International Day of Non-Violence is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India’s Independence struggle and a major advocate of non-violence and peace. Mahatma Gandhi, in his lifetime, conducted several major movements against the British but did not resort to violent any single one of them and always asked his followers to lead the path of ‘Karma’ and ‘Ahimsa’.
United Nations first established October 2nd as the day of non-violence on 15 June 2007. The idea was first proposed by Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi who took inspiration from a Hindi teacher in Paris. The idea gradually got the attention of Indian politicians who then initiated a movement in 2007 and called upon the United Nations to adopt the idea.
Several events around the world are held on the occasion of the International Day of Non-Violence. People and organization preach the message of adopting peace and follow Mahatma Gandhi’s path. UN regularly asks countries and organisations to publicize the message of non-violence through education and public awareness, generally one can see several organizations running campaigns promoting the idea.
Mahatma Gandhi has described Non-Violence as ‘the greatest force’ which is at the disposal of mankind. He also emphasized on the importance of compassion to curb violence.
Other leaders including Swami Vivekanand, Martian Luther King, and Dalai Lama have also consistently urged to stop the violence. According to them, violence does not solve any issue but make it more complex to find a viable solution. Non-Violence or ahimsa is also among the cardinal values of many religions. It is a multidimensional concept that calls for people to end violence towards humans, animals, or any other living being.
In recent times, when violence has grown to a new level with policies and expectations rising to new levels, global leaders have called for a halt in violence as the world grapples with modern challenges to humanity.
According to global peace advocates, UAE is among the top countries that have gone against the wind and adopted the idea of peace to its core. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi along with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE has called on to the world to adopt the idea of peace and unity. At a time when the world is struggling to fight a threat of humanity, peace has become a necessity for forces fighting on frontlines.
UAE has always advocated peace. It recently patched ties with Israel to establish peace and unity in the Middle East. Following UAE’s path of co-existence, several other GCC countries have moved up peace in their agendas.
“Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of true democratic spirit”, Mahatma Gandhi said during his early days in India’s freedom struggle.
Following the ideology, UAE designated 2019 as year of tolerance. HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE highlighted how the nation is a global capital for tolerance and peace. He emphasized tolerance as a universal concept aimed at entrenching the values of dialogue, coexistence, and openness to different cultures.
Peace and unity among humans can eliminate social evils to great extent. It can also promote harmony among society, thus getting rid of hatred and malice. At a time when the world is struggling to contain a pandemic, peace can bring good healthcare, education, sanitation, and living resources to the deprived communities. Importance of Non-Violence can be easily understood if the world starts focusing on bigger problems than petty conflicts that lead to harm for humans and other living beings.