Is non-violence a policy of cowards???

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Sabir, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    The video posted below is from the film 'Gandhi'. The scene was based on description of American journalist Web Miller who witnessed the beating of the Satyagrahis in Dharasana Salt Works in Gujrat. The satyagrahis here were lead by Sarojini Naidu and Moulana Azad.



    Miller's report:-

    Not one of the marchers even raised an arm to fend off the blows. They went down like ten-pins. From where I stood I heard the sickening whacks of the clubs on unprotected skulls. The waiting crowd of watchers groaned and sucked in their breaths in sympathetic pain at every blow.
    Those struck down fell sprawling, unconscious or writhing in pain with fractured skulls or broken shoulders. In two or three minutes the ground was quilted with bodies. Great patches of blood widened on their white clothes. The survivors without breaking ranks silently and doggedly marched on until struck down. When every one of the first column was knocked down stretcher bearers rushed up unmolested by the police and carried off the injured to a thatched hut which had been arranged as a temporary hospital.
    There were not enough stretcher-bearers to carry off the wounded; I saw eighteen injured being carried off simultaneously, while forty-two still lay bleeding on the ground awaiting stretcher-bearers. The blankets used as stretchers were sodden with blood.
    At times the spectacle of unresisting men being methodically bashed into a bloody pulp sickened me so much I had to turn away....I felt an indefinable sense of helpless rage and loathing, almost as much against the men who were submitting unresistingly to being beaten as against the police wielding the clubs...
    Bodies toppled over in threes and fours, bleeding from great gashes on their scalps. Group after group walked forward, sat down, and submitted to being beaten into insensibility without raising an arm to fend off the blows. Finally the police became enraged by the non-resistance....They commenced savagely kicking the seated men in the abdomen and testicles. The injured men writhed and squealed in agony, which seemed to inflame the fury of the police....The police then began dragging the sitting men by the arms or feet, sometimes for a hundred yards, and throwing them into ditches.




    Miller's first attempts at telegraphing the story to his publisher in England were censored by the British telegraph operators in India. Only after threatening to expose British censorship was his story allowed to pass. The story appeared in 1,350 newspapers throughout the world and was read into the official record of the United States Senate by Senator John J. Blaine.

    I just wonder how much pain these brave-souls feel when they see the condition of the modern Indian politicians.
     
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  3. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    When it comes to masses Non violence is a less painful Idea towards attaining goal but on personal level Non violence is not at all practical and will never work . Will non violence work for a goon or eve teasers. Laton ke bhoot baton se nahi maante.

    Also in case of tyrant rulers non violence will never work. Gaddafis and saddam hussains will kill all people . in that case armed struggle is better option and chances of success are better .
     
  4. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Gandhiji's 'freedom through satyagraha' was rooted on the Hindu concept of Mukthi(freedom)By realizing the truth about existence.Like Buddha,who did not resist the challenges of Mara,as he strived towards the truth,Gandhi's satyagraha pursed liberation, irrespective of whether it was met with violence or bestowed with benefaction.
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Actions of Gandhi should not be ridiculed but respected even if you dont agree with it.

    Non-violence only works when your dealing with somewhat sane people and not with scum or tyrants who wouldn't hesitate in killing all. Would non violence work with hitler or chengiz khan ? not a chance.
     
  6. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Non-violence surely is a marvel to follow ideologically and on an individual level. But thinking of entire nations following non violence against all kinds of tyrants (specially the most organized ones like the then British), no ... it fails at the macro level.
    What Mahatma Gandhi tried and did was great and had never been done before. It was one of the bravest experiments I've ever known.
    However I do not agree to where and at what level he applied his methods, for not only him .. but the entire nation.

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
  7. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Violence is also rooted in Indian philosophy. Sword was worshipped in ancient times as personification of dharma.

    So both philosophies taking up arms or adopting the path of non-violence are valid, depends on one's aim and circumstances.
     
