What are ways that Hinduism affected Gandhi's actions?  

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a devout Hindu who tried to shape his political actions on the basis of his religious beliefs.

Although not part of his political actions, vegetarianism, which is a core Hindu value, was a key part of Gandhi's personal lifestyle and something he felt was an essential part of his philosophy of nonviolence.

Next, while he was living in South Africa, he developed a philosophy of satyagraha (soul force) which used the strength of nonviolent resistance as a political tool. This was based on Hindu notions that violence only begets more violence, and that to keep the independence movement from simply degenerating into a protracted war of retaliation, it was necessary to focus on the spiritual aspects of nonviolence rather than simply attack the British. Thus Gandhi focused as much on trying to persuade his own followers to follow the way of nonviolence as he did fighting the British.

Gandhi was also committed to the cause for fair treatment for dalits and an end to sectarian violence in India after independence, areas where many Hindu nationalists disagreed with him.

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