Satyagraha is a term used by Gandhiji for the type of pacifist and non-violent movement led by him for securing independence of India from the British rules and for bringing about social change against opposition from the established institutions and established social systems. Satyagraha is a Hindi word which literally means truthful insistence, is almost a synonym of English terms like passive resistance and nonviolent resistance.
The basic approach of satyagraha originated much before the movement started by Gandhiji. It includes ideas and actions of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) described by terms like civil disobedience and passive resistance.
The method of satyagraha developed by G is based on principles of courage, nonviolence, and truth. It involves five basic stages. First, there must be some perception of injustice.
The second stage is that of proper response, that is based on courage to fight injustice. This response is different from violent retaliation as well as submission out of fear.
The third stage involves choosing the field of action to highlight the injustice. Often this involves deliberate, nonviolent defiance of the unjust law and readiness to suffer the consequences of such defiance.
The next stage covers conduct of a satyagraha activist during a campaign of satyagraha, which aims at winning over an opponent through love and self-sacrifice. Gandhiji insisted that in Satyagraha there is no place for hurting an opponent or exploiting his weakness.
The final stage is the resolution of the conflict. This requires an attempt on the part of the satyagraha activist to see an opponent's point of view. Gandhiji believed that a satyagraha is successful only when both sides are satisfied with the final outcome.
The method of satyagraha developed by Gandhiji has been the inspiration and guide for similar movements in many other parts of the world. For example, it had immense influence on Martin Luther King's struggle against racial discrimination in the United States. Many groups of activists round the world, involved in causes such as nuclear disarmament, animal rights, and environmental protection, continue to use the basic method of satyagraha even today.
satyagraha is a non-violent method used by gandhiji to bring about unity upon the people as well as to describe about the importance of non-violent method. as it is mentioned it is based upon the principles of non violence, courage, determination and truth.
the method of satyagraha can be better understood by reading his views about satyagraha in a book called ''reading gandhi''.