A Global Satyagraha for #ChooseNonviolentDefence

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Aylan Kurdi, 3 year old Syrian child,drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, on 2 Sept 2015, when he & his  family were trying to reach Europe to seek refuge.

Omran Daqneesh was wounded in his head, on 17 August  2016, in an alleged Russian Air Force strike on Aleppo, Syria.

Do the above images of these innocent children, hapless victims of war and violence, stir you?  Would you like to do something about it?  If the answer is “YES”,

               Join an International Initiative / Satyagraha

                           #ChooseNonviolentDefence

                          (which is in line with UN SDG 16)

                                      launched by

          Shanti Sahyog Centre for Peace & Conflict Resolution

                                (a Gandhian NGO)

                            on the occasion of GANDHI – 150 YEARS.

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”  Mahatma Gandhi

    #ChooseNonviolentDefence petitions all National Govts. & the United Nations for the following:

1.    That, without abandoning the present Military Defence, a parallel, Nonviolent Defence be instituted in National Defence Systems globally.          #NonviolentDefenceGlobally

2.    The Legal Democratic Option to be trained in Nonviolent Defence rather than the present Armed Military System. #Let’sLearnNonviolenc

3.    The Legal Democratic Option for taxpayers to divert their Defence Tax  from Military Defence to Nonviolent Defence. #IHaveAConscience

 

  Nonviolent Defence draws its legitimacy from the following:

Ø  Article 18 of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights which states: 'Each Individual has the right to ...Freedom of Conscience.'

Ø  The Preamble of the United Nations Charter which states: "We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war."

Nonviolent Defence is based on Gandhi’s insistence that: Nonviolence is a Science; not a mere feeling or emotion. This implies that Nonviolence like any other Science has its own laws and principles which have to be learnt in order to be effectively applied. Gandhi had proposed a Nonviolent Defence Policy to Switzerland in 1931, to Abyssinia in 1935, to Czechoslovakia in 1938, to Britain in 1940 and to the Congress Party of India in 1939, and again in 1940.

Therefore the greatest homage we can pay to Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary, GANDHI - 150 YEARS, is to promote his legacy of preventing and resolving conflict through nonviolent means. Gandhi firmly believes that,

   "Nonviolence can never fail. What fails is our imperfect practice of it."

 

Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagrahas - Nonviolent Resistance / Civil Disobedience,  changed unjust laws, eg. Champaran Satyagraha;  overthrew British colonial rule and made history, eg. Salt Satyagraha. The main tools/strategy of a Gandhian Satyagraha are:

        Ø  Mass Mobilization &

        Ø  Use of Symbols

 

Following Gandhi, our CALL FOR ACTION, to World Citizens is outlined below:

1.    Sign the Petition for #ChooseNonviolentDefence on change.org by clicking  on this link: -https://goo.gl/nqujDe

2.  Click on this Link: https://shantisahyog.org/make-a-donation/ and select: Domestic or  Foreign Donation according to your Country / Currency, to help collect  USD 2 million, symbolic of one minute of global military expenditure.The money so  collected will fund:  Shanti Sahyog Education Project for Slum Children. #2MforSlumChildren

3.    Empower ten more people to join this Initiative. #SpreadTheWordForPeace   

4.    Meet your local MP / Senator to apprise him of your petition. Since Gandhi says we must protest against wrong-doing but in love with the wrong-doer, take  a chocolate for him/her - a gift of love for your chosen representative!                    #PetitionYourMP/Senator

5.    Help in obtaining the signature of a VIP. #VIPForPeace

6.    Participate in a Candle-light Event protesting the daily death 18,000  children worldwide (UNICEF)  #Save8KChildrenDyingDaily

7.    Observe a Fruit Fast on your Birthday as your PERSONAL PROTEST against    War. #FruitBirthdayForPeace

8.    Sing the Peace Song composed specially for this Initiative. #SingForPeace

9.    Wear a T shirt, put up a Sun Screen on your car, or use other Products with the #ChooseNonviolentDefence printed on it.

10. Join & Support, #MothersforPeace

 

Consider the following:

Ø  Is it not so schizophrenic that while it is unlawful to use violence against children till they are 18 years old,  it is not mandatory on nation states to resolve their conflicts without resort to killing above 18 year old's in war;  we are required to appeal to the understanding in children and eschew violence, but not appeal to the – probably increased! - understanding of adults?

Ø Isn’t it high time we realize that it is us, ordinary citizens, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, partners, sons or friends are killed in war.

Ø When will we put into practice, ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’; ‘Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself’; ‘Ahimsa Parmo Dharma – Nonviolence is the Highest Duty / Religion’; ‘Vasudeva Kutumb – The Whole World is a Family’ or ‘Being Human’? 

Ø Isn’t Gandhi’s legacy of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution the need of the hour, in view of, global terrorism, war, vast financial and human resources spent on armaments, radicalization of youth, communal and religious tension?

Gandhi avows:

 “In politics, the vast possibilities of nonviolence are yet unexplored.....I feel in the innermost recesses of my heart ... that the world is sick unto death of blood- spilling and is seeking a way out. I flatter myself with the belief that, perhaps, it will be the privilege of the ancient land of India to show that way to a hungering world.”

                                  Let’s Give NONVIOLENCE a Chance!!

For more info please visit our website: www.shantisahyog.org or contact: Suman Khanna Aggarwal PhD, Founder and President, Shanti Sahyog Center for Peace & Conflict Resolution, New Delhi, India.

Email:  president@shantisahyog.org