“Ahimsa can still sustain in India, though the country is fast losing the culture,” said noted Swiss film-maker Karl Saurer. Speaking to the students of the Government Teachers’ Training Institute in Kozhikode on Friday, he said India still had many stalwarts of the Ahimsa movement and that it was not yet time for the country to lose hope in them.
Mr. Saurer’s documentary film Ahimsa-the strength of non-violence was earlier screened for the students. The film features various non-violent mass movements taking place in north India under the aegis of P.V. Rajagopal and Ekta Parishad founded by him.
The Parishad had been following the principles of Mahatma Gandhi for decades and was trying to help marginalised villagers to sustain themselves without resorting to violent protests against the authorities who had been looting them, he said.
The film features first-person accounts by villagers who were suppressed in different ways, but built up comfortable living conditions for themselves through non-violent efforts.
The villagers of Sannai in Madhya Pradesh describe how they braved wild animals and built up a self sufficient village while another set of villagers in Chambal were thankful to the Parishad for helping them abandon their dacoits’ ways and lead a life of peace and honour.
The Ekta Parishad has been holding several youth camps all over the country imparting training on non-violent development movements among the youth.
The villagers prove that wealth was not mandatory for development and that it constituted the courage to speak the truth and not remain indifferent.
Mr. Saurer was accompanied by his wife Eleena. Ekta Parishad convenor P. Suresh Babu, Faculty of the Department of English at the institute Priya Kamal, and teaching staff T.K.A. Azeez and K. Indira were present at the session.