September 9, 2008 9:27pm CST
My friends in West Bengal are not interested on the idea and strength of non-violence and their point of view is that it is an utopia. They, in general, think that it is nothing but waste of time to consider the entity of non-violence. I have a question in my mind and I have placed the same before them. Neither of them have any answer. Let me place the question here. The history of human beings, right from the days immemorial to this 10th of September, 2008, may be termed as the history of feuds, battles and wars. It has been so right from the days of fighting between the ancient clans or tribe to the day of invasion of Iraq by the USA and/or Russian army's bombing on Georgia. We have also relation of love. We have been, hence, practicing violence for centuries and have,therefore, achieved unimaginable success in the game of war and in the building up of the most sophisticated armaments. We have paid little attention in the concept of non-violence. Let us practice it for sometime, say at least one century, and find if this is or is not the best instrument for the peace and progress of mankind. Will anybody consider if any good will or will not be achieved by the mankind if non-violence can be practiced for a long time with patience and with due respect to all who have already got indoctrinated to any other idea ?
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15 Oct 08
The obvious argument to make to them is to recommend the writings of Ghandi. Satya (truth) and ahimsa (non-violence) are important principles, and while it may be idealistic to think they can work, nevertheless, those who believe in them must continue to teach them. "We must bring to light the evil, the wrong, the injustice that [we] know of, or see, even if [we] have to suffer by so doing" (Bose 1987 Dimensions of Peace and Non-violence), This is clearly not an easy path, it requires enormous moral courage, since even those who seek truth now feel that violence must be met with violence, but Gandhi's message, which was quite realistic, is that this is what we have always done with no success; it is time to try the other way. His ideal could be summed up in the Western moral statement that the ends do NOT justify the means. Perhaps the early Chipko movement was a good example of these ideas in action? Lash
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