Essay on the Path of Truth and Non-violence as stated by Gandhiji



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How and why have we plunged to this debility? Our freedom movement was based on truth, right and duty. These were the principles for which our countrymen sacrificed their lives, with the dream of a Truthful, free and Non-violent India. The setting in of morals stared off with the Muslim League refusing to join the British government sponsored Constituent Assembly in December 1946.

This political deadlock between the two largest representative parties Muslim League and Congress resulted in the Mountbatten Plan of June 3, 1947, partitioning India. The blood bath and political intrigues that followed would put the Nazi persecution of Jews to shame. The media put it in the right perspective when it mentioned that nearly half the population of non-Muslims, basically comprising of Hindus and Sikhs, migrating to India, were butchered, their women folk raped and brutalized and the young girls forcefully carried away and converted.

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The brotherhood between religions, over the centuries since Aurangzeb, was shattered and Pakistan started its dirty game since then. The country had its basic creation on the principle of ‘Hate India’ and their directive to ISI their intelligence wing was to spread hatred in their neighborhood. A handy tool for them was the population of Muslims left behind who owed allegiance to Pakistan. This was the group which gave a bad name to the rest of their brethren who truly devoted themselves to India as patriotic citizens. But the percentage seems to be going down gradually.

Truth was the first principle, sacrificed at the altar of politics when the figures were juggled to reduce the impact of the mayhem on the general public. Truth was again sacrificed when the Indian Army was sent in after the accession of Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir to the Indian Dominion. The interference and politicizing was the prime reason for the matter going to UN, this when the Indian Army was in a position to chase back the intruders and release occupied portion from their intrusions. The matter not being handled properly at that time, political incompetence and lack of foresight has created this perennial problem, a permanent thorn in our side.

The second principle to be thrown in the garbage dump was our principle of non-violence. How could one remain so when his children were being butchered and brutalized, when his very existence and that of his family members were at stake. When his young daughters were being raped before his eyes and then carried away as booty. This was the start of the violent phase.

Our policies of non-violence again suffered when in 1962, our borders were attacked by China. The same Chinese whose leaders were in India a few months earlier embracing our Prime Minister, raising false slogans of Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai, even as they were ready to stab us in the back. Our initial resistance in retaliation was paid for dearly with thousands of square kilometer area still under Chinese occupation. The Mac Mahon Line is an illusion now.

We have faced several aggressions since then with General Ayub Khan, the then President of Pakistan entering into a misadventure in 1965, with uncalled for hostilities and war declared from across the border. How could our country remain non-vident in the face of war? India won a resounding victory and the Tashkent declaration was the result. Unfortunately Lal Bahadur Shastri could not drive home a bargain form position of advantage.

The 1971 war with Pakistan was forced on us by the Pakistan military rejection of popular mandate. The result was the persecution of non-Muslims in erstwhile East Pakistan forcing 13 million Hindus to free the country leaving their property and belongings behind and seek refuge in India. The bravado of Pakistani forces needed to be shown in the right perspective and India in a swift reaction reduced their might to quivering shambles. The fortnight between December 3 and 17 of 1971 saw Indian troops for within their territory and Karachi was about to fall, when Indira Gandhi generously accepted their truce.

The Shimla Agreement which followed saw another opportunity to drive a drive a hard bargain lost. In return for their feretory and nearly 1,00,000 troops, we got nothing. There are still around 500 officers shown missing in action who are still presumably languishing in their jails or murdered after capture. The ill treatment meted out to their troops and officers are in contravention of PoW norms agreed to and may be this is the reason, the return was not forthcoming.

Beside these, both truth and non-violence were doomed when the power seekers arrived on the Indian political stage. They were not seekers but grabbers whose sole intention was to earn money and power by hook or cook. The days of idealism were over, materialism was in vogue and the perception of ethics and non-ethics was getting blurred. Our neighbours were deliberately targeting innocent citizens and it is only our pacifistic attitude which has deterred us from dishing out befitting lesson to Pakistan.

Non-violence was an instrument for use against civilized society, afraid of public backlash and world reaction. The mentally insane and ethical dwarfs would hardly be deterred by such movements.

Baba Amte, Anna Hazare, Medha Partaker of Naramada Bachao Andolan and Shanker Lal Bahuguna of the Chipko movement, are all social activists who believe in non-violence and practice the same to register their protest. But what has been the reaction of officialdom to these; they are not even alive to their presence and have used police brutality against them. This is how farce we have strayed from path.

Huge areas of forest land have been laid waste by our audacious planning and there is no reaction to public outcry. Latter on explanations are given in assemblies and parliament, against question raised which are far from truth. The national human right Commission has been facing a barrage of untruths from the law and order machinery against innocents killed and tortured, third degree extortion and deliberate harassment of any person who stands up for his rights Both truth and non-violence were given an indecent burial when the country erupted in protests and self-intimidation against the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations. Water canons, bullets and lathi-charge were used against the demonstrator, majority opinion carried no value in the eyes of the obstinate. Several youths, the cream of our future generation gave up their lives for a just cause. Gujarat saw a whole academic year laid waste, but there was not even a raised eyebrow to react in their favour.

Even the presence of the Mahatma, who propagated the principles of truth and non-violence would have hardly been a deterrent in todays culture. We have made ourselves the object of ridicule all over the world, where once we were looked upto because of our staunch and high principles. We have totally distanced ourselves to these values, sometimes rightly so, being left with no other alternative, but most of the time due to the craving for self-popularity, wealth and material gain.

The nepotism prevalent in our officialdom today, the failure of the good laws to benefit the common man, the failure to eradicate poverty and illiteracy even after half a century of independence, the failure of our cottage industries and the handloom sector, failure to meet power generation levels, total corruption at state level, district level and Panchayat level officialdom, bribery becoming a password to get files moving, shirking responsibilities and duties leading to failure of public sector units. The list is endless. And all because we have far deviated form the truths our founding fathers based our Constitution on we have reached the nadir of untruths and the Mahatma would have hung his head in shame if he were to be alive today.

We have failed in all spheres because of total lack of discipline and principles and we need to analyze our deviations from the Path of Truth as the main cause behind all our ills.

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