The Relevance of Nonviolent Politics in Nation Building: Gandhi's Lens


  • Onwe Jeremiah NGWU The Office of Director of Art and Culture of the Federation, Federal Secretariat, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria


nonviolence, politics, Ahimsa, foundation, nonviolent politics, civil disobedience, nation building


The purpose of this paper is to establish nonviolent politics in its praxis as a way forward in fostering unity, equity, justice, and nation building. No writer has a monopoly of knowledge or ideas. Therefore, this work is subject to objective criticism, evaluation, and recommendation if needs be. Not until we came in contact with the works of Gandhi, who saw Ahimsa as the foundation for nonviolent politics, as a virtue and as human nature, we may have all believed and argued that no man born of woman could live out in his/her life loving and nonviolent in political or social issues. We had committed ourselves to doubt the possibility of social and political, even religious transformation without violence against the group, individual; or, tribe against tribe, state against state, and religion against religion. Considering man's insatiable tendencies, we may have been led to say that nonviolent protest is an instrument of the weak scornfully, who cannot stand the wraths of war and would never be as effective as violent ways achieve political or economic freedom. Especially when human values (justice, human dignity, freedom, love, peace, etc.) are on the brink (students of Frantz Fanon will refute it with all their guts). To avoid being guilty of fallacy, the author would argue that even if it is possible for a small city/group to engage in peaceful protest and gain her/their desired goal, it is not possible for a problematic nation like Nigeria, with cultural diversity to apply the same method Gandhi used without shedding blood, especially from the side of the peaceful (nonviolent) agents, perhaps, nonviolence is possible tool even today to get evil policy in the government changed. After all, there must be a measure of resistance to defend oneself from the barbaric killings or being treated as mere animals. In short, violence is not an option for building a nation. Of course, no human society can promise its citizens qualitative education, a good network of roads and sustainable social amenities, well-equipped hospitals, good infrastructural development(s), or intelligent leaders amidst war (violence), corruption, and hatred.