An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. There might me many causes for an individual to die for but there are no causes that makes an individual kill. On 2nd October, the birthday of M. K. Gandhi the UN member states observe as International Day of Non-Violence. M. K. Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, name given to him by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore was the leader of the Indian Independence movement and the pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.
The proposal of International Day of Non-Violence was taken from a Hindi teacher in Paris teaching international students to the World Social Forum in Bombay by Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi in January 2004. It was then, this idea gradually developed in the minds of leaders in the Congress Party, then in January 2007 in New Delhi a Satyagraha Conference resolution that was initiated by Sonia Gandhi and Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged the United Nations to adopt the idea.
On 15th June 2007, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution (A/RES/61/271) that established the commemoration of the International Day of Non-Violence. Introducing the resolution on behalf of 140 co-sponsors, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Anand Sharma, said that this resolution was a reflection of the universal respect for Mahatma Gandhi and lasting significance of his philosophy. He also quoted Mahatma Gandhi “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”
This day is observed to disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness. This resolution reaffirms the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence of the principle of non-violence and the desire to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence. On request of the Indian Ambassador at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, the United Nations Postal Administration in New York City prepared a special cachet that is used in all outgoing UNPA mail between Oct 2 and 31.
Gandhi’s vision and example have shown the world, what one man can do to change the world. It is very easy to have a violent independence movement but with the weapon of non-violence he made a vast nation like India which was then undivided and included Pakistan and Bangladesh become a free nation from the mighty British. Today there is global turmoil and transition, it’s apt that every person takes a moment to reflect on Gandhi’s message of understanding and peace. As we look around the world we see tolerance being tested, from Afghanistan to Syria, from Iraq to Nigeria fighting have taken a heavy toll. The world is going through an economic crisis that is fuelling xenophobia and other deadly forms of discrimination. Terrorism, human trafficking, rights abuses and violence against women is threatening millions of lives across the globe. Tackling the roots of conflict and intolerance will take a path of non-violence and peace. Yes, the government must lead, it is their responsibility. But that doesn’t mean it will ensure peace. The basic foundation of non-violence should be built by people.
Let’s make sincere efforts to work together to build a world of nonviolence and enduring peace.