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History has showed human being as different colors of skin with different background stories. Every ethnic group had to deal some sort of bigotry views toward them or their life style. What most don’t do is realize that all of us are one as a whole. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi a pre-eminent political or more of an ideological leader to the Indians in India protested towards the dogmatic views of what he and his fellow brothers and sisters from India were going through with the British. The actions presented were out of how Caucasians treated would others during this era of discrimination. Even though discrimination was present by forms of segregation like in America during the Civil Rights Movement, Gandhi wanted to show the same concept that later Martin Luther King presented in 1960’s. Gandhi’s views of philosophy are deontological. Meaning that by being a deontological philosopher you have to act according to duty. Gandhi’s ideas of nonviolence are to present themselves as Rational Human beings even though they were violently beaten. The Indian people have the right to govern themselves and have the right to sell their products that were taken out of their land and sold back to them. Gandhi’s idea was to do nonviolent protests to prove to the British that the ideas of Western civilization thoughts and industrialization are not worth imitating or transplanting in India.
Gandhi’s first strike to end violence was when he was tossed out of a train traveling in first class compartment reserved for whites only because he was not white, even though he had his ticket reserved for that seat. This was a peak point in his life. He felt enough is enough. He and his fellow Indians had to put a stop to the bias actions that the British are imposing on him and his fellow countrymen. Gandhi imposed that everyone is equal and everyone should do all kinds of jobs. Even be a simple toilet cleaner which is the lowest caste in the Indian traditions (Aharon 2000). This is an example of what Immanuel Kant deontology ethics. By doing any job field even the lowest of the lows, Gandhi is implying that they should act from duty. By showing that even an Engineer who is taught throughout his educational career mathematical problems and physics concepts can do a simple job that most would reject. If you are not acting from duty, according to Kant, you are unethical. By rejecting a simple job because it disgraces your image as an Engineer you are unethical. If you act from duty in Kant’s perspective you are ethical, meaning if the engineer does the job because others are incline to make the engineer feel guilty for not doing his part, and he goes and does it. That is being unethical. If doing the job because you’re being influenced by others, this is a no to Kant’s philosophy of ethics. Gandhi shows everyone he himself doing toilet cleaning, showing that he, a lawyer, can do a simple job that all should do. Gandhi is acting from duty. This is one way of how Gandhi views are deontological.
Gandhi’s views of nonviolence actions towards the British brought forth many more ideas. One of the ideas brought forth by Gandhi was a march to the Arabian Ocean, known as the Salt March (Gugel 1996). Marching a nonviolent protest is one step further to what Gandhi was teaching for his fellow Indians. To have their rights acknowledged, to have what is theirs is theirs, even though he didn’t emphasize it verbally. By going to the ocean and collecting salt grains, which was illegal to do due to the law imposed by the British, he was justifying his actions as one. He is letting the British know that even though the laws are placed for a purpose to control human kind he wasn’t going to be subject by their laws. He has the right to take it without any action. This is a hypothetical imperative. Do (A)! Act from (A)! Gandhi is the agent (X) that wants the salt which is object (O). He seeks Object (O) for a purpose to show that the British do not have the right to inflict strict tax on a necessity that some desire (Gugel 1996). This is another argument of Kant’s Deontological ethics. The British at this time were in charge of major salt producing factories that were causing rebellious actions like smuggling salt into India (Aharon 2000). These actions against the Government were deemed inappropriate. But the Indian people felt they were acting from duty and the smuggling was justifies because of the actions that British taxation were unjust and that only British licensed salt factories were the only distributors. Gandhi shows that by taking the grain of salt he is not abiding to the laws because he is showing his actions as just. By doing A and is seeking object O.
Even though Gandhi acted from duty with his nonviolent protest, the British actions brutal beat downs towards him and not fight back was another way of showing his views of being a rational human being. As he tried to claim his rights as a British subject he was abused and mistreated, soon after his fellow Indians were subjected to the same punishment as Gandhi. Gandhi’s views on this part as what Kant would say a principle of Ends. “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means” (Kant 36). By acting as a fellow citizen, and showing that we are one, we treat others the way we would want to be treated. This is one of the main arguments for Gandhi. As the British were in control of India, the Indians were under the same concept as the Americans during the colonization. They were British subjects, but they were rejected of rights that were meaningful to them as it was to the African American during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. The actions that were imposed by the British were unjust, and they were acting against human kind. The British weren’t treating the Indians with proper respect as abiding British subjects. Gandhi protested nonviolence to show respect for his fellow countrymen a d have the British treat then as their own countrymen. Many of Gandhi’s subjects didn’t like his idea of nonviolence like Lokmanya Tilak. Tilak felt to take action severe to drastic measures needed to be taken. Gandhi convinced the Indians to use his philosophy of non-violence to show that the British were wrong and that they should have their political rights (Aharon 2000). By treating others the way you would want to be treated, you are acting to what Kant is saying, actfrom duty of being a rational human being versus being just a rational animal in Aristotle concept.
By acting as a rational human being and treating others the way we want to be treated didn’t always fit with the religions during that time. Gandhi as a Hindu moved his nation through nonviolence protest. But some fellow Hindu subjects felt that Gandhi was being a traitor by being a middleman between the two religions Muslim and Hindu, as India was trying to get independence. By acting as better Hindu, a Better Muslim, or a better Christian you are acting towards a truthfulness that is the ultimate reality. This is where his ideas come into for nonviolence. By being a better Hindu, Muslim or Christian you are subject to act according to what you believe in. Whether you believer in the Holy Bible or the Quran, you are subject to follow what is morally right and act according to what Gandhi believed all people to be sons of God (Nosotro 2010). Gandhi is showing that they all should act according to what each believes, and to be a better individual. Straying from your beliefs is not being a rational human being and you are acting unethical. Even though each religion has their view of who is God to them, and whose religion is right, they chose to stay segregated by religion and riot amongst themselves instead of uniting as one and fight for what is more purposefully and morally right, like their Civilian Rights. Many tended to keep to beliefs theirs and forgot to act from duty and acted contrary to duty. This is not what Gandhi is presenting with his views. He wants all to be doing what they ought to do but not for the wrong reason.
Although many subjected themselves to their religion as one and only one, in doing so they made it harder to be a human rational being and try to act from duty. It took years for Gandhi to finally figure out that the actions of the British confirmed to him that he is going to fight for his rights. Kant’s views of Deontological have been in a way implemented into Gandhi’s own philosophical views. Even though he himself wouldn’t state he is a deontologist. He is more of a humanitarian who devotes to the promotion of human welfare and to social reforms. By the actions set forth by him showing that all jobs are just jobs that even the highest class should be doing the simplest most demining jobs like cleaning the toilet, Gandhi is showing we are all equal in value. Also showing that imposing improper taxes on salt and doing illegal acts that would be subject to prosecution he is showing his views leaning more towards deontological views that Kant explains. With equal treatment to everyone and each following their own beliefs of being a better Hindu, Muslim, or Christian he is showing examples of principles of ends and is acting from duty. If we see an individual walking along the highway in a blizzard storm do we, act contrary to duty, act according to duty or act from duty? Either way it is up to you to decide. Gandhi decided that his rights were more meaningful and showed it by acting as rational human being that has let a nation free from a great dominating nation.
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