By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
The power of peace is greater than the power of violence. Peaceful methods are far more effective than violent methods. Constructive goals can be achieved only through peaceful means, while violent ways lead to destruction and ruin.
I would like to give an example from recent Indian history. The freedom struggle of India started in 1857 and the leaders of that period wanted to achieve freedom by violent methods. This trend continued up to 1919, but the target was not achieved.
Then Mahatma Gandhi entered the freedom struggle in 1919. After studying the situation, he decided to reverse the course of action. He declared that they would continue their freedom struggle, but it would be by a strictly peaceful method. He declared that where previous leaders had been using "bombs" of violence to protest against British rule, they would now use the "bomb" of peace to achieve the same goal.
This declaration by Mahatma Gandhi changed the whole scenario; it paralysed the entire machinery of the British Empire. Puzzled by this announcement, one British collector sent a telegraphic message to his secretariat, worded as follows: "Wire instruction how to kill a tiger non-violently."
The violent method gives your opponents justification for violent retaliation, but if you adopt peaceful methods, the other party has no grounds for using force against you. This was the logic of Gandhian peace methods, and very soon India became free.
This formula of peace is of a general nature, that is, it is applicable at both individual and national levels. Adopt a peaceful course of action, and you will be guaranteed success.
The violent method is a highly risky affair. That it will entail losses is almost certain, while its benefits are indeed doubtful. But in the case of the peaceful method, which entails no risk, success is guaranteed.
Why is the peaceful method so effective? The reason is that the peaceful method hits the conscience of a man. And when the conscience is hit, the person concerned has no option but to surrender to you.
The violent method activates the other party's ego. When one's ego is involved, the result is a breakdown. Violence inevitably breeds violence. So, violence only aggravates the problem. It cannot solve any problem either for the individual or for the community, country and world.
The peaceful method is the method of nature. This is an immutable rule. Thanks to nature invariably treading the path of peace, we see that in nature everywhere there is perfection. Nature may be involved in disparate kinds of activities, but this creates no problems. And, undoubtedly, the reason is that it is steadfastly peaceful in its line of action.
A peaceful method saves you from wasting your time and energy. Remaining peaceful helps to normalise the situation and so is constructive. Moreover, violence only breeds hatred and intolerance, while peace fosters love and compassion. Peace is the greatest social good, for it inculcates positivity among people. Where there is peace there can be developmental activities. But without a peaceful atmosphere, there can be no progress whatsoever.
The stars, the planets, and all other aspects of nature are active day and night, but they never stray from the path of peace. Peace is the culture of nature; peace is the law of the universe. Rivers flow carrying the message of peace, the wind blowing day and night conveys this message.