preached which has received due recognition in East
preached the practice of nonviolence and emphasised the need for a moral code of conduct that gives due status to non-violence. Non-violence is no other than a philosophy of life-a modus operandi which has received due recognition in East and is being recognised in the West also. It is also apparent from the fact that 2nd October, the Gandhi Jayanti has been declared to be observed as International Nonviolence Day every year from 2007.
Non-violence has been interpreted differently by various people. In general, the term implies non-injury to others. The concept is largely based on the fundamental good qualities of a man. It completely negates the use of threat, physical force and violence in any situation or with anyone. One must avoid inflicting pain on others to win one’s goals however true and justifiable it may be.
A situation, however, difficult or adverse it may be, it is to be tackled in cool and calm manner avoiding violence in thought and action, the philosophy of non-violence calls for courage, strength and self-sacrifice on the part of the person practising it. It also demands a great deal of fortitude. It was therefore, that Mahatma Gandhi said that non-violence is not the weapon of the coward, but of the brave and courageous.
The philosophy of non-violence is based on love and regard for every creature, and for all living beings. Doing any kind of harm or injury to any living being is negation of the nonviolence. Application of force-physical or mental-finds no place in the philosophy of non-violence. True non-violence even rules out defensive measures based on violence against a violent onslaught.
Christ preached his followers, “But whosoever shall smack thee on the right cheek, turns to him the other also.” Buddha too gave to a stricken and crestfallen humanity a similar message of non-violence. It is the message that turned the heart of the great emperor Ashoka who realised the worthlessness of all the military conquests and importance of the virtues of nonviolence. Mahatma Gandhi, who was the great apostle of peace in the modern times, considered the non-violence a panacea for all our ills. He even identified it with truth.
Truly, he expanded the concept of non-violence and as a principle it acquired a totally new meaning and dimensions. As the hand of Mahatma Gandhi non-violence became a powerful tool with which he fought the struggle for India’s freedom movement. His nonviolent campaign against British rule in India was a unique experiment in the field of politics which succeeded so well that strong colonial powers had not only to quit India but also many other parts of Asia and Africa which were under their influence for centuries.
The effects caused to lighten the strained relationship between India and England and brought these two countries closer to each other in post-independence era. The philosophy of non-violence is hard to understand and difficult to act upon. When passion dominates the mind of man, his animal instincts go beyond his control and his civilized state is lost. In such state of mind he does such acts, which sometimes cause irreparable loss. The irony is that even highly qualified and civilised person fails to control his passion. In this fast- moving world, tolerance level has seen significant decline.
Nobody likes to tolerate differences of opinions and dissimilarity of ideology. The same is the situation in case of relation between the two countries. The history of the world from the time man learnt to fight with stone weapons and wooden dubs to the present day when he is proudly talking of his ownership of 100 megaton bombs is a tragic tale of senseless killing and violence resulting from fratricidal war.
Violence today has become so rampant that it seems to have acquired some kind of legitimacy. It is feared that if the growing violent attitude of individual as well as state level continues, it may ultimately wipe out mankind from the earth.
The philosophy of non-violence teaches that violence provides favourable condition for the germination and spread of many social evils such as hatred, disrespect, intolerance, etc. There is loss of patience, perseverance, true courage, dedication and absolutely no sense of values at all. Periodic nuclear explosions have several times given a jolt to our society. Because arms race it is built on the unsound foundations of violence. If we wish to have a society based on love, justice, equality respect and reason, it should be built on the solid rock of non-violence.
In recent times violence has emerged as one of the greatest causes of all the woes and sufferings of mankind. It is true at individual as well as national level. The mass killings in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka or Kashmir are all cruel faces of violence.
The technological advancements resulting in highly sophisticated and lethal chemical and nuclear weapons have all added to the dimensions of damage and destruction caused by violence. This growing tendency of violence in modern society is to some extent is attributed to the modern lifestyle in which patience, perseverance, mutual regard, tolerance, dedication, sacrifice find little place. Thus, it is a great challenge before civil society.
Non-violence, today, is the need of the hour. It is desperately needed to spread the message of love, brotherhood and peace. The philosophy of non-violence will lead to emergence of such a society. In the violence-torn modern society, the applicability and importance assumes greater significance.
To make the world rid of stockpile weapons of mass destruction; the philosophy of non-violence is the only answer. Indeed, it is the path of nonviolence which can provide mankind a relief from all the sufferings and can ensure peace, justice, love and harmony in the world. Violence and war do not lead to the achievement of any objective.
The European nations which fought many wars against one another in the past are now united as European Union and have reached new heights in prosperity. Humanity everywhere needs to realise the importance of non-violence and peaceful solutions to problems.