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MGPE-008: Gandhian Approach to Peace and Conflict Resolution

MGPE-008: Gandhian Approach to Peace and Conflict Resolution

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MGPE-008/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MGPE-008

Assignment Name: Gandhian Approach to Peace and Conflict Resolution

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer five questions in all, selecting at least two questions from each section. Each question is to be answered in about 500 words. Each question carries 20 marks.




Q1) Critically examine the various approaches to the study of peace.

Ans) In its early stages, peace education concentrated on the arms race, disarmament, and fatal conflict and war. Peace studies is an area of concern that relates to the substantive issues regarding the purposes and difficulties of the dissemination of knowledge of peace as a process. Peace education is concerned with the development of the processes of education in and about peace. Peace research is concerned with the development, accumulation, and discovery of knowledge about the causes of war and the condition of peace.


Political Economy Approach

The political economy method calls attention to the international system's political and economic arrangements, which foster the unequal distribution of income between and within countries. The political economics approach looks at the nature of contemporary politics and how it affects social and global conflict. In many regions of the world, the demand for food and other essential economic demands has not been met. The number of persons who are malnourished has been rising over time. The populace of many developing nations is also very illiterate and does not receive a sufficient degree of education. The breakdown of economic systems is blamed for these deplorable living circumstances.


Feminist Approach

While sexism, racism, violations of human rights, and poverty affect both men and women, there are some forms of violence that women experience more frequently than males. In many parts of the world, family violence and the sexual and emotional abuse of women are serious problems. The notions of peace have been enhanced by feminine traits like nurture, compassion, and care.


A market-oriented economic system that places little importance on women's economic activity deprives them of money. A model of hierarchical human interactions is supported by male values that are competitive, organisational, and exclusive. The administrative structures of states, churches, businesses, political parties, and the military frequently exhibit these ideals. Social aid is exchanged for military spending, which makes poverty among women even worse.


Environmental Approach

According to the environmental approach to peace, unbalanced relationships between humans and their environment pose a hazard to human survival. The systems that keep the earth alive can be destroyed by humans. Through global warming, river and ocean pollution, deforestation, and biodiversity loss, human activities degrade ecosystems that support life. Biodiversity is threatened by deforestation, desertification, pollution, overfishing, and overgrazing. Lack of fresh water and overuse of it pose a hazard to the ecology, human welfare, food security, and health. In developing nations, population growth outpaces economic development, decreases living standards, and worsens the environment.


Functional Approach

David Mitrany is the principal proponent of functionalism as a theory. His essay, A Working Peace System, summarises the primary points made by functionalists and draws attention to their core thesis that functionalism is the path to sustainable peace just from the title itself. Mitrany asserted that conflicts are the result of social and economic maladjustments in a book written after World War II that projected the domestic tendency toward welfare statism onto the global sphere. The fight against poverty, ignorance, and disease is the real duty of our common civilization, but the current state system, which is built on sovereignty, is not only insufficient but also a barrier to finding answers to global issues.


Critique of Functionalism

Neo-functionalists, members of functionalism, questioned Mitrany's theory of functional integration. Neo-functionalists, also known as integration theorists, want to create new states by integrating existing nations, in contrast to functionalists who sought to establish a new world order where sovereign states took a back seat. Western Europe's improved cooperation in the 1950s served as the inspiration for E. Haas' neo-functionalist theory of the 1960s.


Mitrany inspires Haas. He rejects the notion that politics can be separated from "technical" matters. Political actors are persuaded to change their allegiance to a new centre whose institutions have or aim to have authority over already-existing national states through integration. Functionalism is ambiguous and inconsistent. The majority of functionalism's detractors claim that it is unclear how the activities of functional institutions would be coordinated.


Q2) Explain Arms race and how it impacts on world peace.

Ans) Peace in the world cannot be achieved without reaching the concept and techniques of Gandhi. Therefore, it is much more important to understand his techniques and try to replace the present techniques which advocate violence all over the world. The force or violence was the basis of international politics. Therefore, according to him, politics is power-oriented. Power, therefore, leads to competition. Competition makes in turn violence. This was noticed in the Cold War era of the world. Thus, international politics or even a national politics for that matter is centred around the “use of force” which creates only force, all over the world.


