The power of soul force
Tee II, Gary D.
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis is an analysis of the Gandhian philosophy of Satyagraha and how this philosophy has evolved since Gandhi's assassination. This thesis endeavors to answer the question: How is it possible that a philosophy of strict non-violence be practiced in our modern world if our contemporary, global culture is dominated by war and violence? This thesis first analyzes three key facets or dimensions of Gandhi's character that led to the birth, essential nature, and success of Satyagraha: Gandhi's adroit use of the media to further his cause, Gandhi's "military" structure of Satyagraha as a "corps" without the violence and, finally, Gandhi's willingness to sacrifice self or his fellow soldiers as acceptable human losses, not unlike traditional soldiers in a war, to further his campaign. The discussion then turns to a comparative analysis of two separate Satyagraha campaigns: a campaign in South Africa during the infancy of this philosophy and a campaign in India during the maturity of this philosophy. In Chapter V, there is an analysis of Martin Luther King, Jr. as an American Satyagrahi who began to actively practice Satyagraha seven years after Gandhi's assassination. It is concluded that King was successful and innovative in his practice of Satyagraha during the American Civil Rights movement. In Chapter VI, there is an analysis of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as a Tibetan Satyagrahi who has practiced Satyagraha since his early life in an effort to achieve Tibetan independence from the Chinese government. It is concluded that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is successful in his contemporary practice of Satyagraha and that His Holiness has adapted the philosophy to suit the needs of the Tibetan people in an unprecedented manner. In Chapter VII, a short commentary is offered confirming the adaptability and relative value of practicing the philosophy of Satyagraha in a modern world dominated by war and violence.
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