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  8. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    it depends - if you are inheriting the country as was in the case of india "welcoming" the british to depart - then it was the right policy . Imagine the violence possible after the brits left if violence was the way to solve problems. But violence coming in from the outside eg 1962 war - then non violence was not the way . So for internal matters yes non-violence is better because we are gonna have to live with ourselves and it's better we are non-violent among ourselves but for foreign threats then a certain amount of force according and in proportion to the threat is necessary
     
  9. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Gandhi said he would prefer violence over non-violence of a coward. During Quit-India movement when he was pressurised by the British to condemn some acts of violence committed by the protesters, he declined and said those were to resist much larger violence of the government.
     
  10. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Non-violence should not sitting on your backsides and doing nothing. It means standing up for your principles and facing a formidable and ruthless adversary without resorting to violence. You need a pair of steel bollocks for that one. It's far too easy to pick up a gun than stare in the eyes of an armed tyrant.

    Gandhi had it right, though, Violence is anyday better than cowardice in the name of non-violence.
     
  11. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    తెలంగాణ
    Humans are naturally more inclined to be violent than to be non-violent.

    I would actually say that someone who adopts a non-violent stance against an armed opposition is far braver than one who adopts a violent stance. It takes great courage to overcome both one's desire to indulge in violence as well as to deal with a man with a gun when you have no gun yourself.
     
  12. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    Non-Violence is not a policy of cowards, but a policy for the weak.

    If a nation is not strong enough to defend itself, then it tries to appeal to the conscience of the invader and hopes that the invader would have enough goodness in him to leave.
     
  13. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Its salient to remember that Gita,the divine sermon of Shri Krishna on life ,karma and Dharma,the veritable keystone of Hindu thought,was delivered amidst an impending war o epic proportion,even there Krishna was not sermonizing to prevent the war.Violence and nonviolence are karma's which have no positive or negative attributes,they are merely actions to be performed.The only karma that brings merit is Nishkamya Karma(action that does not satiate a personal desire or reward),it does not matter whether the action is violent or peaceful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
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  14. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    In India, non-violence and pacifism are used to sugarcoat blatant indifference and cowardice. Violence is necessary evil, it's in nature for life-forms to compete violently in necessary situations, sometimes it's unavoidable, sometimes it's for greater good. Gandhi was wrong in saying that the evil violence does is permanent. Had Rajputs, Marathas, and Vijayanagaras abjured violence, following the principals Gandhi later endorsed as "right", there would be no Hinduism left in India.
     
  15. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Like somebody observed,Non violence is not cowardice(or violence something to be blindly abhorred),it is when it becomes a ruse to not follow the path of righteousness.Gandhiji believed,and he cant be faulted for believing so,that non violent resistance in this case presented a stronger and better chance to oust the British yolk and gain freedom.
     
  16. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Non-violence is an OBVIOUS policy of any sane society whenever there is peace. But Gandhi's version of "ahimsa" is pure cowardice and perverse spinelessness. He made a mockery out of India's ancient warrior cultures against the wrong and turned the whole nation into a bunch of Stockholm Syndrome sissies.

    Non-violence or ahimsa even in Buddhism means general courtesy and peaceful living for a harmonious society; not bending backwards for terrorists, invaders and marauding alien concepts to come in and ravage the country. That one man ruined the entire meaning of this term just because of his own foolish sense of invincibility.
     
  17. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Tshering

    It can be argued that Gandhi did not have the background nor moral inclination to organize a violent resistance,nor did he force anyone at the pain of death to follow his method.The multitudes accepted him as he was.
     
  18. niharjhatn

    niharjhatn Regular Member

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    Gandhi hardly appealed to the conscience of the invader. It is a conquering of your will, mastery over oneself, NOT to do the stupid thing, attack, and then die without achieving your aims.

