Where there is inequality, there will be unrest and violence. Howsoever might we harp upon our past glory, the fact remains that the society of India at present is more equable, better, more understanding and more free than at any other time.
In spite of that we find more and more violence, killings and atrocities in our day – to – day life. How can we say that the society of the earlier times must have more peace – loving and that Indians have been, by nature, non-violent?
Thought we keep on talking about the virtues of compassion, tolerance and mutual understanding inherent in the Indian culture, we tend to forge that, in the first place, the concept of non-violence is foreign to Indian culture. Non-violence was taken up rather earnestly by Lord Mohair and was sustained to some extent by the Buddhists.
But to the Hindus, who have been the dominant community of the country forming more than 80 percent of the population, non-violence has never formed a part of and parcel of their lives. The Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are replete with the scenes of grotesque violence and revenge in which even gods and goddesses partake.
Further, the Indian society has witnessed many other kinds of social violence which are still prevalent in the modern times in one form or the other. The violence perpetrated by the landlords upon laborers, private bankers upon poor and illiterate farmers, men upon women upper castes upon lower castes, etc. is more often than not forgotten by us, perhaps because it has been such an integral part of our social life that we hardly consider it to be something mentionable.
And in the modern times, we just have to read the morning newspaper to understand how much or sensitivity has deteriorated. What is even sadder is that the people, who are supposed to be working for the welfare of the society, have themselves consciously ignored and, in some cases even perpetrated, violent activities in the social system.
Before calling ourselves peace-loving and non-violent, we need to do a lot of groundwork and practical thinking for which we hardly seem to be prepared.