Chapter 2

Class 10
2. What is meant by the idea of satyagraha?


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What is meant by the idea of satyagraha?


In January 1915, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India. He had arrived from South Africa, where he had used an innovative strategy of popular agitation that he called satyagraha to defeat the apartheid government. The concept of satyagraha emphasised the importance of seeking out the truth and the strength of the truth. It implied that using physical force to fight the oppressor was unnecessary if the cause was just and the fight was being waged against injustice. A satyagrahi could prevail in battle without resorting to violence or seeking retribution. This could be accomplished by appealing to the oppressor's conscience. Instead of forcing everybody—including the oppressors—to acknowledge the truth through the use of violence, people had to be persuaded to see it.

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