A Report on Mahatma Gandhi's Successors
Publisher: Simple Productions
Year Published: 1987
Pages: 160pp ISBN: ISBN 0-938427-04-9
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX3393
Activists in India who are attempting to follow Gandhi's path.
Abstract: This book deals with the individuals in India who rarely get mentioned in the North American media and almost as rarely in India itself. They are among the small but growing army of humanity willing to start by lighting one candle--to devote a lifetime, if necessary, to making one village into a genuinely self-reliant community. In the process, one village often becomes a model for five, then ten, then a hundred.
In Himalayan villages, where the forests were threatened by big lumber companies, one Gandhian led a movement to ''hug the trees." Participants interposed their bodies between the trees and loggers. This ''Chipko" (hugging) movement succeeded in influencing the central government to finally modify its forestry policies. In another area, another follower of Gandhi set up a people's court, where all kinds of disputes were settled with the support of the community. In one incident, a man who had killed another man in a quarrel was sentenced to do all farm work for the widow until her son was old enough to take over.
These are only a few examples from a book full of stories about non-violent protests, constructive engagement at the grass roots level with the problems of the poorest people, and innovative and flexible peacemaking actions in a country whose communal conflicts often seem to defy any efforts of the central government towards reconciliation. Peace, of course, doesn't make news--only conflicts get reported. Mark Shepard, however, tells us the news about peace as it was told and shown to him by Gandhians in India.