Bangalore, novembre 2006
Conference Report. The Non-violent Movement in France
Speaker : Elsa Joyeux-Bouillon
Chair : Simon Joseph
Simon Joseph introduced Elsa Joyeux-Bouillon. She is the coordinator for the organization called Non-Violence 21st in France. The organization is a partner of IRENEES.
Elsa shared her experience in working with IRENEES in the efforts of conflict resolution through the process of non-violence by presenting a paper on the non-violent movement in France. She started with the definition of non-violence. There are various dimensions to the concept of non-violence, she said. She described the evolution of non-violent movement in France. Non-violence is part of education and culture.
Non-violence 21st is also working with several partner organizations in its peace mission. Elsa explained her experience with some of the partners. They are trying to see in certain conflicting situations how certain solution can be arrived. They do organize training programmes on how to facilitate peace in conflicting situation. The organization is also campaigning for including non-violence as part of the school curriculum. All over the world there are organizations working on this mission by using mediation and advocacy as strategies.
Ksheer Sagar : All the issues can not be resolved with this advocacy and mediation strategy.
Elsa : Elsa responded to the statement of Ksheer Sagar by stating that at the international level it may be difficult but at the local level it is possible. That’s what the examples from two days sharing shows, where groups used non-violent pressure on the government in order to solve the conflict.
Rajeev : Non-violence can be seen as defending themselves from the violence of upper caste people. When non-violence is used against excluded and marginalized people they have a right to defend themselves. The government missionary try to oppress the black and they started the struggle. It can be seen as excluded people responded to the violence of the system.
Siddhartha : The emergence of Maoist movements is the result of desperation. One third of the country is controlled by this movement. They found that no justice can be done within the existing system. But there is no need to hurt somebody violently to get a result and to solve a problem. It is always the non-violent movement succeeded. Indian independence movement in spite system used violence they were not driven by violence. At the end of the day the non-violent movement achieved.
Sebastian : Tribals are being accused. If we have evidence to show that tribals are protecting the forest; that is a kind of non-violent protest for the rights of the tribals.
Elizabeth : How your organization goes into a violence situation and how you are solving.
Elsa : Only the organization which is in the field before the violence start can do something when there is violence. We work with such organizations and educate on non-violent strategies in conflict resolution.
Baby Paul : It is true that the non-violent movement has worth in India. But the situation has changed. The Gujarat is no more Mahatma Gandhi’s; but it is Narendra Modie’s Gujarat. It is Sonia Gandhi’s India; it is not Mahatma Gandhi’s India. Right from domestic atmosphere there is violence very much and we are experiencing it in day to day life. When we go to other parts of the world there is violence. People are not at all safe anywhere in the world. The world is completely under violence.
Kerala, the so called literate state, is the most violent place. Women are that unsafe in Kerala; they are unsafe at home, school, working places and everywhere. The amount of violence we see around us. Our children are hearing about non-violence only during the non-violence rally in every Oct 2nd and it is only in school premises. And Gandhians may also practice. This is the situation of non-violent and its movement in India. At this juncture we should think of the concept of non-violence.
Dr. Vinod Krishnan : Non-Violence is a desired state. Those who are safe they can be non-violent. There is a trend of glorifying this strategy.
Siddhartha : There are militant non-violent movements as the NBA lead by Medha Patkar. Now more than 10,000 people are going to meet in Delhi to pressurize the government to enact the ST Forest Rights Bill. This is a model.
Conclusion : Simon Joseph
Thrust of the presentation was on the need of deepen democracy and non-violent pressure in solving problems. These two should go together. There should be an action with reaction. It is not the absence of violence. But it is an attitude to non-violence.
Media has a lot to do in propagating the concept of non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi was not a sensational subject to the Medias. Violence is an industry for the Medias and it is more attractive than non-violence.
Violence perpetuates violence. Non-violence comes to the end of the vicious circle. But it is a fact that children are growing up with non-violence. So education on non-violence should start from family and it should be part of the curriculum.
Follow up :
There will be an attempt to introduce Non-violence as part of the school syllabus from the part of the coalition of child rights organizations and activists.