Friday, October 2, 2009

Show them no fear

A violent method constitutes the act of inflicting or the threat to inflict physical harm to a person, a larger group or some inanimate object of use or importance to those people. There are times, when committing such an act, becomes unavoidable, given the circumstances. The need for peace in a longer term sometimes warrants that we have a war, now. This is not a bad method. In fact, in the human history , this has been used many a times, and good results have come of it. But, there has been a man, whose approach was as courageous as the violent and life endangering one, yet it differs so much that it is the other end of the spectrum . I need not mention his name; we all know who he was. What struck me now is that even his non-violent method had the intent to attack, destroy or break the enemy. But the object of destruction here is not the body but the mind. It is the spirit of the enemy that needs to be crushed, and if you crush that, you crush the enmity in him, not the enemy. It is very simple, yet profound. It is very human, and at the same time very divine.

Go back a few decades. Imagine a situation where a gora is threatening you with a big fat stick. He is visibly belligerent, itching to use his baton on your brown behind. But you still don’t budge. The gora sniggers, “Wait, till I land a juicy one on the spot”, says he. And his hand comes down. Wham! You are hit, and hurt. You are bleeding. It knocked the living daylights out of you. You almost peed. But deep down, you know that you cannot let go. The enemy must go down. You muster all the strength you can, and you get up. And when you stand on your feet again, look at the gora, defiant, rebellious , proud and indefatigable, not at all vanquish able , what do you think will happen? The gora might strike again. In fact, he might descend on you with untold savagery, a few more times. And if you come back up, like a hit-me-doll, resilient as the phoenix, every time, his spirit will be crushed. He will give up.

“What is going on? What the bloody hell is going on? I hit, and I give it to him hard, and he still doesn’t run away, like he is supposed to do. He should either run away with his tail between his legs, or he should fight back. He doesn’t run, but he doesn’t retaliate as well. What kind of bravery is this? I am so bloody confused. Bloody hell! This guy has got some bollocks. “ I think some similar thoughts will run through his mind . :)

That is true victory. He might still wave the baton at you, threateningly, every now and then. He will curse and spit at you, for that is all he can do. But he dare not hit you again. He is mentally weak, exhausted. His mind is panting. He is afraid, and confused. You are almost invincible to him. That is what a non-violent struggle is all about , the way I see it .

That is the brilliance of a great man. The first one of his kind. And a kind nobody has ever come close to. That is why the World knows him. And if a few, or rather quite a few of Indians swear at him or his methods, it is not because it didn’t or won’t work. It is more because they do not understand it. The same can be said for those, who utter his name at the drop of a hat, and pretend to follow his ways. They do not understand his methods as well. And I cannot start on how his name is being cashed these days.

No matter what happens, you have to fight back, injustice, inequality, persecution, aggression, whatever may it be. But you have to fight it. Neither do you wear the badge of belligerence, and be bellicose all the time, nor do you cloak it under cowardice, and label it as peaceful and non-violent . You fight back, the way you can. The natural urge, being the animals we are, is to resort to brute force. But if your spirit and intelligence is human, you will know what to do. As any method, it has its pros and cons. The pro is that it is the best, in terms of human suffering. The person, suffering the violence will get stronger if he survives. The person inflicting the suffering, will resist or completely stop it. And look at how, even here, there is an act of violence involved. The con here is that, it is slow, it involves patience on your part, and the strength to bear the pain you experience.

Imagine a virtual world , where two warriors are battling against each other, using mental and not physical force . Picture that their light sabers are powered and maneuvered not by the muscles but by their spirits .

It is that simple. The both have certain flaws, they both work, but one, is better than the other, given how humane it is.

I must add, that had I been born in 1914, I would have hitched myself to Bose or Bhagat Singh & Azad. That is what I want. It doesn’t imply that I do understand what “Satyagraha” is all about. And Bhagat Singh and his gang of brave men, did practice the non-violent method, before and after Saunder’s death and the assembly blast incidents, when they were protesting with Lalajee and when they went on a 114 day hunger strike. Do not curse Him, because you love Bhagat Singh, and his kind of revolutionaries. Do not look down upon these young men or dismiss their struggle as a lesser one, just because you worship Him. It saddens me so much, when people compare them with the intent of labeling one as a better or greater one. It breaks my heart that Bhagat Singh jee’s birthday went unnoticed.

We must fight, whenever life puts in such a situation. We must engage the enemy, whenever or however he strikes at us. But we must do it the way we deem fit.

To the Great Man . It took me a while to understand his method.





My lecture on “Violence and Non-violence is over”. If you still can not figure out who is He, please , for the love of Mother India and Humanity, end your life, as non-violently as possible.

15 comments:

hitch writer said...

A great ode...

it truly takes time for us to understand the man...

debate here or there... he got people to follow... and frankly his methods were by no means easy...

The most lovely line I felt was dont hate him coz you love Bhagat Singh... !!!

Wonderful post Kisly !!!

ramblingsbybones said...

Wonderful, absolutely wonderful!

Pangala Nagendra Rao said...

You have spoken my heart words.
If violence is for the purpose of self defence then it is not "Himsa" because you are protecting the basic right of every living being i.e. to live.
It is really sad that Many freedom fighters were unnoticed just because they were on the path which can not be encashed to get publicity, vote bank and which requires real pure daring heart to accept those.
2nd October is also birth day of Lal Bahadur Shastri, but how many people know? Who has tried to unleash the mystery behind Shastriji's Death?
And now getting tag of "Non-Violence Loving Nation" what are we achieving? Incursion in LOC and LAC! 26/11 and unanswered Kasab still daring to ask Biryani, Afjal Guru daring to question the Indian Law and North East separatist attacks, maosits, naxals etc are still not handled!! And who is suffering? We the common man!! Still we do not leave any chance to enjoy the 3 days long weekend forgetting all these. "Hail (Hell) to India"

BK Chowla said...

