Peace is a state, non-violence is an action of maintaining it. They are not synonymous, nor are they too different. These two entities complement each other. We practice non-violence for peace, and peace is the absence of any violent disturbance–internal and external. Peace is deeper, the connotation touching the human soul; for instance, peace being related to human satisfaction, at the top of the hierarchy of needs.
Peace has been preached since time immemorial and it will continue till human existence. With this, peace might seem unattainable. But, in the process of making it possible, non-violence becomes the initial step. Practicing non-violence does not mean that there is peace, it means that people seek peace even in the harshest of the times.
India’s tryst with non-violence became a teaching for the world. South Africa followed the footsteps and through practicing it, though less vigorously, succeeded in lowering the black and white discrimination. In India, it is not that independence was the result of only non-violent protests. The international environment during that time wasn’t in favour of the British, but definitely, non-violence put India’s stand firmer and reducing the bloodshed that could have happened otherwise.
The problem with war is that it leaves traces of revenge. Revenge, in turn, can be the birth of another war, violence. Thus, there are no winners in war, only losers. Wars have long been fought with concepts of patriotism, idealising the ones who fight with words like courage. It is because the war was and is seen as the last resort to solve matters. Violence can prove a point, but not sustain it. Social mobilisation and a movement to change the perception and public opinion can be seen more helpful during conflict resolution.
Peace is the highest state. Until the basic needs of people are fulfilled, peace remains a distant dream. A hungry stomach knows no other language. Owing to this, the world organisations are trying to eliminate the lack of the basic needs and increase education to help them employ themselves and develop their living standards.
The developed countries are also facing increasing shootouts and heinous crimes. This proves that peace comes not just by fulfilling needs but internally- something voluntary. To make it so, the concept of peace needs to be sown early in the juvenile minds.
The world seems to agree in peace but fails to act–either non-violently or other. There are certain countries still batting on war. They forget that the ‘eye for an eye’ making the world blind is true. Resolving matters non-violently is what we need to learn. It is on us to decide whether we learn from history or not.