Approaching Definitions

Approaching Definitions

To answer whether how we see nonviolence – either as negative (preventing or curtailing violence or conflict) or as more open. The answer for this is the quote of Capatini which suggest “using the term everybody with the same reverence used for God. Openness to everybody must be cultivated day by day, so as to create a simple reference point and a habit”

In view of the several episodes of violence occurring in different contexts of society, the analysis of the relationship between violence and education, along with the aspects of education representing its legitimation, is becoming more and more an issue of crucial pedagogical concern. In this reflection one must not only take into account the “explicit” form of violence, which occurs among people through “physical actions”, but also “epistemic” violence, which takes place through the imposition of visions of the world, social roles, cognitive categories, thus triggering social exclusion and inequality. A more authentic image of violence requires one to consider it from the point of view of those subjected to it.

In Capitini’s framework, the notion of “openness” stands for comprehension and empathy towards everyone, which therefore becomes a fundamental educational principle opposing authoritarianism and violence. In this sense, “opened- 183 educations” refers to an educational process with the capacity to make people aware of what Capitini calls “everybody’s reality”: “it is necessary”, Capitini says, Further, openness means “including others and possibly everyone, allowing free development, movement and, much more than in the past, providing approaches and links towards others” (Capitini, 1956: 23). Such inclusion is not only theoretical, but represents a practical orientation and an educational action, because “it is not possible to forgo the question of others”

In Afghanistan the national peace in reconciliation process is an example of Captini’s model. Armed opposition groups opposing the current regime was offered by influential Jihadi elements who has the support of international community and the Afghan government so that peace negotiation is offered with great degree of respect, openness, active participation and direct peace talks; all parties must tolerate and listen to each other with dignity and respect in order to reach a solution. However, the political influence of countries in the region play negative role because the peace deal between different groups would undermine some of these countries political interests in Afghanistan. In tribal front, also there are lots of up and downs and issues which needs open door policy in order to be resolve so, I am of the idea that Captini’s model works better in tribal and social front but not in political settlements and not with those conflicts which has political agenda.

Nonviolence is an alternative to violence to achieve worthwhile goals. Hence, promoting the use of nonviolent action seems un-problematical. To compare the dilemmas of nonviolence, one can easily distinguish between principled and pragmatic nonviolence, two traditions within nonviolence thinking and action. Principled nonviolence is the Gandhian approach. Nonviolence is a way of life, encompassing personal behavior, thoughts and social arrangements as well as methods used in struggles with others. In the principled approach, the decision not to use physical force is made on ethical grounds: it is considered wrong to hurt or kill others. Though the refusal to use violence is primary, there are still practical decisions to be made about which methods of nonviolent action will be more effective.

With Gandhi, the notion of nonviolence attained a special status. He not only theorized on it, he adopted nonviolence as a philosophy and an ideal way of life. He made us understand that the philosophy of nonviolence is not a weapon of the weak; it is a weapon, which can be tried by all.
Nonviolence was not Gandhi’s invention. He is however called the father of nonviolence because according to Mark Shepard, “He raised nonviolent action to a level never before achieved.” Krishna Kripalani again asserts “Gandhi was the first in Human history to extend the principle of nonviolence from the individual to social and political plane.” While scholars were talking about an idea without a name or a movement, Gandhi is the person who came up with the name and brought together different related ideas under one concept.

Nonviolence “lack of desire to harm or kill”) is the personal practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the environment is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence based on moral, religious or spiritual principles.

Nonviolence also has ‘active’ or ‘activist’ elements, in that believers accept the need for nonviolence as a means to achieve political and social change. Thus, for example, the Tolstoy and Gandhi nonviolence is a philosophy and strategy for social change that rejects the use of violence, but at the same time sees nonviolent action (also called civil resistance) as an alternative to passive acceptance of oppression or armed struggle against it. In general, advocates of an activist philosophy of nonviolence use diverse methods in their campaigns for social change, including critical forms of education and persuasion, mass noncooperation, civil disobedience, nonviolent direct action, and social, political, cultural and economic forms of intervention.

Nonviolence needs to be better understood, and employed, both as a tactic in the service of social and political change–often described as “nonviolent direct action;” people nonviolently protesting and often risking arrest to call attention to injustice but also as a guiding philosophy of how we humans need to evolve in order to live with each other and with our fragile environment. Generally, practitioners of nonviolence agree on a few overarching principles. Respect for those who disagree with you is an important one–there is no “hate” or “enemy” involved, even if we loathe the policies of government officials we are protesting.

Indeed, nonviolent resisters seek not to “defeat” those who disagree with them, but to transform the relationship from adversarial to cooperative in the redress of injustice. For most nonviolent direct actions, participants come up with a code of conduct to follow in the action, which usually include (1. Respecting others, including policy makers, law enforcement personnel and counter protestors, 2. Refraining from physical or verbal violence, 3.Abstaining from drug or alcohol use or possession and 4.Respecting group decision-making and agreeing on the tactical scenario of action)

Nonviolence is justice, peace, energy and loves; because it gives one a peace of mind which is a strength and collection of all mentioned above including a power and force.

The Gandhian strategy is the combination of truth, sacrifice, non- violence, selfless service and cooperation. According to Gandhi one should be brave and not a coward. He should present his views, suggestions and thoughts without being violent. One should fight a war with the weapons of truth and nonviolence. Gandhi said that “There is no god higher than truth.” According to Gandhi’s thoughts, non- violence is ultimate solution of every kind of problem in the world. In present scenario, Satyagraha is more than a political tool of resistance. It is a holistic approach towards life, based on the ideals of truth and moral courage. The similarities of the Satyagraha to some of the greatest philosophical and religious tenets of the world have been observed and much written about. Gandhi’s system of Satyagraha was based on nonviolence, non-co-operation, truth and honesty. Gandhi used nonviolence in India’s freedom struggle as main weapon and India became independent from British rule. In present times, there are some live examples which show the success of Non- violence resistance by using Ghandhian strategy. Mahatma Gandhi was against any form of exploitation and injustice. According to him, evils must be opposed at any cost. But he insisted that the weapons must be nonviolent and moral ones. The adoption of peaceful method made one superior and put the enemy at a disadvantage but the condition is the opponent must be dealt with mutual respect and love. Gandhi believed that only through love an enemy could be permanently won.

The first step in non-violence is that we cultivate in our daily life, as between ourselves, truthfulness, humility, tolerance, and loving kindness.–Gandhi

Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” This statement is as electrifying on the nth repetition as it was the first time I heard it. In a world of talk, of weak advocacy, Gandhi said, talk is not enough. We can best express a belief by putting our bodies on the line, by making statements with our bodies, but by doing so in a manner that is honorable and peaceful. He defined for the world a beautiful, and sometimes quite effective, form of expression, known as nonviolence.


Gandhi’s Philosophy of Nonviolence

·         Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]”————————  16 April 1963 My Dear Fellow Clergymen.

·         Nonviolence by Jonathan Wallace Education and Nonviolence in the work of Aldo Capitini Marco Catarci

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