Article Review – Chapter 15: Through Nonviolence to Truth – Gandhi’s Vision of Reconciliation

The paper is basically a review of the above-mention chapter of the book – “Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Religion, Public Policy, and Conflict Transformation”. It entails an overview of the problem area that has been discussed in the chapter and summarises the theories and conclusions that have been reached by the author. It also provides a personal review and assessment of the chapter giving the strengths and the weaknesses and finally explains how the contents in the chapter contributed towards the conflict management field.

Chapter 15 is basically demystifies the Ghandi’s concepts and vision of reconciliation. It is titled: Through non-violence to Truth and is written by Anthony da Silva. The main purpose of chapter 15 is to initially introduce two key concepts in regards to Ghandi of reconciliation and forgiveness compared with their eastern anchorages (Helmick & Petersen, 307). The second purpose of the chapter is to study the relationship and relevance of these two concepts to the present day discussion on reconciliation and forgiveness as demystified mostly from the perspective of the west. Third and finally is to illustrate through several case studies sourced from India that though forgiveness and reconciliation may be expressed and embedded through a variety of cultural descriptions, it still remains a universal human desire.

The article is clear and provides clear explanation on the issue of forgiveness and reconciliation from the Ghandi point of view. The ghadian concepts that have been listed to further demystify the subject that is, Satya (truth), Satyaghara meaning truth force, ahimsa meaning non-violence (Helmick & Petersen, 312). The chapter has also made a clear comparison of the mediaeval concepts of reconciliation of the current disclosures.

As a way of providing a clear picture of the Ghandian concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation, the strongest technique that has been used to bring out a clear picture are the three case studies. The first is the darshan salt March and Ghandian nonviolence and reconciliation, the second is Dalit’s, Non-violence and Reconciliation and third is Caste, water and reconciliation (Helmick & Petersen, 317).  Each of the case study puts a reader in a situation where he has to reflect on the case studied, do a reconciliation and finally reflect on the main points of the case study through a reflective question.

The article ultimately contributes towards the field of conflict management by helping in demystifying the concept of forgiveness and reconciliation from the Ghandian perspective and answers the question of the relationship between the mediaeval school of thought compared to the current or present day overview. The article shows how the act of forgiveness and reconciliation has helped warring nations to reconcile. It has used an example of the conflict between South Korea and North Korea, where there was a visible act of reconciliation between the two Korean nations populated by the same people not only filled the hearts of thousands of people with a craving for peace and unity but also caught the imagination of the world (Helmick & Petersen 322). In conclusion the article has a concluding remark that brings the reader’s attention to fact that it is desirable and possible to handle issues of confrontation and conflict in ways that bring people together and in ways that build rather than destroy through forgiveness and reconciliation. It provides illustration by giving the example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.with his non-violent technique of uniting the African American community in its hustle for civil liberties.

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