Peace will never come until the great powers courageously decide to disarm themselves. Exploitation and domination of one nation over another can have no place in a world striving to put amend to all wars. In such a world only the militarily weaker nations will be free from the fear of intimidation or exploitation. Unless big nations shed their desire of exploitation and the inevitable consequence, there is no hope for peace in the world. Further, violence to persons and property has the effect of clouding the real issues involved in the original conflict while non-coercive, nonviolent action invites the parties to a dialogue about the issues themselves. Gandhi, therefore, warns that we must hate the sin and not the sinner.


It is not only the arms race that generates the violence but the mad rush also for the Western material comforts which results in constant dependence, dissatisfaction, cutthroat competition, exploitation and hatred that are responsible for untruth and violence. The modern military weapons have become so indiscriminate and their efforts so catastrophic that the very existence of mankind is threatened. Unscrupulous pursuit of material welfare without heading ethical and human values, has crept into the very vitals of national life and culture. As a result, the moral fibre of the people has been weakened. In the words of Martin Luther King, “the choice before mankind is between non-violence and nonexistence.”


To abolish war, we must get rid of our anger, hate, passion, pride, fear, egotism and inordinate ambition and lust for power. He also believed that disarmament was possible only through “the matchless weapon of non-violence.” And it was his hope that India will prove herself worthy of being the first nation in the world to give lead to other nations for the delivery of earth from the burden of war. He wanted the great powers lead the rest by disarming themselves; they should give up ambitions and exploitation and revise their mode of life. Thus, according to Gandhi, disarmament cannot crystalise, unless the nations of the world cease to exploit one another. ‘Exploitation must go’ is the essential precondition for the establishment of a world free from blood-spilling.


Q3) Gandhian views on legal, social, and industrial conflicts.

Ans) According to Gandhi, satyagraha might be employed in both household and more general contexts, but a person who fails in the domestic realm and attempts to use it solely in the political and social arena will not be successful.


Social Conflicts

It is challenging to apply the concepts of satyagraha to group social conflicts since it is simpler to appeal to an individual's conscience and persuade them to see reason than it is to persuade a community. In addition, compared to a group, it is simple for an individual to maintain their integrity and avoid violence. Gandhi, however, suggests using Mass Satyagraha to settle social disputes. In "Mass Satyagraha," the fundamental tenets of Satyagraha truth, nonviolence, self-sacrifice, coercion, and means and ends will also be applicable. All alternative options for resolving the problem must have been tried before engaging in a Mass Satyagraha.


Trusteeship, which requires wealthy people to willingly become trustees of their riches for the poor, is another Gandhian strategy for addressing societal issues. However, there should be no coercion involved in wealth redistribution because violence cannot be the basis of a nonviolent state. In today's consumerist world, it may seem difficult to make trusteeship a social reality. Gandhi was also conscious of this challenge.


Industrial Conflicts

Gandhi rejects zero-sum thinking and compromise in his approach to industrial conflict, favouring reciprocal problem-solving that will uncover the truth. Economic and/or social factors, such as shifts in management practises or the social structure of the workplace, frustrations over poor management communication, a sense of helplessness brought on by the inability to effectively participate in the management of the industry, and fundamental conflicts of interest between employees and management all contribute to conflicts within the industry. Industrial disputes are expected to occur less frequently if employees are more engaged in workplace matters.


Legal Conflicts

Gandhi, a lawyer by profession, has shared his opinions on how to resolve legal disputes. In the present day, legal dispute resolution is seen as a keyway of conflict resolution without resorting to violence. Gandhi, on the other hand, sees the filing of a civil case as a failure on the side of the parties to resolve the conflict amicably. Once the case is in court, there is a chance that one party will lose and the other will win. Conflicts between private parties and the state are another type of case that courts hear. These could result from arguments between friends, neighbours, and family members, or they could be the result of someone breaking the law on their own and being caught. In such situations, the parties to the dispute do not square off in court; instead, the case is handled by the attorneys they retain to represent them.





Write a short note on each part of the question in about 250 words:


Q1) (a) The UN recognition of Gandhian principles.

Ans) It is important to learn about Gandhian principles regrading peace and try to find alternatives to the current methods, which promote violence all over the world. True peace means doing what's right, being free, and recognising people's rights. The preamble of UNESCO says, "Since war starts in the minds of men, the foundations of peace must be built in the minds of men." Formal and informal peace education can help people change the way they think and act. Peace education can help people develop a true sense of self, which is needed to change attitudes and actions in order to work together more and solve problems peacefully.


