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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. What do each of the following quotations mean to you in the present context? (150 words)

    (a) “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”- Mahatma Gandhi

    (b) “ Hate the sin , Love the sinner”- Mahatma Gandhi

    31 Dec, 2018 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Give brief introduction of Gandhi’s ideology of Ahimsa (non-Violence) and Satyagraha as his unique method of protest.
    • Give and describe various burning conflict which can be resolved through Gandhian Methods
    • Way forward


    Mahatma Gandhi was central figure in Indian national movement. Through his core beliefs he evolved unique methods of protest which were rooted in of Ahimsa (non-Violence) and Satyagraha. Gandhi believed that nonviolence constitutes a positive procedure for promoting worthwhile social change. Mahatma Gandhi rejected the weapons of hate and set about to discover the instrument of love for the battle of the weak against the strong.

    Gandhian approach to conflict resolution in present context:

    • Social movement and Protests: India has seen several social protests since independence by various groups. There is demand for separate states e.g. for Gorkhaland demand, insurgency, left wing extremism etc.The protests sometime are violent and lead to loss of life and property; in such context Gandhi’s approach to bring social change in gentle way is still relevant. If protests and Social movement can be achieved through his methods of Non-violence it will ensure the conflicts are not further escalated.
    • Global Conflicts: In global era new conflicts are emerging e.g. global terrorism, conflict due to illegal migration e.g. in USA is conceiving building a wall on USA- Mexico border, ethnic conflicts like Rohingya refugee crisis etc. These conflicts can be resolved through Gandhian approach of Non-violence and Satyagraha.
    • Inter Community and Interstate conflicts: India is a diverse country with divisions along caste, culture and ethnicities. The diversity presents challenges due to competition for resources and need for protection of group identities e.g. language, cultures etc. Such conflicts can be resolved through peaceful gentle Gandhian approach.

    Way Forward

    • Gandhian approach to resolve differences through non violent means remains relevant in light of conflict with in India as well as global level.
    • An institutional approach to Gandhian method to ensure state backs the community and groups which want to resolve differences through Gandhian Methods like establishing committees of eminent citizens etc.


    • Mahatma Gandhi emphasised the message of love, peace and compassion. For Gandhi love and compassion should also be shown towards an opponent.
    • His approach to Satyagraha and Ahimsa signified this important principle which Gandhi followed steadfastly.


    Gandhi’s pronouncement of “Hate the sin, Love the sinner” has following ethical connotations:

    •  Distinction between deed and doer: Gandhi believed that only through love any opponent could be permanently won.  When Gandhi says, hate the sin, love the sinner he is drawing distinction between deed and the doer. According to him the doer of the deed, whether good or wicked, always deserves respect or pity as the case may be.
    • Permanent conflict resolution: According to Gandhi, those who seek to destroy men rather than manners adopt the latter and become worse than those whom they destroy under the mistaken belief that the manners will die with the men. Gandhi highlighted how the cycle of violence repeats itself without resolving the conflict.
    • Forgiveness: Gandhi’s approach also highlights his belief in forgiveness. He regarded forgiveness as high virtue. According to him, the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. It is the acid test of non-violence that, in a non-violent conflict, there is no rancour left behind, and in the end the enemies are converted into friends
    • Spirit of Tolerance: Gandhi also highlighted the value of tolerance. According to Gandhi the main cause of worry today is intolerance and hatred leading to violence. Understanding difference between doer and deed and forgiving the doer inculcates spirit of tolerance. It leads to achievement of a peaceful, tolerant society where diverse section of society lives in mutually society peace. This spirit of tolerance is important in diverse country like India.

    Way Forward

    • Gandhi’s message of ‘Hate the sin, Love the sinner’ is extremely relevant in present situation for number of global as well as domestic conflict persist and escalate because of inability to forgive and aim for permanent resolution.

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