October 2 has been marked as,” World Non Violence Day.” This was declared by the U.N. in 2007 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who led India in a decade long non violent protest against British rule. He set an example for the entire world by demonstrating the might of non violence which shook a mighty empire. Following the same path Martin Luther King won equal rights for African Americans.
Non violence is the term used for avoiding violence to bring about a socio-political or any positive change. It is different from being neutral or pacified. A person who is neutral or pacified does not desire violence but is not interested in anything beyond that. While one who wants a change for himself or the society or nation, but does not indulge in violence of any kind for that is a person who truly follows philosophy of non violence.
Today much of the suffering and chaos in the world is because of violence. For centuries violence has been generated across the world in name of religious or political ideology. It is not only the targets or perpetuators of violence who suffer in the mayhem but millions of innocent people as well. Apart from those killed or maimed in actual violence, millions suffer from displacement, diseases and hunger. Apart from this, violence is also committed on a smaller scale by those who commit murders or injure people for petty thefts, revenge, e.t.c. Domestic violence is yet a big social problem which is a concern for many socially conscious people.
To stop this avoidable suffering for mankind in general, idea of non violence needs to be propagated in today’s violent world.
Some people argue that they do not hurt anybody but how can they stop others doing so? But they should recall that it is individuals who make a society or nation. If each person vows to shun violence, as far as possible, the world will definitely change for better.
Violence can be of thought, speech or action. If you are angry with somebody and mentally assault him, this is also a kind of violence. Now such thoughts are definitely not going to hurt the other person but surely spoil your own peace of mind and health. Instead of relaxing, your mind is engaged in violent thoughts. Such a stressed mind can lead to development of stress related problems in the individual like hypertension, heart diseases, e.t.c.
Therefore it is advised that one should always try to occupy the mind with positive thoughts.
Another type of violence existing is violence by speech. Knowingly and unknowingly, many of us commit this type of violence. For a small fault we criticize a colleague or family member severely. Without thinking a person passes a caustic comment on another.
Little does one realize how hurtful his words are for another person. Spreading rumors to generate unrest or fear among people or to spoil the reputation of a person or institution is also a kind of violence falling in this category. Giving inflammatory speeches to incite violence is a deed worst than actually committing violence.
Violence in action is the one people mostly recognize. It‘s prevalence is escalating world over. At this juncture, like minded peace loving people have to unite and promote non violence and peace. Government and nongovernmental organizations, religious and political leaders are doing their bit in bringing about this process. But efforts done at grass root level by ordinary people will reap greater benefits.
It is said that charity begins at home. Same applies to non violence. It is for elders in family to show a model to their children by avoiding violence of any kind. Teachers in school should find out other means of reprimanding a truant young pupil instead of beating him. Children have to be sensitized against violence from a tender age. Thus when they grow up, they should be able to resist indulging in violence, whatever the provocation.
People in a community should be taught to love, respect and tolerate one another. People from different communities should learn to respect the differences among one another.
All religions teach peace, love and brotherhood, still violence is perpetuated in the name of religion. When people learn to abhor violence, they will not be misguided by few unruly elements who try to instigate violence.
If non violence becomes the norm of the day, there will be greater development in the world, for all. A legacy of peace and prosperity will be left behind for future generations.