Give Non-Violence a Chance – A Dialogue


A day-long seminar on “Give Nonviolence a Chance” was organized by Gandhi Peace Mission, Kerala in association with GSDS and on May 3, 2018 at Gandhi Darshan Rajghat. Many eminent Gandhians, academicians, professors, scholars and intellectuals took part in this seminar.

Director GSDS Shri Dipanker Shri Gyan, in his keynote address, specified the need of this discussion. He mentioned that there is a basic difference between animals and human beings. He said that conflict is a nature of ‘jungle’. But in today’s society crime and conflict is increasing day by day among and between human beings. Perhaps it is happening because jungle or forests are decreasing every day and we are converting and developing forest land into the residence, that’s why jungle nature is emerging in human society and animals are becoming pet animals.

“Developed nations have initiated towards nonviolent conflict resolution and the change is seen when heads of two Korean nations cross the border together. The same tradition should be followed in each and every street and corner of the society so that we could move towards a nonviolent society and peaceful life”, he said.

Kumar Shekhar Chancellor of Shobhit University who also moderated the discussion, emphasized to not to make Gandhi a God. ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ as Mahatma Gandhi had said. Nonviolence must start from us. Making strict laws is not a way to nonviolence. “Nonviolence doesn’t only mean being non-violent towards human, but also love and care for animals, nature, culture and understanding conscious and subconscious psychology of others in a positive way is real nonviolence”.

Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, Former Director GSDS and Chairperson of Gandhi Peace Mission, Kerala said that the last adventure of Mahatma Gandhi was in Noakahli where he stressed on the message –‘Do not kill’. It was the most powerful message of nonviolence.

“Today we are here to think that what we have learned from Gandhi and what he has given us in his whole life. The magic of bringing people together is the strength of Mahatma Gandhi. We all should decide our mission towards promoting nonviolence. Today we do not have time for conversation and communication with our children, spouse and family members and this is aggravating the problem”, said Dr. Radhakrishnan.

He further emphasized: “Make ‘Give a chance to nonviolence and not killing’ a mission. Violence to nonviolence to not killing should be mission”.

Dr. Radhakrishnan said that the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi should be much more than celebrating programmes and establishing new buildings and bhavans in the name of Gandhi. “We must prepare an action plan for the nation. Rope a hope of happiness, harmony, prosperity, love and nonviolence.

He further suggested the following three measures as core values of nonviolence:

  • Tolerance
  • Respect and
  • Compassion

Prof. K. G. Suresh, Director General, Indian Institute of Mass Communication raised a point that “Give non-violence a chance should be a civilian initiative”. Gandhi is now limited to printing on Indian currency.

Promoting the culture of ‘acceptance’ is much more effective than ‘tolerance’. Except for the unity of the nation and celebrate the diverse taste of the culture of the oneness in the country.
Dr. K.G Suresh also declared if peace teams could help in preparing a module or syllabus, IIMC would include this subject ‘Non-violence’ in the curriculum. He also suggested organizing a one or two day-long workshop at IIMC.

Dr. Y.P Anand former Director, National Gandhi Museum said that ‘Killing is limit to the newspapers. Gandhi used to give the example of family. In the family, we never try to kill each other. There is a sense of oneness and belongingness. The whole world is one family and we belong to this family only. No one is our enemy, everyone is everyone’s friend”.

Prof. T.K. Thomas, Chairman Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore Foundation in his address stressed that nonviolence is not a one day affair; it is a long-term affair and for that we should think across and talk with children and youth, define the concept of non-violent communication to them and include their voice in the curriculum as Dr. K.G Suresh had proposed earlier. We should think that what tangible things we are going to do in this whole mission”.

Shri Basant ji said that there is a district in Bihar named Munger which was famous as a centre for Yoga. But unfortunately, today it has become popular for making bomb and pistols. The reason behind this emerging violent practice in the form of making the bomb destroyed the prevalent art (yoga) of the area. No one wants to learn and practice their paternal skills and handicrafts. The new generation doesn’t want to run their family business of inheritance. The local art is dying everywhere. We are losing our local karigars (artisans) also. He further reiterated what Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said that ‘art and culture is the only way to fight against violence and terrorism’.

The discussion concluded with the decision to make ‘‘Give a chance to nonviolence and not-killing’, a mission.