On June 15, 2007, the UN General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution designating October 2, Mahatma Gandhi's birthday as the International Day of Non-Violence. In reality, a recommendation made at an international conference on Peace, Non-Violence, and Empowerment: Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st Century, held in New Delhi in January 2007, led to the UN Resolution. All of the main nations in the globe, including the Indian subcontinent, overwhelmingly supported the UN Resolution honouring the apostle of mankind and peace. Even Great Britain, against whom Gandhi successfully led a nonviolent satyagraha struggle for India's independence, endorsed the resolution. The resolution reflects the desire for peace shared by the entire world community and acknowledges Gandhi's principles and techniques as still applicable in today's violent, terroristic, intolerable, discriminatory, and exclusive world.


Q1) (b) Describe different types of non-violent actions.

Ans) The different types of non-violent actions are as follows:

  1.  Accommodation, if the opposing party does not agree with the changes made but nevertheless thinks it is best to concede on some or all of the points in order to make peace or avoid further conflict.

  2. Peaceful coercion occurs when one party wants to fight another but is unable to do so because they lack the resources and tools necessary to win.

  3. Conversion, in which the adversary has undergone a significant internal transformation and now aspires to the nonviolent activist's desired changes.


Both nonviolent coercion and accommodation are based on the ability of the parties to a quarrel to exert influence over one another. However, the focus here is on the touching of the conscience; conversion has nothing to do with force. Because only through a dialectical process can truth be reached, or at least approached, Gandhi believes that conversion is not only the most efficient way to carry out a struggle, but also the morally right way to carry out conflict. For Gandhi, seeking truth is the ultimate goal of existence.


Q2) (a) Feminist approach to peace.

Ans) While sexism, racism, violations of human rights, and poverty affect both men and women, there are some forms of violence that women experience more frequently than males. In many parts of the world, family violence and the sexual and emotional abuse of women are serious problems. The notions of peace have been enhanced by feminine traits like nurture, compassion, and care.


A market-oriented economic system that places little importance on women's economic activity deprives them of money. A model of hierarchical human interactions is supported by male values that are competitive, organisational, and exclusive. The administrative structures of states, churches, businesses, political parties, and the military frequently exhibit these ideals. Social aid is exchanged for military spending, which makes poverty among women even worse.


According to feminist theorists, socialism, pacifism, and feminism are all logically related. To achieve peace, violence must be eradicated in both the public and private domains. Social justice, economic equity, and ecological balance are all included in the feminist notions of peace. For upcoming social changes, equity and democracy must be transformational ideals. The foundation for equality among all people, the abolition of racism, and the preservation of the environment can be found in equal relationships between men and women.


The full participation of women is necessary for social fairness and progress. By extending the idea of kinship to the entire human family, feminist ideas enlarge the definition of security to include all people and all nations. Health and a reasonable standard of living, which are the most essential roots of survival, are adversely affected by an antagonistic state-centric security system. The goal of feminist security is to safeguard women from organised state violence and to meet the basic requirements of societal harmony.


Q2) (b) Chipko Movement.

Ans) In India's hilly state of Uttar Pradesh, the Uttaranchal division was heavily forested. The region was easily accessible because to the construction of roads in the 1960s. Despite the protests of the populace, it also saw extensive deforestation and timber cutting. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the area has experienced protests against the government's forest policy, which in the 1920s began to be associated with the Gandhian Congress. Industrialists and contractors received discounted prices for the timber-felling contracts.


Locals attempted to oppose this by establishing their own forest cooperatives with the assistance of Sarvodaya employees in the area, but they lacked the resources and political influence required to secure the contracts for timber-felling. Because the women in the area were leading the charge in actively battling to protect the forest surrounding their villages, the Chipko Movement eventually grew to include the entirety of Chamoli district and portions of Tehri Garhwal. They developed creative ways to express their protest.


Under the capable leadership of Sarvodaya activists like Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Sundarlal Bahuguna, the movement persisted until the 1970s. Bahuguna was in reality persuaded of the Chipko Movement's extensive influence. Important aspects of the Chipko Movement included its moral outrage against a corrupt and rapacious regime that was impoverishing the people and thwarting their aspirations, its progress along Gandhian lines and ideals, its strict adherence to the principle of non-violence, and its leaders' good relations with many Gandhian politicians and top government officials.

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