998-exchange Marriot (Spring 1998; p.5)]. <!--NAMECHECKING VARIANTS TO AVOID UNSOURCED BACK-AND-FORTH "CORRECTIONS" TO THE ABOVE-->Some alternative or erroneous translations exist that use intros "There are seven sins in the world:", "Seven Blunders of the world:", "The things that will destroy us are", and items "politics without principle<!--SINGULAR-->", "education without character", or "business without morality". The list was originally written by a Socialist clergyman in England in March 1925 and was passed along to Gandhi, who published it later that year, as detailed in [http://quezi.com/21020 this article].

„I claim no perfection for my self. But I do claim to be a passionate seeker after Truth, which is but another name for God.“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: This is no appeal made by a man who does not know his business. I have been practising with scientific precision non-violence and its possibilities for an unbroken period of over fifty years. I have applied it in every walk of life, domestic, institutional, economic and political. I know of no single case in which it has failed. Where it has seemed sometimes to have failed, I have ascribed it to my imperfections. I claim no perfection for my self. But I do claim to be a passionate seeker after Truth, which is but another name for God. In the course of the search the discovery of non-violence came to me. Its spread is my life-mission. I have no interest in living except for the prosecution of that mission.

„One thing we have endeavoured to observe most scrupulously, namely, never to depart from the strictest facts and, in dealing with the difficult questions that have arisen during the year, we hope that we have used the utmost moderation possible under the circumstances.“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: One thing we have endeavoured to observe most scrupulously, namely, never to depart from the strictest facts and, in dealing with the difficult questions that have arisen during the year, we hope that we have used the utmost moderation possible under the circumstances. Our duty is very simple and plain. We want to serve the community, and in our own humble way to serve the Empire. We believe in the righteousness of the cause, which it is our privilege to espouse. We have an abiding faith in the mercy of the Almighty God, and we have firm faith in the British Constitution. That being so, we should fail in our duty if we wrote anything with a view to hurt. Facts we would always place before our readers, whether they are palatable or not, and it is by placing them constantly before the public in their nakedness that the misunderstanding between the two communities in South Africa can be removed. Indian Opinion (1 October 1903)

„If we are to reach real peace in this world“

— Махатма Ганди
Context: If we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children; and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won’t have to struggle, we won’t have to pass fruitless idle resolutions. But we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering. Young India (19 November 1931, p. 361)

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