Violence has strange notions attached to it. I, however, believe that India is still the land of Ahimsa.
India has over 5000 years of history behind it, India is the land of Ashokan idealism, it is the land of Nanak, Kabir, Gandhi, and so many prominent personalities. Time-and-again, India had demonstrated its ability to absorb settlers, and I think Jawaharlal Nehru’s magnum opus The Discovery of India vividly highlights this syncretic spirit of India.
However, the precedence of Kautiliyan realism has led to different groups to advocate the primacy of their own interests, and further, violence can be of various forms-institutionalized, state-sponsored, violence perpetrated by non-state actors, and so on.
As a conscious citizen, I firmly believe that India is still a land of ahimsa, and people can differ with me, they can cite the example of spikes in hate crimes. However, I sincerely believe that this an aberration in India’s secularistic ethos, which has no place of violence.
Instead of debating whether India is still a land of ahimsa or not, what is the need of the hour is that the fact that efforts should be made by people, particularly intra and inter-religious efforts, to stamp out violence from Indian society. Reaffirming India’s secular ethos is the need of the hour to retain the faith of the citizens in the Constitution and the Preamble of the country, which protects and safeguards their rights and privileges.