Tag Archives: obstructive program

“Thoughts on Freedom”–Daily Metta

December 10: “In placing civil disobedience before constructive work I was wrong and I did not profit by the Himalayan blunder that I had committed.” –Gandhi (Harijan, July 21, 1940) Freedom is a powerful word. Everyone responds to it on some level. So, whenever we talk about freedom, we have to be clear whether we… read more

“Cleaning latrines”–Daily Metta

August 16: “Let me not be misunderstood. I do not discount the value of intellectual labor, but no amount of it is any compensation for bodily labor which every one of us is born to give for the common good of all.” —Gandhi (Young India, October, 15, 1925)   When Jhaver Patel was a young… read more

“Military service is only a symptom”–Daily Metta

August 8: “Military service is only a symptom of the disease which is deeper.” –Gandhi (December 31, 1931) Gandhi did not blame those who served in the military for causing war; or not only them. In fact, he said that if someone was eating wheat that came from some kind of military domination, they were… read more

“Value of Obstructive Program”–Daily Metta

March 6: “Do you believe that a coward can ever disobey a law that he dislikes?” –Gandhi (Hind Swaraj, p. 93) Nonviolence, according to Gandhi’s vision, is about more than idyllic notions of “being the change you wish to see in the world.” It is about the courage to live for a greater purpose. For… read more

Obstructive Program

Obstructive Program is the use of civil disobedience to change an unjust or oppressive social order.  Obstructive program together with constructive program make up the two branches of Gandhi’s Satyagraha. This term was coined by Michael Nagler.… read more


Gandhi used the Sanskrit word Satyagraha, meaning “clinging to truth,” in reference to his campaigns in South Africa and India, such as the famous Salt Satyagraha march of 1930.  Satyagraha can be understood as the vast inner strength or “soul force” required for nonviolent acts. Gandhi never defined nonviolence as passive resistance because he saw… read more