    Whilst I have tremendous respect for those like Bhagat Singh and those that laid their lives, ultimately, their efforts at galvanizing the Indian populace failed; and whilst I am no blind Ghandi supporter, his passive resistance turned out to be more effective.
     
  19. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    I am a rajput myself but you may please be a little respectful of the man. He was not trying to ruin the nation and he did not lure everyone into his methods like a witch. Everyone who followed him had heads on their shoulders. I admire most of your posts here and would hope that being respectful even in disagreement is not a virtue in minority here.

    And how will this enable us to oust the determined, trained brutal invader who is ever trigger happy over a disarmed populace. It is good for personal enlightenment and development but non violence doesn't teach us to fly and out maneuver the enemy at war. Lets be more practical and see the context here.
    It isn't easy to change the minds of millions of masses once it is set on a particular method. Even at personal level, when we tell someone already in a process to change his method of doing the things, he'd just frown at us. However, I believe even after being a unprecedentedly glorious method, non-violence failed to deliver against the British decisively. IMO it was the consequences of WWII that were more responsible than non violence to bring about the independence. We were trying non violence against a bunch of imperialists for more than 3 decades and yet reached no practical turn around.

    As I agree with you that British were not a typical in-house problem, are you trying to say that there were no armed struggles in India for self defense and protection of liberty before Gandhi era ? If there were, then are you still trying to say that India wasn't a land of prosperity and freedom then? We still had wars then and we still triumphed.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There was nobody capable enough to garrison the whole country in an armed resistance to oust the Brits, but there was a man who successfully organized non violent resistance and so the people rallied to him and so the Indian struggle for Independence was prominently a non violent one.

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
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  20. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Atleast you should have some respect for the millions who came out from home to demand their freedom.You get as much irritated in Gandhi's name as Mr Winston Churchill used to be.

    Our ancient warrior culture proved to be ineffective against more powerful invaders. You can guess why-

    1) common people did not bother who is ruling them-someone from their own or an alien. War, defence etc remained the duty of kings and their soldiers. If all Indians could have stood in defence of india- the foreighners did not have any chance to step in India.

    2) People did not have the concept of the India as a nation. A bengali did not bother when the marathas were fighting against Abdali or a Marathi did not care when Tipu was fighting the British.

    You may not like Gandhi's non-violence, but it is hard to deny its effectiveness. Both the wrongs with Indian peole got corrected. Millions of Indians (who were sleeping for thousand years) rallied behind him and they did it as Indians- not as Bengali, Marathi or Tamilians.

    Rather cawards were those who either stayed at home or joined the British to fulfill their lust. If you go through some good history books you can find out who were these people.

    It is wrong to ponder whether it would be effective against medieval invadors or not. Because Gandhi made his policy for a specific situation and it was effective there. Every policy need not to be successful everywhere. Even his policy would have been a complete failure had it been applied in the early years of company rule. Just answer me one thing- Why Bhagat Singh did such an act of non-violence by throwing a non-lethal bomb and then surrendered. He could very well stay out side and kept on killing few more british officers. Did not he too feel it is more important awakening the dormant population (through publicity of his court trial in this case) rather than doing some violent acts here and there. Just throwing out the British did not mean Independence. It was more important to learn how to govern ourselves in a modern world. It took time but when we started we had a solid political base on which we are aspiring to be a super power instead of fighting never ending civil wars which was very much possible in a multi-cultural country like India.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  21. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    Hi virendra - thanks for your reply --- you are reading far too much into my post - you are talking about prosperity ?????? i didnt even touch on that - as it wasnt the subjexct of the thread !

    basically i said or meant to say that if it is an in-house problem , it is better dealt with nonviolently becasue we have to live with them later ...

    ....but if you are dealing with foreigners , then force is possible because we are not gonna live with them .
    it may sound a wee bit simplistic on paper but firstly it works and secondly it's easy on paper but not in practice especially the nonviolent struggle ( as we saw in the case of gandhi)

    best regards, R
     
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