Nonviolence in Palestine

Nonviolence in Palestine
By Arun Gandhi

Arun Gandhi - Yasser ArafatNo one would dare go to a battlefield without proper training, equipment and plan of action. Yet, when it comes to nonviolent action it is widely presumed that anyone can simply walk into a struggle without any training, equipment or plan of action. It is also assumed that so long as one does not wield a gun, or resort to physical fighting that one is nonviolent. Nothing is further from the truth.

Most people around the world, including many in Palestine, feel that Gandhi succeeded in India because the British were kind and compassionate, implying that against Hitler or Israel he would have been killed even before he started his campaign. This could, perhaps, be true but only in situations of crisis management. Unfortunately, in the culture of violence we only take note of a situation when it becomes a crisis and urgent action becomes necessary. The power of nonviolence as practiced by Gandhi lies in its capacity to function both proactively and reactively. Gandhi would have done against Hitler what he did against the British – first build a relationship based on respect, understanding, acceptance and appreciation – making it difficult for the opponent to take ruthless action.

Because nonviolence is practiced without proper understanding administrations all around the world, determined to preserve the culture of violence, have decided to take ruthless action to quash a movement. When Gandhi said: “No one can oppress us more than we oppress ourselves” he was talking about the fear that inhibits us from taking bold and sensible
action. [Read more…]

Palestine and Nonviolence by Arun Gandhi

                                                  Palestine and Nonviolence

                                                            By Arun Gandhigandhi-21-e1306570250124-300x300

Since it is important that we look at nonviolence from all the different perspectives this paper may appear to be dealing with issues that are not directly relevant to the question of Palestinian peace. For this I apologize at the outset with a humble request to give me a little latitude so that I can tie up all the seemingly different issues in a cogent manner. When my grandfather Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (better known as Mahatma Gandhi) proposed nonviolence as the method for India’s struggle for independence from British dominance, it was not only for moral reasons. It was also for practical reasons. In 1857 India witnessed a violent revolution that swept over much of northern India but was quickly crushed by the superior weapons and training of the British army. The status of Indians had not changed since then and Gandhi realized that Indians still had virtually no military training and absolutely no means to acquire new and sophisticated weapons to match the power of the British. Thus, a violent revolution was considered suicidal. Besides, violence not only demands the sacrifice of human life but, in the long run, violence destroys human values and human dignity. Even where violence may appear to have resolved a conflict the solution usually is either temporary or exacts a very heavy cost. Often violence creates more problems than it solves. [Read more…]

Hope for Peace and Respect in Egypt

Arun Gandhi 2.3.2011DENVER – The world has been watching Egyptians try to force change in their government. That includes the family of Mahatma Gandhi. He led a peaceful independence movement in India in the 1930s and 40s. Thursday night, his grandson arrived in Colorado. “Violence is not a civilized way,” Arun Gandhi said.

It’s been more than 60 years since his grandfather died, but Arun Gandhi says he has followed in his footsteps.  “I was very fortunate, living with my grandfather at the age of 12, he taught me valuable lessons that have made a difference in my life,” he said.  Arun Gandhi speaks around the world advocating for nonviolence and peace. 

During the unrest in Cairo, at least 800 people have been injured and 10 killed.  “It pains me when I see the riots, the killing and all that. It’s very painful, but I suppose it’s something that every nation has to go through in seeking independence and change,” Arun Gandhi said.  He says his grandfather would not be happy with the violence in Egypt.

“He would certainly say we are not behaving in a civilized manner,” Arun Gandhi said. “I hope that the president will submit his resignation and leave, hand over power to whoever is qualified to take over, transition very smooth and positive.”  “The more we try to exploit, the more there is a possibility of violence breaking out. We should try to create a reality based off respect, acceptance of each other, whether it’s interpersonal or international,” he said.

Arun Gandhi is speaking on Friday at Aurora Central High School from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)