One of the most pivotal moments of the Indian Freedom Struggle was the great Salt Satyagraha of 1930, and it famously did not “work,” that is, the salt law did not change significantly. However, history confirms that the Salt March and the breaking of the salt laws was a victory for the people of India because it was then that they had come into full consciousness of their freedom from the British Empire. People living in India at that time recall the way that the spirit of revolution burst into life in all of the villages when the law was broken: it was a celebration of sorts, a glimpse at who they were. People suffered severe beatings, imprisonment, and even death, and still their nonviolence held. They had conquered themselves, the Buddha would say, making them, for that moment in time, unconquerable, unexploitable by anyone, no matter how “powerful.”
The next time you are provoked, fairly or unfairly, think of the ways you could come back with a nonviolent response.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 email@example.com