Essay Peace Nonviolence

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A decade later, in 1930, in his most famous and dramatic campaign—the salt satyagraha—Gandhi again used mass protest to make visible the illegitimacy of British rule. Gandhi asked Indians to defy the salt tax, the government monopoly on the production and sale of salt.

Disobeying this tax was too innocuous to justify violent state repression.

Gandhi began the salt satyagraha by leading a group of his closest associates in a thrilling 25-day, 240-mile march.

Each day the suspense around Gandhi’s imminent arrest and popular unrest excited public attention.

From the right, nonviolence is seen as weak, emasculated nationalism.

And even Gandhians themselves insist that nonviolence is a way of life that would be disfigured by treating it as a political tactic.For protests to be nonviolent, however, disruption itself has to be disciplined.Protestors have to show restraint, often through a willingness to sacrifice and suffer.In the century since, satyagraha has become better known as nonviolent direct action or simply nonviolence, and it has spread globally, establishing itself as a potent force in the U. civil rights movement, the anti-authoritarian struggles of the 1980s and 1990s such as the “people power” movement in the Philippines and Czechoslovakia’s “Velvet Revolution,” and the Arab Spring of 2011.And yet, for all its success, what exactly nonviolent action is, and how it works, has become less and less clear, an ambiguity that could hamper its usefulness in a landscape increasingly characterized by intense economic and political polarization.Both the meaning of the word “nonviolence” and the concept of nonviolence itself have become ambiguous in the years since Gandhi’s great successes.Nowhere is this clearer than India, where nonviolence is so closely associated with Gandhi himself that it’s difficult to ask serious questions about it.Vatican City – On 4-5 April, the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.for Promoting Integral Human Development and Pax Christi International’s Catholic Nonviolence Initiative organized a workshop on the theme, “Path of Nonviolence: Towards a Culture of Peace.” Final statement affirmed by workshop participants (in English, français, español) Cardinal Peter Turkson’s opening remarks Additional materials presented at the workshop are available here With a consideration and understanding of current situations of conflict and violence, participants engaged in dialogue about the roots of violence, the hope for peace and reconciliation, and reflected on paths to a conversion to nonviolence.Thus, the wider argument about what Gandhi represents in India has obscured questions about the value and meaning of nonviolence there. They successfully built up a repertoire of protest techniques that captured and developed core elements of Gandhi’s original project.Globally, nonviolence has become defined as a set of universal and portable political techniques, but its goals have changed significantly over time. Successful nonviolent direct action came to be defined by two key aspects: disruption and discipline.


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