“Satyagraha is never finished because it is a fight for truth and justice.”
– Ramesh Sharma, Ekta Parishad
As well as working for Jeevika, I also volunteer for the Gandhi Foundation, which exists to spread knowledge and understanding of the life and philosophy of Mohandas Gandhi, who led India to independence from British rule.
He did so by mobilising the nation to take part in campaigns of non-violent protest and civil disobedience based on the concept of Satyagraha (which can be translated as “adherence to truth”).
March for Justice
For Gandhi, just as important as independence from the British Raj was socio-economic reform to liberate India’s masses from extreme poverty. His life and message continues to inspire the new generations who seek to address it.
This campaign mobilised tens of thousands of India’s landless poor using non-violent methods. On Gandhi’s birthday (2 October) last year, they started a march to Delhi calling for a fairer share of land and resources.
Fighting for Truth
As a result of the march, and the supporting campaigns around the world that it generated, the Indian Government signed an agreement with civil society to take forward the marchers’ demands.
However, the hard work is only just starting and many challenges lay ahead. A joint government-civil society task force has been set up to implement the agreement through an agreed timetable, allocation of resources and institutional mechanisms.
As Jan Satyagraha co-ordinator, Ramesh Sharma, says in a Christian Aid podcast:
“The campaign is not yet finished. Satyagraha is never finished because it is a fight for truth and justice and we know, even after the commitment, we need a lot of strength and energy to percolate all the promises to the ground, to the people”.
Photo courtesy of the Gandhi Foundation.