India: The Elusive Ideal of Non-Violence

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Associate Professor, Сhair of International Relations, Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
Affiliation: Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 10

The author of the article engages in polemics with Russian Indologists (A.L.Safronova, S.I.Lunev etc), who insists that the opposition movement in India is based on the principles of non-violence. They see the roots of the practice of non-violence in the fundamental concepts of Hinduism and Jainism, such as karma, Dharma, Ahimsa, as well as in the caste division of Indian society. And recall Gandhi’s civil disobedience campaigns. The historical experience of India shows that violence in the national culture of this country is no less than the rejection of it. According to the number of assassinations of top officials (Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi), India can be on a par with the United States and Tsarist Russia. Clashes between peasants and landowners, untouchables (Dalits) and members of the upper castes, during the strikes of workers rarely do without human casualties, and the destruction and material damage amount to billions of rupees. The author gives examples from the Naxalite movement, the protests of women and Dalits, the confrontation in Kashmir and from clashes at Sabarimala temple in Kerala in the beginning of 2019. Readers can recall the events of 1922, when in the town of Chauri-Chaura protesters burned alive 22 policemen. Then M.Gandhi himself said: «India was not yet non-violent enough to embark on a campaign of civil disobedience”. The author concludes: Violence is as widespread in India as non-violence. This applies both to today and to the time when M.Gandhi was at the head of the liberation movement of the Indian people.

KeywordsIndia, non-violence, protest movement, Naxalites, Kashmir, M.Gandhi
Publication date31.10.2019
Number of characters9894
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