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

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.