The still, small voice of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has defied time and has spoken through the ages, whispering into the ears of Martin Luther King, Jr., Lech Walesa, Cesar Chavez, and Nelson Mandela, urging them to peacefully revolt against what was unethical and to work for what the human spirit held to be true and right. Gandhi is the "Most Important Peace Hero of the 20th Century" because he taught the world that freedom from the oppressor could be obtained through nonviolent means.
"I am spinning the destiny of India," he said, but he has woven much more into the blanket of peace. Hundreds of others, inspired by his faith and dedication, would lead uprisings of civil ...view middle of the document...
Knowing how powerful his message was, Gandhi devoted himself to Indian self-rule, hind swaraj, which meant much more than mere independence from Britain; it became a symbol of individuality, self-reliance, and social justice.
Through the next thirty-three years, Gandhi led moral crusades against the all-encompassing British Raj. His gentle influence over the Indian people and his pacifist ideals of mass non-cooperation caused British officials to negotiate with him though he held no formal office nor title, save the one given to him by the people - Mahatma, or Great Soul.
He pursued the aspirations of human equality, human dignity, self-respect, freedom from exploitation, injustice, and violence. Gandhi taught that it was indeed possible to have peace on earth if one could settle differences with a handshake instead of a gunshot. Gandhi's impact on India as well other countries around the world spanned over years and oceans, transcending what was known about freedom and equality.
"The name Mahatma Gandhi has become synonymous with right and justice," spoke Haile Selassie. "Towards this end it has become an inspiration to millions of oppressed people and has kindled the light of liberty. Today, when world peace is threatened with atomic and nuclear weapons capable of annihilating the human race, Mahatma Gandhi's teachings of love and truth and of respect for others' rights have become even more meaningful than at any other time."
They will forever call him a hero, a modern-day saint, a legend, an icon, a present-day Joan of Arc or St. Francis of Assisi, but Gandhi was simply doing what he felt needed to be done. That is the mark of a true leader - someone who sees beyond what is there and looks to improve it for not only his betterment, but for everyone else's as well. He served as the inspiration to some of recent history's most revered and respected revolutionaries, but one does not need to be a national hero to appreciate the values and intrinsic rights that he advocated. One must only be fearless against what seems to impede his...