Monday, February 13, 2012

Peace Approach : From Gandhi to Galtung and beyond

Peace Approach : From Gandhi to Galtung and beyond
By Dr. Anupama Kaushik
Associate Professor in Political Science, Banasthali University, Rajasthan, India.

Peace can be defined as a two sided concept. On the one hand it implies absence of violence and on the other the presence of positive, harmonious, cooperative relationships. These two aspects are referred to as negative and positive peace. Johan Galtung clarifies that peace research is based on the assumption that peace is as consensual a value as health…..
……The people who established peace studies in the west- Johan Galtung and Kenneth Boulding were admirers of Gandhi.13 However in west peace studies have taken a very different path to that of Gandhi. Probably the reason was that Gandhian peace demands a great deal of sacrifice from the practitioner. He calls it satyagraha i.e. ‘adherence to truth’ and truth and non violence are the main planks of satyagraha. A person who resolves to adhere to truth cannot remain silent at the sight of violence which is negative of truth. Truth functions in form of non violence or love. While the lover of truth ought to oppose violence such an opposition would mean ‘fight the evil’ while ‘love the evil doer’. It is a dynamic soul force based on the concept of self- suffering. As there are many forms of injustices there are many forms of satyagaha too such as- non cooperation, civil disobedience, fasting, hijrat, hartal, picketing, boycott, and renunciation of titles, honours and positions.

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