2013-10-05 / .

The Relevance of Mahatma Gandhis Message of Non- Violence to the new Global Order

By Dr.Cyriac Maprayil

We were told after World War 2 that there would be no more wars. The evidence in the form of conflicts in Vietnam,and in recent years in Iraq,Afghanistan, Syria etc brutally contradicts this over-optimistic view.

Blood is liberally spilt across the globe through domestic violence, murders, insane gun violence against defenceless children and adults in America and massive war crimes in Pakistan and Afghanistan.The indiscriminate use of drones which kill more civilians than terrorists is also an unpleasant feature of life in the restless South Asian region. There seems to be no end to the relentless carnage as hopes of a decent global peace fades in to the mists of man’s self -deception,greed,and hunger for domination.

Is there an alternative? Yes there is. Let us hark back to Mahatma Gandhi’s championing of satyagraha, which can be translated in to non violence or peaceful resistance to political ,economic, and racial injustice. Gandhiji began what he modestly called his experiments with truth in South Africa when it was a vicious pigmentocracy that denied the elementary human rights to its majority black population and its Indian minority. Gandhiji originally went to South Africa as a lawyer to defend a rich family against another related family. But it was only after the greedy and unscrupulous merchant class through him out of the Natal Indian Congress he had founded, that he turned to the indentured who with their non violent resistance to the racist regime proved to be the Mahathma’s saviours. Gandhiji generously acknowledged his huge debt to the indentured while denouncing the mainly Gujarati dominated merchant class for its obsession with making money.

As for the Africans Gandhiji, quite rightly perhaps, made it very clear that they were not to be lumped with Indians. Its a grim irony that in the end the conflict between the whites and the blacks in South Africa was resolved largely peacefully, despite Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress’ armed struggle.

At this present time the world faces a terrible and calamitous present as well as future. Many trillions are being spent on weapons of mass destruction. Hundreds of thousands of people in Africa,Asia and the Middle East have been killed or maimed. All these for what? A sick desire to prove the respective parties' assumed ideological or religious superiority!

Western nations,once the military masters of the world, are still strong but as the recent Nairobi’s fanatic slaughter shows ,they are still at the mercy of terrorists and bandits.There is also the possibility that the terrorists may acquire nuclear weapons.

Gandhiji was right-he anticipated the peace lovers who believed that you can do everything with a bayonet but sit on it. Bread and butter are better than bullets.They nourish and nurture life.That is what the message should be-loud and clear:peace, bread and justice for the humanity.It is time world leaders turned to the Gandhian doctrine of peaceful non violent resistance to what we now generally consider as a violent threat to democracy and the rule of law.

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