International Day of Non-Violence

Dreams can take many shapes. Some people want to travel around the world, others dream of winning the lottery. Some want to go skydiving, and others just want to learn how to make the perfect paella. Big or little, our dreams shape us. However, one thing all of us wish for is worldwide peace and what  better day to celebrate it than today? October 2nd is The International Day of Non-Violence. It is celebrated on this day because it is also Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.

Gandhi is recognized as the leader of the Indian independence movement. He fought for people’s civil rights at home as well as to create  global social change. He strictly opposed  the use of violence in order to push for change. Even under oppressive conditions, he was never violent or showed anger. By facing injustice with peace, he showed Indians a new way to “fight” for freedom from colonialism. The philosophy he used  to achieve social or political change is known as “the politics of ordinary people”. This movement inspired people all over the world  to fight social injustice.

One of the most important events which enabled India to become independent from the British Empire was the Salt March. The objective of this march was to reach the coastal village where Gandhi was from and to work there to produce salt from the seawater. This had been a traditional artisan practice by the locals until the British Empire started to tax salt production. They considered it illegal and stopped the practice by using violence. It was this tax march, the tax resistance, and the protest which gained worldwide attention that finally enabled the independence movement to go forward.

We should never forget what Gandhi achieved and the way he did it. We live in a busy world in which many changes take place very quickly, but the way forward has to be peaceful and not fraught with violence. Stand up  for peace, freedom, and friendship. As Gandhi said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Vocabulary:

  • Coastal: of, relating to, bordering on, or located near a coast.
  • Tax: a sum of money paid to a government for its support, based on income, etc.

What is your dream?

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