The history of India makes us proud of its rich culture and teachings. If we read our ancient texts, then we will get to know that ‘Ahimsa” is a very old concept and it has evolved. The main weapons of Mahatma Gandhi, i.e., Satyagraha and Ahmihsa, have their roots in our ancient texts.
The doctrine of non-violence and truth has been explained in Upnishads. The non-violence explained in Chandogya Upanishad verse 3.14.4. Yogasutra of Patanjali describes five rules which include Ahimsa. The beauty of ‘Ahimsa’ is further described in Valmiki’s Ramayana and Ramchaitmanas of Tulsidas, even in Mahabharata, Ahimsa is described as the highest duty. Also, Bhagwad Gita teaches ‘Ahimsa’, even Jainism and Buddhism teach ‘Ahimsa’.
All these references are very important if we see the hypocrisy of the present society. Today, right-wing people talk about our history, culture, religion and safety, but they never follow what has been described in all our ancient texts.
Right-wingers glorify the one who killed Mahatma Gandhi; they talk about nationalism and culture, but the truth is that they are the ones who are destroying the basic feature of our culture, and they have no clue about our past. Their leaders have kept them in the dark, otherwise, how will they participate in violent acts, riots, mob lynching and all sorts of crimes?
No text has ever preached mob lynching, untouchability, communalism and spreading hatred, but it is what most of the right-wingers and other people are following. Mahatma Gandhi used Ahimsa as a weapon against the British Raj to unite people; it is also a proven fact that violent tactics have always failed, but Satyagraha has always won.
Unfortunately, in the current scenario, people who criticize Gandhi have no idea about our culture and history. They call Gandhi a weak leader and support Nathu Ram Godse, who himself was so weak that he killed Gandhi.
On the other hand, Gandhi was so strong that he called off the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922 when Chauri Chara incidence took place, where 22 policemen died because of the attack of the protesters. Gandhi knew that by withdrawing at that moment, he would attract criticism, but he thought about the people at large and waited to educate them about the power of non-violent protest.
In recent years, it has become a fashion to criticize the ideas of Gandhi without reading even a single book about him.
No doubt that India was a land of Ahimsa, but for political gains and vote bank, history is being twisted, and the youth considers it a very cool thing to reject the teachings of Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi had rightly said that Ahimsa is meant for the brave and never the cowardly. And, unfortunately, in today’s world, we have more cowards—such levels of a coward that when an elected Member of Parliament repeatedly praises Gandhi’s killer, then the iron man of our Parliament remains silent.
It is the compulsion of the right-wing leaders to ignore our glorious history which taught even the Mahatma about Satyagraha. Gandhi followed the teaching of Vedas that non-violence and truth are the two components for the greatest good of all. Though Mahatma Gandhi was killed on 30th January 1948, we are killing his ideas daily, and if we follow the path shown by him, then he will live forever through his ideas.
If we love our country and call its history glorious, then we should read the ancient texts and understand that we have been advised to follow Ahimsa, not violence. If someone wants to protect our culture, then he should support the Satyagrah, Ahimsa, all the non-violent protests, freedom of expression, secularism and equality to all religions and gender.
After reading Mahatma Gandhi’s principles or text of any religion, one will understand that other than their politically motivated leaders, no one has ever supported violence and hatred, and our history teaches us brotherhood, not hate-mongering.
So, no doubt that the history of India teaches us about Ahimsa, but unfortunately, in the present situation, we need to fight to teach the right history to regain Ahimsa, a non- violent fight!