Let's say no to violence

Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi said “we may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it”.
Let's say no to violence

International Day of Non-Violence

Ranjan K Baruah

(With direct inputs from UN/WHO publication and feedback may be sent to bkranjan@gmail.com)

Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi said "we may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it". Mahatma Gandhi has used and inspired Indians to use non-violence as a weapon to be strong and he said that non-violence and truth are inseparable and presuppose one another. We know that poverty is one of the worst forms of human rights violation and there cannot be any positive transformation if poverty or hunger exists on earth. There are possibilities of violence when there is inequality amongst people which remind us that we must stop violence at any cost and promote non-violence to get justice.

We organize 2nd October as Gandhi Jayanti in India and globally the day is also observed as the International Day of Non-Violence. According to the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness". The resolution reaffirms "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence".

The principle of non-violence — also known as non-violent resistance — rejects the use of physical violence to achieve social or political change. Often described as "the politics of ordinary people", this form of social struggle has been adopted by mass populations all over the world in campaigns for social justice.

One key tenet of the theory of non-violence is that the power of rulers depends on the consent of the population, and non-violence, therefore, seeks to undermine such power through withdrawal of the consent and cooperation of the populace. There are three main categories of non-violence action which includes protest and persuasion, including marches and vigils; non-cooperation; and non-violent intervention, such as blockades and occupations.

All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), one of the largest students' organizations in the country, has been organizing the non-violence day since 2009. This year ABSU is organizing the event at Patgaon Higher Secondary School in Kokrajhar district with different activities like a floral tribute to the father of the nation, peace rally, releasing of white pigeons, burning of a replica of arms, signature campaign for peace, open session, etc.

"The means of peace and non-violence is the only way to restore and reconcile the decades-long violence in Bodoland region as we have seen conflicts and violence for many decades. ABSU has started a campaign against illegal arms and maintaining peace since 2009 commemorating the non-violence day. The non-violence day and Gandhi Jayanti is an opportunity for us to stand against violence and promote non-violence to bring sustainable change in our society", said Dipen Boro, president of ABSU. He has appealed to individuals to stand against any forms of violence and contribute towards sustainable change and bringing peace.

Non-violence may be challenging but it is the best way to be strong and this was taught by many great personalities, including our father of the nation. Let us all be determined and make a commitment that we will not participate in any violent activities even if we are working for social justice and rights for others.

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