VIOLENCE AND WORLD PEACE
Non-Violence and Conflict-Free Society
More than 7000 wars (big and small) have been
fought in the history of the world. People are killed in wars. The means
of living become scarce. The prices of things touch an ever-new high. That
is why we are afraid of war and want to abolish it. Yet, wars break out
every now and then. Conflicting national interests and ambitions create
an atmosphere of war and armies are sent to the battlefront. It is necessary
to consider seriously why all this is happening after all?
We seek a solution to every problem in social
life. Society creates a problem and it is society which resolves it that
is our firm belief. I do not want to say that there is no element of truth
in it. What I wish to emphasize is that certain individuals are more responsible
for war than society as a whole. If those occupying the seats of power and
authority are able to keep their passions under control, a situation of
war would never arise.
Have we ever thought of prescribing in essential
qualification for the aspirants to power and authority that they must be
trained in non-violence, and those who fail to undergo such training, should
be declared ineligible for the highest posts? Have we ever given it a serious
consideration that training in non-violence should be made compulsory for
the Legislators, the Members of Parliament and the Judges? If we cannot
think in terms of controlling violence in social and national life, how
can we hope to constrain wars?
Society is ridden by strong racial prejudices;
communal bigotry is no less strong. Such a state naturally leads to conditions
ranging from minor conflicts to fullscale wars. Training in non-violence
should be imparted to all men, but particularly to the intelligentsia which
provides leadership to society.
We do not want to confine training in non-violence
to the spheres of social service, co-operation and patriotism. As we see
it, the fundamental basis of such training is a change of heart. Without
bringing about a change of heart or the transformation of the mind, there
can be no progress in non-violence. The very creation of individuals devoted
to non-violence marks the development of non-violence on the social level.
A celebrated Anuvrat maxim reads:
Social revolution through individual transformation leading to national
It seems to me that we have not paid adequate attention
to the training of individuals. We have been more active in the field of
social reformation. Individual transformation or social change constitutes
a partial approach. However, keeping in view both the individual and society,
training in non-violence can become more comprehensive and all inclusive.
It is not our intention to neglect training for social reformation. Our
objective is the creation of a healthy society through the development of
unique individualities. Without training in non-violence, it does not seem
possible to change the social manners and mores. During the past eight decades,
many experiments have been made to change the social, economic and political
systems. It seems to me, however, that we have quite neglected the aspect
of bringing about a change of heart. That is why our experiments, though
at first they seemed to be successful, ultimately failed. The cause of this
failure seems to be an order devoid of individuality and our indifference
towards effecting a psychological transformation. Our effort here, though
meagre from a numerical point-of-view, cannot be said to be insignificant,
qualitatively. We believe that if we start our work, keeping the change
of heart, i.e. the transformation of the mind at the centre, our success
is bound to increase progressively. No one dare to challenge the movement
of non-violence. Confirmed in that belief, let's march forward.