We have arrived at a moment in human history when wars have to be banned if humanity is to survive. Nations are forging nuclear weapons which, if used in a war, are likely to destroy or poison life on this planet for generations. Man has, therefore, for his very survival to find some other way of overcoming conflict than war.
Against this background Gandhiji's life, message and work derive vital significance for he points to an alter native to war. He turned his back to violence, but he did not on that Account meekly submit to evil. He discovered a way of fighting evil, dynamic way, which he felt could never know defeat.
His way was the one taught by the Prophets, not of striking the opponent down, but of winning him over by an appeal to his reason and conscience through selfless devotion to a righteous cause, self-suffering and love. He took seriously Buddha's instruction to overcome hatred by love and Jesus' teaching to love your enemy. He imbibed the Hindu teaching of centuries of the marvellous spiritual value of self-suffering. His genius lay in blind faith in these principles and ruthless application of them in practice.
The author of this book gives three instances of how Gandhiji used spiritual laws to overcome hatred and strife and to bring about justice and peace. One was in the economic sphere, to free the peasants of Champaran from exploitation by British planters ; another in the political sphere, to wage war against alien rule ; and still another in the social sphere to overcome hatred between religious groups, viz. the Hindus and the Muslims.
The author keeps theory to the minimum and lets the reader observe each campaign as it took place. He takes great pains to give first-hand records of facts and the testimony of eye-witnesses and fellow workers with Gandhiji. Each campaign thus passes before the reader as in a photographic Alin, for him to learn for himself how this method actually works in every detail. The teaching aimed at is one by example which is always more effective than teaching by precept.
From the Introduction by:
Dr. Bharatan Kumarappa