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Relevance of Gandhi - A View From New York

By E S Reddy

…The civil rights movement led by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1950s, as well as much of the resistance to the Vietnam war, were inspired by Gandhi. Many hundreds of volunteers went through training in nonviolence. The success of these movements demonstrated that active nonviolence was not for Indians alone but can be practised by people of all religions and racial origins in America. There was an explosion of interest in Gandhi among activists, academics and other scholars. Numerous books and articles are being published here since then, and they include some of the best studies on Gandhi. They have dealt not merely with the philosophy of satyagraha or the methods of nonviolence resistance but with the wide range of experiments of Gandhi. More and more people began to study Gandhi, visit his ashrams in India and practise aspects of his teachings.

It would be wrong, however, to exaggerate the influence of Gandhi in America. If we look for “Gandhians”, there are but a few. But hundreds of thousands of Americans have derived inspiration from the life and thought of Gandhi while attached to their own faiths and traditions. That is as it should be. READ MORE…

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