Comparison of Mao Zedong and Mohandas Gandhi

Mao Zedong and Mohandas K. Gandhi were both revolutionary leaders in the 20th century. Mao was a Chinese communist who became the founding father of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 until 1976. M.K.Gandhi was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence against the British Empire. Gandhi preached non violent and civil disobedience protests to defeat the British and gain independence. Gandhi was assassinated January 30, 1948. Mao and Gandhi both were very popular leaders, but both had very different tactics and ideas on violence and how to change  society.       

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Mao’s and Gandhi’s views on force and violence were both extremely different from each other. Gandhi quotes, I accept the interpretation of Ahisma (lacking any desire to kill) that is not merely a negative state of harmlessness but it is a positive state of love of doing good to the evil doer.(Gandhi, Ahisma) Gandhi believed that nonviolence and love are the most powerful things in the world. Ahisma is the best answer to every conflict, the best resistance against the antagonist of society and is the peak of everyone’s duty.  On the other hand, Mao beliefs, War is the highest form of struggle for resolving contradictions. Mao believes that violence that violence is the key to solve almost any type of problem. Mao understands the circumstances of war and its nature. He understands how to win and grasp anything he wants by using violence.       

Mao’s tactics on how to use violence is, They have created a kind of terror in the countryside. That is some people call going to far.Such talk may seem plausible, but in fact it is wrong.(Mao, 1927) Mao believes that there is no limit in violence, as long as there is a fraction of violence that is being used, you will simply get what you deserve. However Gandhi believes that, Non-cooperation and civil disobedience are but different branches of the same tree called Satyagraha.(Gandhi, Civil Disobedience) Satyagraha means the force which is born of truth and love of nonviolence. Gandhi believes that and civil disobedience are different ideas from each other, but are one of the best and most effective ways nonviolent protest.        

Mao and Gandhi both dealt with poverty and being oppressed by the government. They both have a strategy on how to solve this but both take completely different turns. Gandhi wrote in a letter to Lord Irwin, The british system seems to be designed to crush the very life out of him(the Indian farmer). Even the salt he must use to live on is so taxed as to make the burden fall heaviest on him. (Gandhi 1930) Gandhi believed that the British’s system is extremely corrupt. To protest against the salt tax, Gandhi walks        240 miles to the Indian Ocean to grab a pinch of salt to revolt against the Corrupt British government. However, Mao is very different with this approach. The peasants have no desire to banish the most notorious criminals among the local tyrants and evil gentry, but would rather arrest or execute them.(Mao, 1950) Mao believes that the peasants must use aggressive violence against the corrupt government in order to succeed and get political power.

        Mao Zedong and Mohandas K. Gandhi were both very powerful people in their country. Both had very seperate views and takes on violence, but both showed how powerful violence is and how you use it. Gandhi showed us how powerful nonviolence and peaceful protests were in India against Britain, while Mao showed us how powerful aggressive force and violence was in China saying there is no limit on how much violence you use on the antagonist.

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Comparison Of Mao Zedong And Mohandas Gandhi. (2019, Jul 09). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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