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.