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  • Q. What do you understand by Gandhian ethics. Discuss the role of Gandhian ethics in conflict resolution. (250 words)

    13 Oct, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Introduce by writing a few lines on Gandhian ethics.
    • Explain the major principles of Gandhian ethics.
    • Discuss the role of Gandhian ethics in conflict resolution.
    • Conclude suitably.


    • Gandhian philosophy’s objective is to transform the individual and society simultaneously, in accordance with the principles inspired from various sources like Bhagavad Geeta, Jainism, Buddhism, Bible, Thoreau, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Tolstoy, John Ruskin among others.
    • Gandhian thought cannot altogether be separated from ethics. His ideas are generally expressed in moral categories or terminology. Ethical theories provide the underpinnings for Gandhian thought in any sphere.


    Major Principles of Gandhian Ethics:

    • Satyagraha: It is the continuous realisation for truth. It mainly includes self-sacrifice, peace and non-violence. Only a person with will and determination can follow satyagraha.
    • Trusteeship: Wealthy people should act as Trustees of trust that look after the welfare of the people.
    • Ends and Means: Gandhi always emphasised on purity of means. Improper means cannot be adopted to achieve proper ends. As a wrong path cannot take you to the right destination.
    • Concept of seven sins: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without Humanity, Religion without Sacrifice, Politics without Principle are seven sins in a society that should be rectified.
    • Sarvodaya: It means Universal Upliftment of all. By inclusiveness many evils of society can be removed.
    • Dignity of Labor: Gandhi tried to establish equality among all by making bread labor compulsory to all.

    Role of Gandhian Ethics in conflict resolution:

    • The Gandhian technique of conflict resolution is through satyagraha which has been interpreted as passive resistance, nonviolent resistance etc. Satyagraha according to Gandhi is holding on to Truth.
    • A satyagrahi enjoys a degree of freedom not possible for others, for he becomes a truly fearless person. Once his mind is rid of fear, he will never agree to be another’s slave. Having achieved this state of mind he will never submit to any arbitrary action.
    • Satyagraha is more than a method of conflict resolution that lends itself easily to scientific analysis. It is in fact an ethical system that places heavy emphasis on the quality of the relationship between individuals.
    • According to Gandhian ethics the sense of mutual satisfaction with the outcome needs to be stressed for conflict resolution.
    • Nonviolent action is the most important method in the process of conflict resolution. The technique of nonviolent action conducts protest, resistance and intervention without physical violence.


    In today’s world conflict is complex and further, incorporates the utilization of physical and psychological violent instruments. The Gandhian approach addresses conflict at the individual level. Gandhi's approach is still highly important in modern complicated conflict resolution, and there is a need to revitalise and resurrect the concept at the level of conflict resolution institutions.

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