What is Satyagraha?

Concept of the DayWhat is Satyagraha?


Satyagraha is a concept introduced by Mahatma Gandhi in the early 20th century. Satya means truth, and agraha means insistence. So, basically, Satyagraha means to hold truth firmly. Satyagraha means walking on the path of truth, speaking honestly, behaving in a truthful and sincere manner, come what may. 

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In the Indian context, Gandhiji described Satyagraha as firmness in a good cause. Satyagraha also means truth force, which was used by Gandhiji to promote his non-violence movement. Any person who practices satyagraha is a satyagrahi.

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Satyagraha theory actually also left a lasting impact on the campaigns of Martin Luther King Jr. and James Bevel during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Even during Nelson Mandela’s struggle in South Africa, Satyagraha was used. Several social justice and similar movements all across the world used the Satyagraha approach.

So, how did Satyagraha find its spread? Well, Gandhiji used Satyagraha as not just an approach to be used in the political struggles but anywhere, anytime whenever there is harm and injustice towards the vulnerable people of the world.

Gandhiji set up the Sabarmati Ashram to teach satyagraha and asked satyagrahis to follow the below principles. Non-violence or ahimsa, Truth, not-stealing, non-possession, bread-labour, control over desires, courage, equal respect for all religions, swadeshi which is the economic strategy to boycott imported goods.

Satyagrahis should live having full faith in God. They should be leading a chaste life, promote khadi products, and not indulge in alcohol and other toxic products.

So, do you think it is difficult to not get indulged in material possessions while being a satyagrahi? Well, the idea behind satyagraha by Mahatma Gandhi was to ensure that people walking on the satyagraha path have the utmost control over their negative emotions.

For example, it becomes easier to get angry or feel hatred or resentment if the other person makes us feel the same. Anger is one of the worst feelings that can break a person’s well-being both on mental and physical levels.

Satyagrahis are that’s why told not to get so angry that they want to curse or swear. Satyagrahis are expected to not insult the opponent and behave in a courteous manner. 

Satyagrahis is not an age-old concept but it is a way of life in which people are expected to follow the ideal lifestyle. Speak no bad, think no bad, and walk on no bad path. Although people living in contemporary times may argue that living in such a genuine manner is not possible in this kaliyuga.

But if you really make good efforts to control your emotions and think in an optimistic manner, you can really be living up to the ideals set for satyagrahis. If one person motivates two people to live in a non-violent and ethical manner then India will leave behind the corruption that has plagued the Indian political system for ages.

So, why not take responsibility of yourself to follow non-violence? You can simply stop those media channels that inflict poisonously negative thoughts in your mind of how the world is so doomed, you can simply think positive and create positive waves around you that will encourage people to walk on the right path and do the right thing.

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