The Power of Non-Violence

non-violence“The situation in our country is pathetic and shameful. The criminals, exploiters, pimps and inhumans in the disguise of politicians are killing the country. Corruption, nepotism and injustice are rampant. We have to kill all of those @#$% to free India…” Safal Ahmed, my college mate and a Naxalite (then) told me long ago. He was angry with me for not joining hand with his movement to clean India.

I told him a story. Once, an old Brahmin went to the river to take bathe. There he saw a scorpion struggling in the water. He rescued the scorpion from drowning and lifted it in his palm and started walking toward the bank. No sooner had the scorpion recovered than it stung the old Brahmin on the palm.

In pain, the old Brahmin instinctively flung his hand and the scorpion fell back into the river. As soon as the Brahmin regained his composure from the sting, he again lifted the scorpion out of the water. Again, before he could set the scorpion safely on land, the creature stung him. This went on for several minutes as the Brahmin continued to try to save the life of the drowning scorpion and the scorpion continued to sting his savior’s hand.

A man passing by told him to stop saving the scorpion that kept stinging him. “Old man, are you nuts or what? It will only sting you again. Leave him to his fate. Let it die. Your empathy is of no value to such a creature”

The old Brahmin just smiled and somehow saved the scorpion. The man asked:” Old man, the scorpion has continued stinging you each and every time you try to carry it to safety. Why didn’t you give up and just let it drown?”

“My good man, the scorpion was only following his dharma, his nature. It is the dharma of a scorpion to sting. My dharma is non-violence and save its’ life. Scorpion is following his dharma and I am following mine.” (Dharma doesn’t have an equivalent word in English, though roughly can be translated as duty)

Safal said: “The idea of non-violence may have worked with the British as they were more educated and cultured. But it won’t work with our crooked and demonic Desi politicians….

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