02 Oct 2022  |   06:04am IST

Living a non-violent life

The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi said, “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”. In Goa, too everyday there is some form of violence against, human beings and nature. So, it’s important to ask the question on how do Goans define non-violence?

Heta Pandit, Vice Chairperson, Goa Heritage Action Group

Violence comes in many shapes and colours today. It comes under the guise of gender inequality, gender shaming, gender and child and animal abuse. The male gaze on a beach, for example, is a form of violence and so is stalking and trolling on the internet. On the other hand, caring for the earth, doing something to heal the earth and all her children irrespective of the gender, caste, community they are located in, that to me is an act of non- violence. Every plant, tree and ocean wave deserves our respect. Non-violence is another term for that respect.

Sanjiv Khandelwal, Founder, Sensible Earth

Non-violence is the ability to live mindfully and that we look at everything to be inclusive rather than human beings being exclusive. To me, it is when we look at unity, the union of our existence with everything around, we will be living in a harmonious environment and therefore have no violence. We are one with nature. We might think human beings are separate from nature but we are very much part of it. So it’s the separation that really causes the problem. Additionally, the careless way we consume, and our general attitude toward resources, whether it be water or any other natural resources; activities such as mining, deforestation, land development, or the process of making roads in such a way that there is no path for animals to cross and therefore we see dead snakes or animals all over Goa. That, in my opinion, is violence.

Prajal Sakhardande, Professor of History at Dhempe College of Arts and Science, Panjim and Heritage activist Non-violence is a strong way to settle various issues whether it’s political or social. I strongly believe in Gandhiji’s Satyagraha that is holding unto truth till the last breath of one’s life. Additionally, it denotes resistance that is active rather than passive. It involves standing up for a cause rather than eluding it. One should oppose their opponent’s injustice, not them as a person. Nonviolence, in my opinion, is synonymous with peace, love, compassion, and being human. To me, being human means having a greater awareness of our impact on the environment, other living things and Goa’s rich cultural legacy.


Iddhar Udhar