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Satyagraha
Satyagraha
Satyagraha
Satyagraha
Satyagraha
Satyagraha
Satyagraha
Satyagraha
Satyagraha
Satyagraha
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Satyagraha

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  • 1. Satyagrahaसत्याग्रह
    Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict Transformation
  • 2. TRUTH
    Satyagraha – Holding onto Truth
    Satya – Hindi for “truth”, one of the five cardinal Hindu virtues
    Sat - Sanskrit for “is” and “being”
    In the Hindu tradition, life’s ultimate goal is self-realization, which is identification with God
    In the Satyagrahaphilosophy, God is absolute Truth
    God is Truth and Truth is God, they are interchangeable
    Related to Hindu pluralistic ethos that there are many paths to God, therefore in Satyagraha many paths to Truth
    Individuals have differing views as to what is Truth
    Individual man searches for truth in terms of the community of which he a part. (Bondurant, 1988, p. 22)
  • 3. NON-VIOLENCE
    Ahimsa – action based on the refusal to do harm
    A positive state of love, doing good, even to the evil doer
    One must disassociate with the evil doer even if it offends him
    May not even harbor uncharitable thoughts
    Ahimsa is our supreme duty
    Ahimsa is the greatest of the five cardinal Hindu virtues
    Ahimsa is the means and truth is the end
    To get to ultimate Truth, one must test different types of Truth through Ahimsa, non-violence
    Ahimsa is the standard Truth is measured against
    There exist limitations on human capacity to achieve non-violence
  • 4. SELF-SUFFERING
    Tapasya – willingness of self-sacrifice
    Essence of non-violence
    Chosen substitute for violence to others
    Related to Hinduism’s yogic ideals of self-restraint and self-discipline
    Requires courage
    Non-violence of the strong
    Gandhi referred to the “non-violence of the weak” whenever followers failed to grasp full meaning of Satyagraha
    Voluntary submission to injury
    Fully realized when practitioners can use violence, but refrain from doing so and invite suffering upon themselves
    How Truth is tested
  • 5. Relationship of Three Elements
    The truth concept as it functions in Satyagraha is relative Truth
    Objective standard to judge Truth is fulfillment of human needs of freedom and preservation of human integrity
    Discovery of Truth is the resolution of conflict that arises out of differing opinions
    Must be attained through non-violent actions
    Non-violent action often leads to experiencing violence instigated by the opponent
    Self-suffering involves refusal to injure the opponent while simultaneously holding to the Truth
    Implies sacrifice, even to the death
    Further means by which relative Truth is tested
  • 6. Challenges
    • Difficulty integrating with Interactive Problem Solvingas influential people are invited to participate in IPS
    • 7. Doesn’t coincide with Western view of dignity
    • 8. Difficult to encourage people to engage in self-suffering
    • 9. Difficulty distinguishing from passive resistance
    • 10. Seeking and applying Truth may not translate into different ideologies
    • 11. Difficulty understanding “ends” and “means” are the same
    • 12. Ambiguous
    • 13. Lack of invitation for explicit narratives and dialogue between both sides
  • Opportunities
    • Has successfully been used by Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and recently in Egypt
    • 14. Requires few material resources
    • 15. Open to the public
    • 16. Appeals to the masses
    • 17. Status doesn’t matter
    • 18. Ahimsa’s ideals ofpeace and love are a part of most religious doctrine
  • Questions for Discussion
    Think of one current international conflict in which this technique may be used successfully.  What aspects of Satyagraha make it a successful technique for conflict resolution?  Conversely, think of one current international conflict in which this technique may prove challenging and describe why.
    From the conflict transformation techniques we have learned in class, what are some features that are “missing” from the Satyagraha technique?  What features does Satyagraha provide that are missing from the other frameworks?
    Could Satyagraha be combined with another conflict transformation technique?  What challenges and opportunities would arise from such a combination?
    In the context of the India’s struggle for independence, think of episodes that demonstrate how this technique was used. What were the successes and failures of using this techniques in this context?
  • 19.
  • 20. Resources

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