Saturday, October 1, 2011
A Prayer for Non-violence
An initiative to raise awareness about violence against women has been started by a team of bloggers, who had also brought us CSA Awareness Month this April.
Domestic violence, (and other spheres of violence against women) is like a mythical beast that many of us have faced, all of us are aware of, and one which many of us would like to sweep under the carpet and pretend that it doesn't exist. Sad to say it exists, gets huge media coverage, and seems to grow from strength to strength, and yet, even if we know that a woman has been beaten by her partner, we hesitate to even ask her what really happened. She hesitates to confide in any one, neither wishing to be perceived as a victim, nor wanting her spouse to lose face. With repeated beatings, she may even begin to believe that it is her fault. It can even be fatal- many women lose their lives to domestic violence.
Violence per se is a function of the ego, of frustration and rage that knows no boundaries, of physical power over the victim. Violence is perhaps a latent part of each human being, hard-wired into us as a measure of self defence, originating at a point in human history when fight or flight was the key to survival. When, however, a survival mechanism becomes a tool for oppression and subjugation, something is seriously wrong. When violence begins to define a relationship, that relationship is doomed.
I love what OJ has to say:
My brand of feminism, in addition to my personal experiences, does not permit me to only call this Violence Against Women. Hence the sub-title Women Against Violence. And, I fervently hope, men and transgenders too.
Yes, we truly need all humans to be against violence! It solves nothing, and adds vastly to the burden of human misery in the world.
Non-violence was central to Gandhiji's beliefs.
Let it be central to ours as well. Practicing non-violence as a way of life may just transform this often cruel world we live in.