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Essay on “International Day of Non-Violence – October 2” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

International Day of Non-Violence – October 2

Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, is commemorated as Communal Harmony Day (also as Gandhi Jayanthi) throughout the country on October 2nd each year. Mahatma Gandhi devoted his entire life for propounding communal harmony.

International Day of Non-Violence

The United Nations General Assembly on l5’h June 2007 decided to observe the International Day of Non-Violence each year on 2 October — the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who helped lead India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. This will be in recognition of his role in promoting the message of peace around the world.

The ‘International Day of Non-Violence’ will be observed for the first time on October 2 2007 after which it would become an annual affair. The UN invites all member states, NGOs and individuals to commemorate the day and disseminate the message of non-violence, “including through education and public awareness.”

Gandhiji’s “novel mode of mass mobilization and non-violent action” brought down colonialism, strengthened the roots of popular sovereignty, of civil, political and economic rights, and greatly  influenced many a freedom struggle and inspired leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.

He wished in ‘India of his dream’, “1 shall for an India, in which the poorest shall feel that it is their country in whose making they have an effective voice; an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people; and above all an India in which all communities shall live in perfect harmony.”

Gandhi’s political philosophy revolved around three key concepts: satyagraha (non-violence), swaraj (home rule), and sarvodaya (welfare of all). Whereas satyagraha was essentially a tactic of achieving political ends by non-violent means, swaraj and sarvodaya sought to encourage — through social work, spinning of cotton, rural uplift, and social welfare — ideas of individual and collective improvement and regeneration. Such regeneration, Gandhi insisted, was necessary if India was to rediscover her enduring historical and religious self and throw off British rule.

Non-Violence with Gandhi was not a mere concept but it was an article of faith, a condition of existence, a cultural necessity. He had goodwill even for plants and animals and insects. He often said that non-violence is meant for the bold and the brave, not for the cowards and the weak. Non-violence is meant for the strong of mind and stout of heart. Non-Violence is not a passive doctrine; it is active and dynamic. It implies conscious suffering. Non-violence was mightier than violence; it was mightier than any sword. Violence is going to be the greatest challenge of the 2P’ century and therein is the relevance of Gandhi.

In view of the growing violence in the coming years, Gandhi is most relevant. In the words of Martin Luther King “If Humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inseparable … We may ignore him at our own risk”. Gandhi is relevant wherever there is struggle for freedom, wherever there is struggle for justice, wherever there is oppression. UNESCO paid the greatest tribute to Gandhi when it adopted in its preamble the Gandhian thought that since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed. If the 19th century belonged to Carlyle and Ruskin and the 20th century to Russell and Huxley, the 21′ century belongs to Gandhi alone, for he said that if there was a choice between cowardice and violence he would choose the latter because non-violence is not for the cowardly or the weak.

Communal Harmony, he said, was the key to India’s progress. The Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs and the Christians have been living together for centuries and are bound by a common culture. He declared: All those who live here, to whatever religion they may belong are equal sharers in their common home and its great inheritance, having equal rights and obligations. Religion, he said was a personal matter between Man and his God. `Indian Culture’, he said, ‘was neither Hindu nor Muslim nor any other but a composite culture where all communities have richly contributed. On another occasion he stated that ‘we must help a Hindu to become a better Hindu, a Musalman a better Musalman and a Christian to become a better Christian We must eradicate from our mind the secret pride that our religion is more true and that of another is less so’.

Gandhi stood for a secular society, his secularism was not religious illiteracy, it meant equal respect for all religions, a strict moral and ethical code for all citizens. Every one was equal and nobody more equal.

Gandhi often said that in pursuit of non-violence and communal harmony one should reduce himself to zero. Asked as to what he meant by it, he replied; :It means to be the last in receiving good things, to serve everyone, not to expect gratitude, and to be the first in suffering. One who thus reduces himself to zero will always be absorbed in noble work’. For him working for communal harmony was the best thing Indians could do for their Motherland.

Mahatma Gandhi was born on the crossroads of our history and gave the country a purposeful direction. He made his mark as a reformer, as a thinker, and as a liberator. He was a practical idealist. His sense of observation, analysis, and experimentation even at a comparatively younger age gave him a distinctive mental quality and approach to the matters that he confronted.

In his constructive programme, he gave the first place to communal harmony among the people of different faiths. The result was the famous book, The Way to Communal Harmony, written by Gandhi himself. Of his writings and speeches, one is struck repeatedly by the passion and sincerity with which he pleaded for the cause of better understanding among individuals and communities. The book is a compilation of Gandhi’s reflections on certain problems that divide humankind. Everywhere in the world, individuals and groups are divided because of fear, suspicion, and hatred towards each other, which further depends on whether the division expressed itself along religious, economic, political, caste, or colour lines.

Whatever is the form, insecurity is perhaps the major cause of individual or social dissensions. A person, who is integrated and sure of himself, fears none and consequently provokes no fear. We have examples of such heroic individuals. But we do not have until now instances of societies or communities that are fully integrated and therefore fearless.

Gandhi felt that if Hindu-Muslim unity was established, unity with other communities that was already there could easily be strengthened. He never found serious differences between the Hindus and Muslims and other minority communities like the Christians and the Sikhs, not to speak of the small community of Parsis. Naturally, therefore, he turned to the question of Hindu-Muslim unity. He insisted that the Hindus who are in a majority in the country should help the Muslims and should never entertain any idea of enforcing their rights but try to win the hearts of the minority community.

