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International Day of Non-Violence

2 October, 2021

International Day of Non-Violence marks the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the famous and much-loved leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. The Day is to disseminate the message of non-violence, and to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence. In Gandhi’s words:

Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

A key tenet of non-violence is to undermine inappropriate power through withdrawal of the consent and cooperation of the populace. Three main non-violent action categories are:

  • protest and persuasion, including marches and vigils;
  • non-cooperation; and
  • non-violent intervention, such as blockades and occupations.

We hope that you take inspiration from the following most famous quotes attributed to Gandhi:

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.We need not wait to see what others do.

A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.

Nobody can hurt me without my permission.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.
An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words.
A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.
If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.
Hate the sin, love the sinner.
Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it.
Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.
Permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence.
The future depends on what you do today.
To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.
It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
You don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.
I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect.
You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

and finally – one that we apply here at our Graduate House and across our membership of graduates globally:

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.


Image: Gandhi and Gentle shake quote