How the distorted meaning of ‘Non-violence’ has damaged the psychology of the nation

In the 4th century BC, perhaps for the first time, the great emperor Chandragupta Maurya united the entire country by defeating the evil Nanda dynasty. This was under the leadership and guidance of Chanakya – one of the most able strategists who later went on to become the Prime Minister of Chandragupta Maurya. His grandson emperor Ashoka expanded the kingdom even more and took India to glory. This country has a rich history of emperors, kings and warriors who have fought for the glorious nation.

If we dive deep into our scriptures, our ideals Shri Krishna and Shri Rama have been the greatest warriors and yet talked about virtues of Ahimsa and peace. It’s these ideals of Shri Rama and Shri Krishna which our ancestors have emulated in the past. It’s their ideals which has kept this country of great warriors and intellectuals going on. This is what Shri Krishna said to Arjuna in Shrimad Bhagavadgita when he asked will it be virtuous to fight against our own relatives who have taken the path of wrong.

हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम् ।
तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयः ॥
If you die fighting for your dharma, you will obtain the heaven. If you emerge victorious, you will enjoy the fruits of victory. So be determined and fight for dharma.

Remember the great warriors like Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Sambhaji, Guru Gobind Singh, Lachit Borphukan and many others because of whom our dharma survived. They followed the ideologies of Shri Rama and Krishna to strongly fight your enemies. It is because of them that the country was saved from the brutal invaders. Our ideals should never be those who asked our countrymen to sit back as weak people and even get killed without resistance for the sake of non-violence.

The virtues of ‘अहिंसा’ has always been prioritised and promoted in our ancient texts many times. But अहिंसा, or non-violence, refers to no first use of violence against others. Ahimsa never meant to tolerate attacks and atrocities. When your dharma, your family or you are under attack from enemies, even our scriptures have asked to fight back strongly. Our holy Mahabharata has said this when it comes to protect our dharma
“अहिंसा परमो धर्म धर्महिंसा तथैव च ।”
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, but violence to protect your dharma is an even bigger virtue.

Since many decades, the so-called proponents of non-violence have just propagated half of the above verse (अहिंसा परमो धर्म) and made us lame ducks. This philosophy of ‘ahimsa‘ has been so much distorted by people having vested interests and leftist intellectuals that it has damaged the positive attitude to fight back against our enemies. This has done immense damage to the psyche of the nation by killing the spirit which Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Guru Gobind Singh, etc embody. It”s time we choose our ideals wisely. The country and its majority need to wake up. As our scriptures say, both “Shaastra” (scripture) and “shastra” (arms) are needed for all round development and growth of a race. When faced with trouble, we need to retaliate as strongly as we can.

Kshitij Mohan