He expressed: -“1 am striving to become the best cement between the two communities. My longing is to be able to cement the two with my blood, if necessary. There is nothing in either religion to keep the two communities apart. In nature there is a fundamentally unity running through all the diversity. Religions are no exception to the natural law. They are given to the mankind so as to accelerate the process of realization of fundamental unity. The need of the moment is not an establishment of a Universal religion but there is a greater need to develop mutual respect towards the different religions.”

The four words — truth, non-violence, sarvodaya and satyagraha — constitute Gandhi and his teaching. The first two are cardinal principles of Gandhian thought — satya and ahimsa — havebroader meaning than their English translation.

The basic principle, Truth, inspired all his thought and action. It was the realization that an inviolable harmony exists in all creation and any violation of that harmony would create disaster. He saw this principle enshrined in all religions, which led him to accord equal respect to all faiths. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam of the Vedic tradition to him was no different from the Quranic belief that Allah the Beneficent and Merciful was the creator if all that we see and hear about and that he would dispense justice on the basis of deeds and not the professed faith of each person. Nor was it different from the Christian faith that God’s love and benediction was for all without any distinction and so on. All religions insist on equality of human race and on developing a harmonious relationship with the entirety of creation around. Any violation of the principle of equality gives way to conflict and violation.

Gandhi regards Islam as a religion of peace in the same sense as Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. No doubt, there are differences in degree. He says in this regard that he knew the passages that can be quoted form the Holy book Quran to the contrary. But it is possible to quote from the Vedas to the contrary. “My reading of the Quran has convinced me that the basis of Islam is not violence but is unadulterated Peace. It regards forbearance as a superior to vengeance. The very word “Islam” means Peace, which is nonviolence. My experience of all India tells me that the Hindus and the Muslims know how to live at Peace among themselves. I decline to believe that the people have said good-bye to their senses, so as to make it impossible to live at Peace with each other, as they done for generations. The enmity cannot last forever.”

Gandhi had never accepted even in principle the theory of the Hindus and the Muslims being two distinct nations and he tried to convince both of them of the pernicious character of this principle. 1-le continued to the last day of his life to instill the lesson of unity among the communities of India.

The great leader, however, clearly saw the time coming when people belonging to different faiths will have the same regard for the other faiths that they have for their own. Just as in nature a fundamental unity running through all the existing diversity, so also in religions there is a fundamental unity, which one has to recognize and realize. In order to discover this underlying unity among all religions, Gandhi had with him a master key of Truth and nonviolence.

He stressed upon universal Peace, goodwill and reverence for all life. He emphatically stressed upon ethical teachings in school curriculum, as he believed that the fundamentals of ethics are common to all religions. The conflict of the creeds and religious recrimination, he detested most. He preached that we must eradicate from our midst the secret pride that our religion is truer than the other religions. Our attitude towards all other religions must be absolutely clear and sincere. He wanted unity of heart and mind among Hindus and Muslims. Communal harmony always received priority over other programmes.

All religions teach men to be good and peaceful. Intolerance is the religion of the negative. The Gita, the Quran, the Bible, the Granth Sahib, the Zend Avesta contain gems of wisdom, although the followers might belie their teachings. “The essence of true religious teaching is that one should serve and befriend all. I learnt this in my mother’s lap.

But it is unfortunate that after independence there have been over five thousand communal riots in India. How are we to get rid of this problem? Let us try to find solution pertaining to the problem of communalism in India. Before that, let us know and understand the meaning and definition of communalism.

It may be said that communalism is the negative aspect of the community. That is to say, when the people of a particular community care only for their own narrowly concerned interests, through the means of their religious faiths, old customs and __coliservative practices, disregarding the interests of whole society, then it may be termed as communalism.

In general, following four main things can be found in a state of communalism, 1) Negativity 2) Narrowness 3) Unfair means; and 4) Disregard to the interests of society. The unfair means that are adopted in a state of communalism, neglecting the interests of society, instigation based on religious sentiments is the main among them, which can. be observed clearly in communal violence that occurred during the last 60 years in India.

Each and everyone has to make a balance between his or her own religious community and national interests, he or she has to unite with nationalism, and then should move forward. The teachings of a religious community may be great, but the followers of the community concerned should understand that nationalism is greater. If they do not become familiar with this fact, they will be away from national stream; they will suffer. This fact relates not only to India but also to many other countries of the world.

There is a great need to work towards eradicating the problem of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment among the youths and that too with honesty and without any discrimination. This will help in solving many problems, and will create awakening. The result will be in checking on communalism largely. That is why it is expected that a lot of work has to be done at government level in this direction.

Thus, in order to get rid of the problem of communalism in India, there is a need of collective efforts. All will have to discharge their duties. If we do so, definitely harmony will prevail. Everybody will prosper. This must be done; this was the dream of Mahatma Gandhi for a free India.

Gandhi dreamed of a world without wars, a society without caste or class, factories without forced or child labour, in fact a non-violent, non-exploiting social order, where the mind is free and the head is held high. An internationalist to the core, he never lost sight of his Indian identity. “I do not want my house to be walled from all sides and windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to blow freely in my house but I refuse to be blown off my feet by any”. Gandhi is not exclusive. He is universal. He does not belong to any particular country. He belongs to the ages.



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