Editorial

Power Of Non-Violence Protest….

In the last 70-odd years, the practice of non-violence has developed in two, almost parallel, dimensions. One is purely tactical and aims to defeat those in power by denying them what they crave. The other is more morally imaginative and Gandhian in essence. It assumes that those who wield power can be made to see the error of their ways and come to the path of justice. It is vital to remember that a combination of both these dimensions has worked in diverse situations. There is even available evidence that, across the world, this has worked more often than violent insurgency. In a time of darkness, there is merit in acknowledging those who have kept the pathways lit simply by relentlessly striving for and experimenting with non-violence. This is even more energising when you realise that these continuing experiments are the work of ordinary people — not saints. defining moments of non-violent struggle happen when those who control state power effectively want obedience and don’t care for the true power that comes from voluntary participation by the citizenry. Last but not least, non-violent struggle needs almost infinite reserves of patience. This may seem counter-intuitive. When you consider the farmers freezing at the Singhu border, it does seem that it is the government that has the advantage of out-waiting the protesters. Those who equate power with obedience can more easily appear immovable and in no hurry. Actually, they only win if those fighting for justice give up and withdraw into a shell of defeated helplessness. Non-violent protests become unbeatable by constantly seeking new ways to deepen their resolve and reaffirming faith in possibilities we cannot immediately actualise.

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