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Revisiting Gandhian Non-Violence

A K Verma


  1. Director, Centre for the Study of Society and Politics (CSSP), Kanpur, U.P. INDIA


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence, became victim of violence just after independence. Even after his assassination, he continues to suffer violence despite being treated as an icon of non-violence. Many wrongly think that Gandhi is irrelevant today. But we neither understood Gandhian principle of non-violence correctly, nor communicated it rightly to the post-Gandhi generations. So, the youth wrongly think non-violence as a sign of weakness – contrary to Gandhian conviction that non-violence is the tool of the strongest. Consequentially, the youth are not attracted to Gandhi’s non-violence. In projecting Gandhi as an apostle of non-violence, we have missed his advocacy for violence in certain circumstances and his emphasis on being trained to be strong and powerful with humility and rationality which is the foundational principle of Gandhian ‘ramrajya’. Gandhi’s advocacy of non-violence is not absolute; its relative. He pointed that it is our duty to resort to violence in certain circumstances. But, projecting non-violence as weakness has distanced the youth from Gandhi resulting in growth of intolerance and social disharmony. That is demolishing everything that Gandhi stood for. What should be done to connect the youth with true spirit of non-violence? To answer this, we have sourced ‘original writings’ of Gandhi on non-violence.

Gandhi, Ahimsa, Non-Violenc, Peace