Nonviolence 101

Mahatma Gandhi is noted as the father of nonviolence.
Mahatma Gandhi is noted as the father of nonviolence.

What is Nonviolence?

NONVIOLENCE noun /nänˈvīələns/ The use of peaceful means, not force, to bring about political or social change. The absence or lack of violence; state or condition of avoiding violence. The policy, practice, or technique of refraining from the use of violence, especially when reacting to or protesting against oppression, injustice, discrimination, or the like. Source: Google Dictionary

NONVIOLENCE WIKI (from Sanskrit ahimṣā, non-violence, “lack of desire to harm or kill”) is the personal practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the environment is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence based on moral, religious or spiritual principles. Source: Wikipedia

Origins of Nonviolence

Leo-Tolstoy-and-Mahatma-Gandhi
Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi, often considered a founder of the nonviolence movement, spread the concept of ahimsa through his movements and writings, which then inspired other nonviolent activists. Nonviolence also has ‘active’ or ‘activist’ elements, in that believers accept the need for nonviolence as a means to achieve political and social change. Thus, for example, the Tolstoy and Gandhian nonviolence is a philosophy and strategy for social change that rejects the use of violence, but at the same time sees nonviolent action (also called civil resistance) as an alternative to passive acceptance of oppression or armed struggle against it. In general, advocates of an activist philosophy of nonviolence use diverse methods in their campaigns for social change, including critical forms of education and persuasion, mass noncooperation, civil disobedience, nonviolent direct action, and social, political, cultural and economic forms of intervention. Source: Wikipedia

Champions of Nonviolence Inspired By Mahatma Gandhi’s Philosophy

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Christ gave me the message. Gandhi gave me the method.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rosa Parks
Cesar E. Chavez
Kim Dae-Jung
Nelson Mandela
His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet

Examples of Nonviolence

Gandhi’s Salt March

Gandhi Salt MarchThe Dandi March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha, began on March 12, 1930 and was a crucial moment in the Independence Movement in India. Taking direct action and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India, Mahatma Gandhi led a 24 day, 240 mile march to the sea to produce salt without paying the tax. Over 80,000 Indians were jailed as a result of the Salt Satyagraha. This march influenced the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the American Civil Rights marches of the 1960s.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

Montgomery Bus BoycottThe Montgomery Bus Boycott played a pivotal role in the American Civil Rights Movement as a political and social protest against racial segregation on the public transit system of
Montgomery, Alabama. The campaign began on December 1, 1955 when Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested when she refused to give up her seat to a white person. Other notable Civil Rights leaders joined in including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy. On December 20, 1956, the United States Supreme Court ruled Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional.