India has been an absorbing nation. From the prehistoric period right to the colonial rule, Indians have always been multifarious and welcoming.
However, the turn of the 21st century saw the world becoming globalized, has its share of violence, xenophobia, and religious discrimination. If one revisits history, it is evident that India was always an intriguing land that attracted the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks, Mughals, and finally, the British. There was resistance then also, however, what mattered was the type of resistance shown.
At present, India is a land of Ahimsa as propounded by Gandhi Ji and inspired by the teachings of Buddha and Mahavira. It is a land of logic, where the rule of law is supreme, where the independence of judiciary and executive is sacrosanct and cannot be tampered with.
The concept of Ahimsa is so strong that it got us freedom from our colonial masters. It was a unique movement, something unheard of in those times when usually the call of the day was bloodshed and violence. Such was the alacrity of this movement that it became a mass movement and people readily joined and courted arrest.
Similar to the Shaheen Bagh protest and closer home in Park Circus in Kolkata is a group of women leading the march against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). What’s unique is their determination and non-violent manner of prayers, petition, and protests—despite rains, apathy from certain sections and their kin, these women show that Gandhian principles are still valid today.
A student of mine, who is an advocate, is one such pillar. He regularly puts up updates and information on the movement and its results. Moreover, it’s not only women and people from a certain community but people from all backgrounds—irrespective of their religious outcomes, who have taken to the streets today. This is true Ahimsa for me.
In an India which does make mistakes and a government which can be wrong, it is the people protesting peacefully, bravely, and impactfully, who reflect the true ideals of our constitution and its inclusiveness.