Gandhiji has given the world a new philosophy of winning political battles without bloodshed and weapons. Though Gandhi did not propound any ‘ism’, he had followed definite principles in his life which paved way for Gandhism at a later date.
The Principles of Gandhism:
About Religion & Politics:
Gandhi believed and had faith in religion and was against the separation of religion from politics and said that “there is no politics devoid of religion and Politics bereft of religion is a death trap because it kills the soul”.
Hence applied religion to politics. In his opinion, politics sub-serves religion
On Non Violence:
Gandhi believed in the policy of non-violence or ahimsa. To him nonviolence was in thought, speech and action.
Non-violence, according to Gandhi was not just to abjure pain both in thought and deeds, but also influence on the positive side of it by inculcating good will towards others. It is supreme love, supreme kindness and supreme self-sacrifice.
On Ends and Means:
Gandhi was in favor of good ends and good means which means good means must be followed for good ends
The end can never justify the means; as the means, so the end. As we sow, we reap fruits.
This inviolable connection between means and ends is seen by Gandhi
His ideas on Sarvodaya:
Sarvodaya means welfare of all and not the welfare of a particular group of society.
It stands for the progress of all – the poor, the rich and the middle class. Sarvodaya goes beyond the ideal of utilitarianism which advocates for the greatest happiness of the greatest number and seeks to promote the welfare of all the people be it rich, poor or middle class.
Acharya Vinoba Bhave, a true Gandhian, implemented the ideals of Sarvodaya. Later Jaya Prakash Narayan followed it.