We all loath war: its cruelty, the blood, suffering, uselessness of it…
Yet, throughout human history, wars were fought and some were very necessary.
The Kurukshetra war, for example, as told by the Bhagavad Gita, was not only about dharma against a-dharma, but shaped the future of India for centuries to come.Nearer to us, the war against the Nazis was absolutely indispensable, otherwise as Sri Aurobindo repeatedly pointed out, Hitler, who incarnated evil forces, would have taken over the whole world
We see today, for instance when it comes to China, that the Govts, whether Congress or BJP, are very reluctant to go into a military confrontation with China and always try to negotiate by all means. The Chinese, knowing that, take advantage of it, encroach repeatedly, pretend to negotiate, and then don’t withdraw or partially only withdraw, to encroach again in another place. And if China was the asura of the 21st century, unleashing #COVID19 unto the world, willingly or unwillingly and being aggressive on all fronts from Taiwan to Hong Kong, from the Indian ocean to Ladhak? Would that justify a war?
In India, the combination of Hindu ahimsa, Buddhist uncompromising non-violence, as defined today by the Dalai Lama and Gandhism, have blunted the will to fight wars.
#MaharanaPratap had no such hesitation about the necessity of fighting Akbar, whom he considered as a foreigner and invader. He could have said like a true Hindu: ‘Oh, he is one of the better Mughal emperors’; or : “he is a human being, lets talk reason and peace”. But no, he fought Akbar’s army in Hadilghari, & won the battle – whatever your history books say.
This victory had incalculable consequences, both psychologically (the Moghols were not as invincible as other Hindu leaders thought) and historically (it heralded the beginning of the end of the Moghol empire).
We in the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History, Pune, recognize that some of the greatest Indian heroes and heroines were those who had the courage to confront the enemy physically, that is fight wars : Maharana Pratap, Shivaji Maharaj, Ahilyabai Holkar, Rani Kittur Chennama, Dara Shikoh, Tarabai, etc.
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Finally, let me quote Sri Aurobindo, an avatar, a great philosopher, poet & yogi, but also the first one who said the British should be booted out of Indian, by force if necessary: “There is nothing wrong with war”…..