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Non-violence Relative Economics And A New Social Order: Non-violence and the Social Situation

Published: 18.06.2015

*Originally printed in Report of the National Youth Seminar, 1970.

The situation of the society today: There is (i) Poverty (ii) Due to poverty, pessimism, (iii) Racial riots, (iv) Communal riots.

So there is the need for change, and that too, a revolutionary change. Change can come in two ways (i) Violence (ii) Non-violence.

In violence, there is a force, compulsion. It brings bloody revolution. But non-violence deals with understanding, we being human, should follow the way which is a human way.

Non-violence, naturally is human way, how can it solve the social problems?

a. In Economy, if we want to improve, we must work hard that can be easily done by understanding, not by violence. Rich should be made to become trustees. If you kill the rich and take away their wealth, it will not be just and the attempt is bound to fail.

b. Good education too can be given. "Basic Education" can, no doubt bring a change - force is no use.

c. The racial riots, and problem of communal harmony can be solved only if both parties understand their duty. That only can result in permanent peace. By violence, by force of law, there will remain conflict in the hearts of the people, and that is bound to come out in the hearts of the people, and that is bound to come out after short time with greater speed.

d. Thus, force can bring about permanent result. For a few years, the changes may be good. But after a period, people will be fed up with force. Their life will be just like that of an animal. But in using non-violent means, the change of heart is there, and that change is permanent. Non-violence is thus, a slow but a sure way.

e. Look at Japan. In 20 years they have developed. It is no doubt a revolution and it is a non-violent revolution.

Violence is able to destroy faster, but it constructs slowly, while non-violence constructs quickly.

So Non-violence no doubt requires hard work and takes time but it is the sure way. It is sure, like SATYA. It is bitter in the beginning, blissful in the end.,_

This paper discusses the present situation of our society, need to change it through revolution and how to bring it about.

Looking to the society in our country and in many other countries, we find poverty which is undesirable. There are many persons who even do not get enough to eat, to wear, to live. The gulf between the rich and the poor is ever widening, as the rich go on getting richer and the poor poorer. This has resulted in increasing pessimism and decreasing morality amongst the people in general, and leaders in particular. In spite of the preachings of many persons, the racial discrimination is prevailing. The conflict, a pitiable conflict, is there between one caste and another. Communalism is creating many problems and bloody riots in many parts of our country from time to time. There is a constant lack of good leadership. The educational system is completely paralysed. The economy is suffering from inflation and the whole administration is committed to indecision.

These are the dominant features of our present social situation. We, no doubt, want to remove them. We want to bring about a society in which there is peace, harmony and economic equality. For this, a change is needed in the present state of affairs. But we want a fast change, a sudden change - in all, we want a revolutionary change.

But the problem is, whether to bring the revolution in society by violent ways or by non-violent ways. In a violent revolution, there is use of force, a compulsion practically all of the violent revolutions were bloody revolutions - at the cost of the lives of millions of people. Whereas the non-violent revolution is brought about by understanding - the people are convinced to follow a particular way. Thus, the revolution takes place in the minds of the masses.

We are human beings and human life is really the most superior life on the earth. We, therefore, should follow the ways which is a rational way, killing persons, destroying properties, forcing the individuals, these are not the ways which civilized human beings should follow. We should follow the way which harms none but helps all. And that way, as I think, is the non-violent way.

The simple question that follows is, can a non-violent way bring about the requisite change. Let us example this -

(a) to remove the inequalities and poverty, economic revolution is necessary. The first and foremost need is to work hard. Unless we work hard, we cannot have more production and economic development. By violent ways such as forcing people to work hard, we cannot bring permanent change. People after sometime, will definitely get fed up with constant threat of government. Man, always wants freedom, and when it is not provided, he does react, if not in the present then surely in the future. For all times to come, you cannot make people work hard by force. It can be achieved only if people really believe that they should work. They should be convinced to work hard. Thus non-violent way can definitely make people work for longer time as they are working of their own will, and not by force.

Rich persons should not be killed and forced to give away their property. If we take all their property in the public sector, the administrative difficulties are bound to arise. Even when we have so few public sector projects, we have failed in their administration.

The brains and ideas of rich are no doubt needed. If we snatch away wealth from rich, we will lose their co-operation in the working of industries and in producing wealth. But if, we are able to convince them, make them understand to be trustees, we will get their help in monetary terms as well as in administration.

The Government can develop small scale industries and agriculture without being violent. But the non-violent way requires a change in the thinking of people. For that, basic education, which we lack today, should be provided to all.

Every one should get this basic education. If it is given freely, I do not think that any force will be required. And when all have education, they will definitely try to uplift the country - the whole machinery will start working smoothly as in Japan. Without using force, but by understanding, in Japan they have developed so much. They worked hard without any threat or compulsion. No industries were changed from private sector to public sector. Still they progressed. This proves that it is not impossible to have economic development without violence and without naturalization.

(b) To remove the communal disharmony, racial discrimination and the differences of cast and creed, I think, in this area too nonviolence will be the best substitute.

By Government law, you cannot force the whites to behave well with the blacks, or Muslims with Hindus or Hindus with Harijans. It can at the most be temporary good behaviour. The ultimate aim is not achieved. To deal with conflicts in the hearts of the people, the only way is to change the hearts, change the way of thinking.

(c) Violence can destroy, faster, but create slowly. Non-violence creates fast.

(d) It is a new method with us. So far we have seen how the French had a revolution for better social reform. But what happened, poverty did remain. So far no one has tried Non-violence fully. It is the development of the age. Wherever used, e.g. in India by Gandhi, by Negros in the U.S.A. it is successful and in the social field too it will be successful. It requires hard work.

Sources

Title: Non-violence Relative Economics And A New Social Order
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati University, Ladnun, India
Editors: Prof. B.R. Dugar, Dr. Samani Satya Prajna, Dr. Samani Ritu Prajna
Edition: First Edition, 2008

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  1. Communal Harmony
  2. Gandhi
  3. Non-violence
  4. Nonviolence
  5. Satya
  6. Violence
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