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You are here: Home Newspaper Opinion Do Indians really practice non-violence?

Do Indians really practice non-violence?

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By Arun Patel

Via e-mail

While the rest of the world follows Mahatma Gandhi’s example of practicing non-violence, we Indians indulge in violence. Violence is in our blood. It is a well known fact that late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela followed Gandhi’s principles and won not only hearts and minds of their people,  but also coveted the Nobel Peace Prize.

However, in real life, India is the most violent country. Our violence starts in the form of spanking by our parents when we are young, innocent and mischievous. I bet there is no one who escaped wrath of our parents. Even Lord Krishna as a child did not escape spanking by Yashoda, when he was purportedly stealing butter. We still enact this scene with pride in our public dance performances (remember the bhajan main nahin makhan khayo) for hundreds of years. It has become our iconic culture.

The spanking becomes slapping and thrashing in our adult life. There may not be a single family wherein some one did not slap another person out of anger – be it father, mother, brother, husband or teacher. Thanks to the very first movie Devdas in which the hero slapped his lover Paroo and gave her a permanent scar and spoke memorable words “even the beautiful moon has scar, so why should’t you?” The Indian cinema has kept up this tradition till today.

You will never see a movie in which somebody does not slap another person out of anger. I am not talking about hoodlums beating up each other, or policemen beating up innocent people. I am talking about saas bhi kahbi bahu thi type domestic scenes.

We should stop our double standards and look inside our own hearts before we preach non-violence to the outside world.