More than 7000 wars (big and small) have been fought in the
history of the world. People are killed in wars. The means of living become
scarce. The prices of things touch an ever-new high. That is why we are afraid
of war and want to abolish it. Yet, wars break out every now and then.
Conflicting national interests and ambitions create an atmosphere of war and
armies are sent to the battlefront. It is necessary to consider seriously why
all this is happening after all?
We seek a solution to every problem in social life. Society
creates a problem and it is society which resolves it that is our firm belief.
I do not want to say that there is no element of truth in it. What I wish to
emphasize is that certain individuals are more responsible for war than
society as a whole. If those occupying the seats of power and authority are
able to keep their passions under control, a situation of war would never
Have we ever thought of prescribing in essential
qualification for the aspirants to power and authority that they must be
trained in non-violence, and those who fail to undergo such training, should
be declared ineligible for the highest posts? Have we ever given it a serious
consideration that training in non-violence should be made compulsory for the
Legislators, the Members of Parliament and the Judges? If we cannot think in
terms of controlling violence in social and national life, how can we hope to
Society is ridden by strong racial prejudices; communal
bigotry is no less strong. Such a state naturally leads to conditions ranging
from minor conflicts to fullscale wars. Training in non-violence should be
imparted to all men, but particularly to the intelligentsia which provides
leadership to society.
We do not want to confine training in non-violence to the
spheres of social service, co-operation and patriotism. As we see it, the
fundamental basis of such training is a change of heart. Without bringing
about a change of heart or the transformation of the mind, there can be no
progress in non-violence. The very creation of individuals devoted to
non-violence marks the development of non-violence on the social level. A
celebrated Anuvrat maxim reads:
Social revolution through individual transformation leading
to national regeneration.
It seems to me that we have not paid adequate attention to
the training of individuals. We have been more active in the field of social
reformation. Individual transformation or social change constitutes a partial
approach. However, keeping in view both the individual and society, training
in non-violence can become more comprehensive and all inclusive. It is not our
intention to neglect training for social reformation. Our objective is the
creation of a healthy society through the development of unique
individualities. Without training in non-violence, it does not seem possible
to change the social manners and mores. During the past eight decades, many
experiments have been made to change the social, economic and political
systems. It seems to me, however, that we have quite neglected the aspect of
bringing about a change of heart. That is why our experiments, though at first
they seemed to be successful, ultimately failed. The cause of this failure
seems to be an order devoid of individuality and our indifference towards
effecting a psychological transformation. Our effort here, though meagre from
a numerical point-of-view, cannot be said to be insignificant, qualitatively.
We believe that if we start our work, keeping the change of heart, i.e. the
transformation of the mind at the centre, our success is bound to increase
progressively. No one dare to challenge the movement of non-violence.
Confirmed in that belief, let's march forward.