Mahatma Gandhi's stay in South Africa his concept of non-violence did not include passivity or cowardice in the face of violence or the abdication of one's duty.
He felt that Indians must support the war effort (Boer War 1899 to 1902) if not only to legitimize their own claims but to help showcase that they were good British, and South African citizens.
|Warrant Officer Mahatma Ghandi is in the centre. 1899 Vithabhai Jhaveri|
Gandhi offered his services freely during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899. He formed an Indian Volunteer Ambulance Corps of 1400 men, many of whom were traders and professionals. They saw to the needs of the sick and wounded and often worked in the thick of battle in areas such as Spion Kop, Colenso and Ladysmith. For their efforts, members of the Corps were decorated from the grateful British forces.
Specifically acting as a stretcher bearer he was decorated for his work during the battle of Spion Kop
|British soldiers lie dead on the battlefield after the Battle of Spion Kop, January 24, 1900|
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always."
his belief in non violence is what many would consider an extreme level as he once said...."to yield possession, but non-cooperate with the aggressor...prefer death to submission. The second way would be non-violent resistance by the people who have been trained in the non-violent way...The unexpected spectacle of endless rows upon rows of men and women simply dying rather than surrender to the will of an aggressor must ultimately melt him and his soldiery...A nation or group which has made non-violence its final policy cannot be subjected to slavery even by the atom bomb.... The level of non-violence in that nation, if that even happily comes to pass, will naturally have risen so high as to command universal respect."
The only problem is that the people are all dead.
We must find a middle ground were soldiers fight for the rights of individuals.
As Gandhi said there is a choice between cowardice and violence.... I choose violence.