Imagine on a normal day while you are roaming around freely, suddenly your right to freedom is threatened by the risk of getting killed. Imagine waking up with such scary thoughts every other day. Well, for such reasons, the law comes into the picture, and so does the principle of nonviolence. Violence is abominable. If there were no laws and regulations against violence, humanity could have been potentially wiped out. Violence does not only take place outside but needs to be ignited from the hatred that lingers within. There are numerous books written which have a consistent theme of human beings being inherently violent. Well, we have plenty of war timelines to justify this. The question rather is, why are we violent? What makes us innately so brutal. The answer is simple yet very complicated, survival. It is for survival for which we all strive. There are numerous natural life and death cycles for the survival of the fittest. Can you imagine a world where the concept of death didn’t exist? If that was the case, there wouldn’t have been enough space for us to breathe. The instinct and need for survival keep us going no matter what comes in our way in the form of obstacles. According to the WHO, violence is “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, underdevelopment or deprivation”(source). In simple terms, violence is when you harm or kill others. There is no wonder that there are several documentaries made on serial killers which are successful in the show industry because each one of us, no matter how much we deny it, have a darker side and call for violence. The debate of whether violence is a part of the primitive nature of human beings has been around for a while and still continues to be in full force.

     Irreversible losses and extreme destruction caused for no good reason during the eras of wars have indirectly hit our softer spots and in turn, has strengthened the preaching of nonviolence. It is after centuries of bloodbath that it has clicked with fellow human beings that the causes for which dead bodies were being stacked can in fact be achieved calmly by being nonviolent. Fortunately for this realisation, we are not getting ready for battlefields today, but we still do face violence in different forms. Violence is unnecessary because humans have brains that can be put to logical use of human reasoning and acquire that for which violence was being considered. Despite this, it is not a fact for celebration. Though the intensity of violence in today’s world is significantly decreased, it is not yet completely abolished. As a matter of fact, we thankfully have nonviolence preached by Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi. As much as Jesus is known for his forgiveness similarly, Mahatma Gandhi is known for preaching and even implementing nonviolence. Nonviolence is a concept that believes in not causing intentional harm to oneself or others in any given condition. Nonviolence is not a concept to be mugged up but rather an emotion that needs to be felt deep within. It is in contrast with the horrendous idea of violence. Nonviolence indirectly preaches something else; can you guess what that could be? The answer is love. Nonviolence is based on the concept of love. It is the method of getting things accomplished in terms of love and kindness other than fear and hatred. Love spreads unity amongst human beings and a passionate emotion of belonging. Love binds us all together and holds the potential to make the world a better place.

     What’s remarkable about nonviolence is that it actually works. Nonviolence leads to the nonphysical manifestation of whatever is desired. Amidst all this, where does education play a role? Especially in India, nonviolence is preached by highlighting the methods and teachings of the great Mahatma Gandhi. If educating masses about nonviolence is extremely result-driven, then today, the graph of violence should have dropped to null, but that’s not the case. This makes us wonder whether the concept of nonviolence is only for the books. We learn huge and lengthy answers regarding nonviolence in school with good marks and not good ethics. The problem lies right here. Our education system only teaches us to mug up things and not give us a chance to contemplate. The preaching of nonviolence successfully teaches more about how great Mahatma Gandhi was rather than about nonviolence itself. As of 2021, between January and May, 2,383 cases of only domestic violence were filed by women. Rape cases again saw a spike, with the rise of 833 cases only filed in India. Violence is about wars and bloodshed and is also present in various forms such as physical abuse, domestic violence, economic abuse, and psychological abuse. No matter how educated the society is in the year 2021, it is still seeing the helpless circumstances brought in action by the terrorist organization “Taliban.” The trust an individual places in another human being is often taken for granted and misused. There is violence against communities such as Hindus and Muslims in various subtle forms, which often gets neglected by the media. If selfishness was a type of violence, today, this planet would have reeked of the same. No wonder that violence is undoubtedly capable of getting you things quickly, but towards the end, love is what will truly make you live.

by Harshita Kirnalli

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