You have expressed yourself very well.A lot of people are suffering in silence.
Shastri,Gndhi,Bose,Bhagat Singh..they are all forgotten heroes.Unfortunately,certain families have got such a grip on the Indian politics that the real freedom fighters have been lost in the crowd.

Mavin said...

Hmmm......

Makes you think...does'nt it?

A potent formula and desire to be masters of our own destiny.

Unfortunately, the brown slave has become the brown sahib and perhaps more corrupt, greedy and ruthless that the Gora sahib who preceeded him.

Is it time to use that magic formula again?..

Anrosh said...

let's think of what can we do to bring up these heroes to ALL- kislay.

Crafty said...

when can i hug u kisaly??? here? now? sounds good to me! ok then!

((((((((((hugs)))))))))

this is beautiful, this post, this ode! what a wonderful way to have wished him...

i agreee with u so so much on that point of how we pit one method over another... there are possible several approaches to counter a problem at hand, with differing pros and cons and effects... but as the great man himself said, "the end justifies the means"

why compare...

u said it brilliantly - we must engage the enemy!! yes! and its just not fair to deem one method, one ideology inferior to another... the intetions wer honest, that itself makes every ideology superior... it was for greater good.

every bit thought - inspiring, this post of urs!

u busy bee? hope works fine?
hugssss!

Winnie the poohi said...

How do we end out life non violently? :D

Though I can agree in theory.. I find the method quite masochistic really! Thats my personal opinion..

Charakan said...

Good post Kislay, Gandhiji's method was unique and was more difficult. That may be the reason that he is held in so high regard through out the World. He inspired many other leaders like Martin Luther King and Mandela and continue to inspire many resistance movements. Bhaghat Singh and Bose were great heroes but their appeal do not go beyond the generation they lived because their revolutionary philosophies were not unique and was in turn inspired from Left movements of Europe .

Mridul said...

The first thing that came to my mind was the thought of your post splashed on posters and history text books.. Don't ask me why.

Our fore fathers had more nationalism than we do. In place of nationalism, we have a docile nation, divided by meaningless issues. Isn't it ironic that so many millions struggle because the power is held by a few?

And yet the ordinary man has all the power to change his miserable situation

indianhomemaker said...

"The first one of his kind. And a kind nobody has ever come close to. " Well said Kislay!

I feel violence might be difficult to use if the enemy is physically or politically stronger, but like Martin Luther King proved with is success, Gandhi's methods work even if the enemy is politically stronger, better trained, also if the enemy is an authority figure.


I also read an article today which spoke of many other things which Gandhi taught and we seem to forget, punctuality, compassion, self discipline, simple living-high thinking, an openness to debate, an open mind, equality for women, a liberal attitude... I feel like any iconic figure Gandhi's name is often used to push people's own views.

Good to read you say, It is that simple. The both have certain flaws, they both work, but one, is better than the other, given how humane it is.

J P Joshi said...

A very thought provoking post - yes, both methods have their pros and cons, and need to be used depending on the circumstances - non-violence though is the more difficult path but can wear down your opponent, because he too has a conscience.

Very well put across post.

nimis540 said...

where are you buddy..

Kislay said...

Thank you everyone . :)

indyeahforever said...

I agree with what you are saying Kislay...I mean the part about non-violence and the man who made it it his way of life and the lives of so many others....



I wrote about him sometime back on his death anniversary... and was re-reading that post of mine...

What struck me now is that even his non-violent method had the intent to attack, destroy or break the enemy. But the object of destruction here is not the body but the mind. It is the spirit of the enemy that needs to be crushed, and if you crush that, you crush the enmity in him, not the enemy. It is very simple, yet profound. It is very human, and at the same time very divine.

I absolutely agree Kislay...

Infact where I agree with you the most is here

It saddens me so much, when people compare them with the intent of labeling one as a better or greater one.


I too respect both the methods and the men and women who followed them...

the times were different , the needs were different...


But sometimes I wonder(and these thoughts cropped up when I read your post yesterday:) so dont mind me ..I am just rambling)

Would Gandhi JI have been as successful had the enemy been Japan? infamous for its torturous methods and the expertise I dare say in psychological warfare...
or what if the enemy had been Hitler?


the thought also comes to mind that this was a man who asked Britain to surrender to Hitler and had asked jews to walk into gas chambers...


I admire the man..make no mistake about that... his intentions were always noble...but perhaps his methods could only work with an 'enemy' (I use enemy in this sense because for the mahatma there was no 'enemy'):) ...an enemy who was not so inhuman so as to disregard every possible human level of decency... an enemy that still held its notions of propriety dear...
this enemy minded its P's and Q's in public and never wanted to be caught in an embarrassing situation....it had certain morals and ethics when all was said and done..

the same cannot however be said of the Nazis or the Japanese....

GandhiJi's (and India's) good fortune was that his opponents were the British....


keep in mind that the same man who said
Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.

also said "Man for man, the strength of non-violence is in exact proportion to the ability, not the will, of the non-violent person to inflict violence." now THIS does give some food for thought no?:)

and also

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. Violence is any day preferable to impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent."


now this makes his principle much much more clearer to me:)

*sigh* I am rambling Kislay...
anyway the point is that I respect and admire both kinds of men and women who followed these two radically different paths but I also believe that Gandhiji perhaps met an enemy on whom Ahimsa worked like magic :)
it was the time..it was the situation..it all came together to give birth to the miracle that we know today as the concept of Ahimsa :)



the ramble has become a long one I know:)
and I have digressed from the topic of your post too ...just wanted to share the thoughts in my head right now:)