International Day of Non-Violence observed globally

Oct 2, 2018 09:40 IST
International Day of Non-Violence observed globally

2 October: International Day of Non-Violence

The International Day of Non-Violence was observed across the world on October 2, 2018, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.

The day is commemorated every year to disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness. The UN resolution, which established the commemoration, reaffirms that the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence and the desire to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence.

Introducing the resolution in the General Assembly on behalf of 140 co-sponsors, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma had said that the wide and diverse sponsorship of the resolution was a reflection of the universal respect for Mahatma Gandhi and of the enduring relevance of his philosophy.

What do we mean by Non violence?

  • The principle of non-violence, which is also known as non-violent resistance, rejects the use of physical violence in order to achieve social or political change.
  • This form of social struggle has been adopted by mass populations all over the world in campaigns for social justice and social change.
  • Professor Gene Sharp, a leading scholar on non-violent resistance, defines non-violent action as a technique by which people who reject passivity and submission and who see struggle as essential, can wage their conflict without violence.
  • According to Sharp, non-violent action is not an attempt to avoid or ignore conflict. It is one response to the problem of how to act effectively in politics, especially how to wield powers effectively.
  • The power  and success of non-violence is determined through the cooperation of the populace.
  • Three main kinds of non-violence action include:

- protest and persuasion, including marches and vigils;

- non-cooperation

- non-violent intervention, such as blockades and occupations.

Background

Mahatma Gandhi, who helped lead India gain independence, has been the inspiration for non-violent movements for civil rights and social change across the world.

  International Day of Non-Violence observed globally

Throughout his life, Gandhi remained committed to his belief in non-violence even under oppressive conditions and in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

The theory behind his actions, which included launching of massive civil disobedience and non- cooperation movement against the British law, was that "just means lead to just ends"; that is, it is irrational to try to use violence to achieve a peaceful society.

He believed that Indians must not use violence or hatred in their fight for freedom from colonialism.

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