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Non Voilence & World Peace

Jain Books

Non-Violence and Conflict-Free Society

-Ganadhipati Tulsi

More than 7000 wars (big and small) have been fought in the history of the world. People are killed in wars. The means of living become scarce. The prices of things touch an ever-new high. That is why we are afraid of war and want to abolish it. Yet, wars break out every now and then. Conflicting national interests and ambitions create an atmosphere of war and armies are sent to the battlefront. It is necessary to consider seriously why all this is happening after all?

We seek a solution to every problem in social life. Society creates a problem and it is society which resolves it that is our firm belief. I do not want to say that there is no element of truth in it. What I wish to emphasize is that certain individuals are more responsible for war than society as a whole. If those occupying the seats of power and authority are able to keep their passions under control, a situation of war would never arise.

Have we ever thought of prescribing in essential qualification for the aspirants to power and authority that they must be trained in non-violence, and those who fail to undergo such training, should be declared ineligible for the highest posts? Have we ever given it a serious consideration that training in non-violence should be made compulsory for the Legislators, the Members of Parliament and the Judges? If we cannot think in terms of controlling violence in social and national life, how can we hope to constrain wars?

Society is ridden by strong racial prejudices; communal bigotry is no less strong. Such a state naturally leads to conditions ranging from minor conflicts to fullscale wars. Training in non-violence should be imparted to all men, but particularly to the intelligentsia which provides leadership to society.

We do not want to confine training in non-violence to the spheres of social service, co-operation and patriotism. As we see it, the fundamental basis of such training is a change of heart. Without bringing about a change of heart or the transformation of the mind, there can be no progress in non-violence. The very creation of individuals devoted to non-violence marks the development of non-violence on the social level. A celebrated Anuvrat maxim reads:

Social revolution through individual transformation leading to national regeneration.

It seems to me that we have not paid adequate attention to the training of individuals. We have been more active in the field of social reformation. Individual transformation or social change constitutes a partial approach. However, keeping in view both the individual and society, training in non-violence can become more comprehensive and all inclusive. It is not our intention to neglect training for social reformation. Our objective is the creation of a healthy society through the development of unique individualities. Without training in non-violence, it does not seem possible to change the social manners and mores. During the past eight decades, many experiments have been made to change the social, economic and political systems. It seems to me, however, that we have quite neglected the aspect of bringing about a change of heart. That is why our experiments, though at first they seemed to be successful, ultimately failed. The cause of this failure seems to be an order devoid of individuality and our indifference towards effecting a psychological transformation. Our effort here, though meagre from a numerical point-of-view, cannot be said to be insignificant, qualitatively. We believe that if we start our work, keeping the change of heart, i.e. the transformation of the mind at the centre, our success is bound to increase progressively. No one dare to challenge the movement of non-violence. Confirmed in that belief, let's march forward.