gandhiprogrep - Ankur Gupta Dr Linda Hess Gandhi and...

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Ankur Gupta Dr. Linda Hess Gandhi and Nonviolence 14 December 2005 My Experiments with Domestic Violence Every human encounters several degrees and types of violence in their life; Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi clearly was no exception. Violence itself is a very broad and ambiguous term, ranging from simple verbal abuse to large scale war, from a spitball to a nuclear warhead. It was in one of the first readings for this course on Gandhi and nonviolence, that I had come across a topic in which I knew I wanted to delve further. In it, Mahatma Gandhi one of my childhood heroes, became more real than ever because for the first time, I could almost completely empathize with one of his problems. I could never fathom how horrible it was to live under British imperial command and live in a country where you are in the majority and still the most neglected. However, the problem I am referring to is one that most never knew or expected Gandhi to have even dealt with, a problem almost every human deals with at some point at their life: domestic violence. In Gandhi’s Autobiography , one simple quote struck a chord in me that would resound throughout the entire course and provide the basis for my efforts in the class. “… jealousy does not wait for reasons. I must needs be for ever on the look-out regarding her movements and therefore she could not go anywhere without my permission. This sowed the seeds of a bitter quarrel between us. The restraint was virtually a sort of imprisonment” (Gandhi 12). In this chapter of his autobiography, Gandhi details his early marriage and the ensuing problems that arose. He, like many other men in the India
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society at the time, and arguably still today, employed domestic violence as a means to rectify the situation. As defined by the New York State Coalition, domestic violence is “abusive behavior - emotional, psychological, physical, or sexual - that one person in an intimate relationship uses in order to control the other. It takes many different forms and includes behaviors such as threats, name-calling, preventing contact with family or friends, withholding money, actual or threatened physical harm and sexual assault” ( Gandhi was definitely not the worst perpetrator of this sort of action, not even close, but it occurred nonetheless. The fact that this historic figure, whom I regarded for years as a superhuman saint, was so abruptly humanized within the first fifteen pages of his autobiography left a lasting impact on me. This impact was multiplied several times over simply because domestic violence was always an issue that I thought was very rare problem. Until I got to high school, I thought I was among only a handful of people had to deal with it. I am deeply sensitive to this topic on many levels just because I feel I have experienced it on many levels, the most poignant of which I will discuss. At an early age, my parents fought about a lot about trivial matters; matters which
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gandhiprogrep - Ankur Gupta Dr Linda Hess Gandhi and...

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