Topics of Interest English Core
Raj Kumar Parashari 08 Dec, 2019 Views: 468
1. India has never subscribed to the doctrine of militarism and war in her history. Here war was never treated as an ideal. It was only tolerated as unavoidable and inevitable, and all attempts were made to check it and bring it under control. In spite of the frequency of wars in ancient India, in spite of highly developed military organization, techniques of war and imperialism and in spite of the open justification of war as national policy, the heart of India loved pacifism as an ideal capable of realization. India’s symbolic role was that of a peacemaker and it sincerely pinned its faith on the principle of “Live and let live”. At least philosophically, India’s intelligence supported the cause of peace not only in national affairs but in international affairs also. All the great seers of the yore visualized the unity of life, permeating all beings, animate or inanimate, which ruled out killing and suicidal wars.
2. This doctrine of philosophical pacifisms practiced by ancient Aryans is, no doubt, a question of controversial nature. Certainly, the great Indian teachers and savants stuck to this doctrine tenaciously and in their personal lives they translated it into practice and preached it to masses and even to princes of military classes.
3. Another culture of those times, the existence of which has been proved by the excavations of Mohen-jo-Daro, also enunciated the doctrine of pacifism and friendship to all. Strangely enough, the Indus Valley civilization has revealed no fortification and very few weapons.
4. Ahimsa or the doctrine of non-violence in thought, speech and action assumed a gigantic importance in the Buddhist and Jain period. By a constant practice of this virtue, man becomes unassailable by even wild beasts, who forgot their ferocity the moment they entered the circumstance of his magnetic influence. The monks and nuns of these churches were apostles of peace, who reached every nook and corner of the world and delivered the message of love to the war-weary humanity. The greatest votary was the royal monk Ashoka, who in reality was responsible for transforming Ahimsa as an act of personal virtue, to Ahimsa as an act of national virtue.
5. Many historians recounting the causes of the downfall of the Mauryas hold the pacific policy of Ashoka which has eschewed the aggressive militarism of his predecessors, responsible for an early decay of the military strength of the state and its consequent disintegration, leading to the rise of Sungas, Kanvas and Andhras. But, in reality the fault lies in the week successors of Ashoka, who could not wield the weapon of non-violence with a skill and efficiency, which required the strength of a spiritual giant like Ashoka. They failed due to their subjective weakness: Pacifism itself was no cause of their failure.
6. Besides the foregoing philosophical and religious school of thought, even many political authorities gave their unflinching support to the cause of pacifisms. They recognized the right of rivals to exist, not mainly as enemies, but as collaborations in the building of a civilization operation. Thus, for centuries, in the pre-Mauryan India, scores of small independent republics existed and flourished without coming in clash with each other.
7. With regard to Kautilya, the much maligned militarist and the so called Machiavelli of India, He thinks that the object of diplomatic is to avoid war.
8. The Mahabharata observes in this connection: “A wise man should be content with what can be obtained by the expedients of conciliation, gift and dissention.” It denounces the warring world of men by comparing it to a dog kennel. “First there comes the wagging of tails, then turning of one round to other, then the showing of teeth , then the roaring and finally comes the commencement of the fights. It is the same with mean; there is no difference whatsoever.” Yajnavalkya adds: “War is the last expedient to be used when all others have failed.” Likewise, Sri Krishna whose Bhagwad-gita has been styled by some as “a song of the battle”, should not be considered out and out a militarist. When all the three expedients were exhausted, then alone the fourth was resorted to.
9. All possible avenues of peace such as negotiation, conciliation through conference, meditation and so on, were explored by before resorting to war. This proves that the heart of ancient India was sound and it longed for peace, although war also was not treated as an anathema and was to be avoided as far as possible.
(Extract from ‘Culture India-Pacifism has been the Ideal’ by Sri Indra)
Read the above passage and on the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the questions given below:
1.1. Answer each of the questions given below by choosing the most appropriate questions
1. The heart of India loved ……..
(a) A highly developed military organization
(b) Techniques of wars and imperialism.
2. Principle of “Live and let live” means
(c) Frequency of wars among nations
(d) Role of peace makers
3. Aryans preached and practiced this to the masses
(b) Freedom of speech and action
(c) Philosophical Pacifism
(d) Practice of Military organization
4. Mahabharata compares the warring world to
(a) Wise men
(b) Dog kennel
(c) Song of the battle
5. Mahabharata compares the warring world to
(a) as there was no fortification and very few weapons
(b) they delivered the message of love
(c) as they were apostles of peace
(d) thinks that the object of diplomatic is to avoid war
1.2 Fill in the blanks:
(1) The doctrine of …………….. Pacifisms was practiced by ancient Aryans.
(2) ………………. assumed a gigantic importance in Buddhist and Jain period.
(3)……………….. is the last expedient to be used.
(4)The greatest votary was the royal monk……….
1.3 Pick out the words/phrases from the passage which are similar in meaning to the following:
(1) Express in definite and clear terms (Para 3)
(2) Defensive wall (Para 3)
(3) the beginning (Para 8)