Gandhi Ji showed us the path of peace, truth and non-violence. No matter how much development we have made as a nation, Unfortunately India is still facing the same old issues of “Hate”, “Bigotry” and “Communal Violence”.
If we look at the contemporary issues and ask ourselves- Is this the India of Mahatma Gandhi dreamed of? We need to understand the significance of the core principles of Gandhi Ji and use them as a weapon to fight against the menace of Hate.
“There are many causes that I’m prepared to die for but, no cause that I am prepared to kill for”– this quote by Mahatma Gandhi says it all, when it comes to barbaric and spineless attacks in Kerala or West Bengal.
Have we become as insane as a society that a Facebook post, silly at best or derogatory at worst becomes a tipping point for cyclic reactionary violence?
Statistics shows that crimes against Dalits have increased by 40%. Dalit children are barred from attending schools, made to sit separately from children of upper caste families, tasked with cleaning of toilets, denied mid-day meals and also barred from drinking water from common taps.
Dalit women have been the worst victims of atrocities against their community. Gandhi Ji not only worked towards the upliftment of Dalits, but also towards changing the mindset of upper caste Hindus. He visualised a society free from oppression on the basis of caste, class, religion and gender.
“Cow vigilantism” is commonly used to describe the current lawlessness taking place on the pretext of "Cow protection". “While killing the humanity on the name of cow protection, the killers actually desecrate the cow,” is what Bapu, the Mahatma would have said. They are not protecting cow but instilling hatred in the society.
We hear this more than often that the so called “Gau Rakshaks” beat up, vandalise or take law and order in their hands even when cows are being transported with valid documents and reasons.
The brutal killing of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri following a rumour that his family was possessing cow meat, highlighted the seriousness of mob attacks in the name of beef or cow protection.
The Dadri incident however, was neither the first one nor the last one. There have been several such incidents in UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and other parts of India.
Like everything else tradition hate, bullying, threatening and harassment has also gone digital or online. The Internet is becoming a viral breeding ground for religious violence, racism, Misogyny, Hatred, Bigotry and many other categories of attacks on the humanity.
Online hate is as dangerous and unacceptable as real world hate.
Organised trolling with an intent to spread their own brand of hate, destroy reputations and take competitive advantage, be it personal, business or political landscape is a serious threat to our society and our social structure.
The never ending social media war, spreading hatred and negativity over the social media, hate-filled messages packed with communally volatile misinformation are likely to create cyclic reactionary violence.
Gandhi ji said that - An eye for an eye can never change the world, it may turn it blind.”