Skip to main content

Dealing with ‘Godse’s’ of our times: Truth should be non-negotiable for a more just, peaceful and non-violent world

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
Let us embrace non-violence in these times of violence! These times in which one has no qualms of conscience in aborting the unborn child or cheering for the death penalty to be given to the ‘hardened’ criminal; times in which, child abuse is rampant and one normally looks the other side when women are brutalized in the privacy of their homes and in the full-glare of society; times in which, a simple misunderstanding can lead to a murder or the accidental touch by another vehicle could lead to deadly road rage; times in which, war and bloody conflicts are easily justified by those in power, who control the destinies of ordinary people.
Let us embrace non-violence as an attitude! The attitude by which one looks at or perceives the ‘other’; the attitude which is warm, welcoming and inclusive; the attitude which makes it irrelevant whether the nationality, race, religion, colour, gender,, caste, ethnicity, ideology or whatever, is different; the attitude which is non-discriminatory and non-xenophobic; the attitude that we all belong to one human family and what matters ultimately, is our common and shared humanity.
Let us embrace non-violence as a right! The right of every person everywhere in this world; the rights which are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the Constitutions of most countries in today’s world; the rights of the other- to life, to believe in the religion of one’s choice, to freedom of speech and expression; to eat and drink, to read and see what one wishes to- without fear or favour; the rights which are fundamental and inalienable, the denial of them is indeed violence!
Let us embrace non-violence with courage! The courage one needs to stand up against the fascists, the fanatics and the fundamentalists of today; the courage to take on the killers of Gauri Lankesh, Shantanu Bhowmick, Narendra Dabholkar,M.M. Kalburgi, Govind Pansare, of other media persons, RTI activists,and human rights defenders; the courage to take on the molesters of the lady students in the Banaras Hindu University and those who suppress the voices of students elsewhere; the courage to expose the Sangh Parivar and those who violently kill and crush others, be it those who eat beef or innocent children in the hospitals of UP. Mahatma Gandhi puts it succinctly, "nonviolence is not to be used ever as the shield of the coward. It is the weapon of the brave."
Let us embrace non-violence with compassion! That compassion which is necessary to reach out to the Rohingyas, fleeing violence and persecution; the compassion to prevent the landmines, the rubber bullets and the hostilities being unleashed on them; the compassion which will ensure that India willingly opens the doors to them; the compassion to make refugees and other displaced persons feel welcomed and ‘at home’; the compassion to build bridges everywhere
Let us embrace non-violence in freedom! The freedom to take on the peddlers of war and violence; the freedom to carefront the power-hungry, crazy so-called ‘leaders’ of this world who spew hate, venom and divisiveness all the time; the freedom to expose the profiteering, blood-sucking military-industrial complex who care two hoots if violence becomes a way of life for many in this world; the freedom to challenge those countries who spend more on arms and ammunition than on the much-needed social sector.
Let us embrace non-violence with Truth! Truth that is the other side of the coin of ‘non-violence’ for Gandhi, as he aptly put it “my religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realising Him”. Truth as we celebrate his memory on another birth anniversary. Truth in dealing with the ‘Godse’s’ of our times. Truth as a non-negotiable and as the way of living in a more just, peaceful and non-violent world.
Let us embrace non-violence on October 2nd the International Day of Non-Violence; a day on which, in keeping with the UN resolution, we all need to reaffirm "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence"; a day on which we must pledge to go beyond tokenism and cosmetics, to make non-violence an integral dimension of our daily lives.
Let us embrace non-violence with the realisation in the words of Gandhi that, “nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." Embracing non-violence today must be our way of proceeding!
---
*Indian human rights activist

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.