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Thursday, 29 December 2016
S. Radhakrishnan on Gandhiji (2)
There is a common criticism that Gandhiji's vision outsoars his perception, that he proceeds on the comfortable but incorrect assumption that the world consists of saints. This is a misrepresentation of Gandhi's views.
He knows that life at best is a long second best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible. The kingdom of God knows no compromise, no practical limitations. But here on earth there are the pitiless laws of nature. We have to build an ordered cosmos on the basis of human passions. Through effort and difficulty ideals struggle to realization.
Though Gandhi feels that non-violence is the ideal of a civilized society, he permits the use-of force. 1. 'If one has the courage, I want hin to cultivate the art of killing and being killed, rather than in a cowardly manner flee from danger. 2 'The world is not entirely governed by logic. Life itself involves some kind of violence and we have to choose the path of least violence.'3 In the progress of societies three stages are marked, the first where the law of the jungle prevails, where we have violence and selfishness; the second where we have the rule of law and impartial justice with courts, police and prisons, and the third where we have nonviolence and unselfishness, where love and law are one.
The last is the goal of civilized humanity and it is brought nearer by the life and work of men like Gandhi.