Gandhi played a crucial role in demonstrating the potential effectiveness of organised nonviolent campaigns, first in South Africa in the struggle of the Indian population against discrimination, and then in the Indian independence movement against the British. He also developed a very specific understanding of the nature and dynamics of nonviolent struggle, which took due account of the coercive nature of mass strikes and civil disobedience but stressed the potential for winning over opponents. This section focuses on Gandhi’s thought and experience and his concept of Satyagraha (‘truth’ or ‘soul’ force).
There is a huge literature by and about Gandhi, and campaigns that he led or influenced, both in South Africa up to 1914 and in India from 1917 to 1948. M.K. Gandhi, Collected Works runs to 90 chronologically arranged volumes and 10 supplementary volumes. Here only a few key sources are listed, including some recent studies and some well known critical assessments. This section also includes references to the Gandhian-inspired resistance on North West Frontier of India (1930-33) led b y Abdul Ghaffar Khan (the ‘Frontier Gandhi’) important as an example of Muslim resistance not widely known.