Thursday, October 31, 2013

Communal Violence Bill - an hour

It is 10 in the night and I have started reading the draft of the communal violence bill. The pdf is 56 pages long, find it here. Ram Jethmalani calls it legislative garbage and unconstitutional. Subramanian Swamy has been vocal about it ever since it came into the public framework. Madhu Trehan, leaves you with this question:

Niticentral rips it to shreds (includes an Arun Jaitley piece as bonus).Firstpost says, Congress stirs the communal pot again.

So I try to read it. It starts off with a rather startling sentence, "That it will be applicable to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir". Funny I thought, considering that Kishtwar was rocked by communal violence as recently as in August.

But I continue. 

Much of it is legalese, so I could not follow it much, but this caught my attention,

"group” means a religious or linguistic minority, in any State in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes within the meaning of clauses (24) and (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution of India"

(not sure of the implications of this one)

Upon the sole testimony of the victim of sexual assault, the Designated Judge appointed under this Act may conclude that an offence of sexual assault has been committed by the accused against the said victim.
(Clear mischief possible here, I dont know legal stuff, but this reads like that)

If in a prosecution for any offence committed under this Act, it is shown that the accused committed or abetted or conspired to commit the offence of hate propaganda under section 8, it shall be presumed, unless thecontrary is proved, that the offence committed was knowingly directed against a person by virtue of his or her membership of a group. 

(and here, presumption of offence - this is interesting, in a country where terrorists have to commit an offence or kill people before they are caught according to our human rights wallahs)

What this means to me is that any thing that is done by a minority community (and usually that means only one thing in this secular nation) will be pardoned. That means, something like a Direct Action day of 1946, will be perfectly legal, under this draft. Most likely, you learnt a sanitized, sterlized version of this in your history books, if at all. Time to educate yourself then.

Of course, 2010 Deganga riots (WB), 2012 Assam riots, 2013 Canning riots (again WB) or even the ongoing Muzaffarnagar riots would not constitute an offense under this law. Or perhaps even the murder of Swami Lakshmananda would not attract attention from the makers of this grand proposal.

 So, an hour later, I am still trying to think what is this government trying to do by passing such a one sided legislation?

A Fancy Dress Festival

Just a little while ago, my door bell rang and when I opened it there were a rash of kids celebrating, of all things, Halloween, shouting trick or treat. Kids dress up in various get-ups and go from door to door.  They took their chocolates and went their way. 

This is a festival that has lately made inroads into India - atleast in Bangalore - I myself learnt about this festival in some upmarket communities some years back . But now it looks like its being celebrated everywhere.
A few weeks ago, I was in Tiruchendur - bang in the middle of Navaratri and there were these kids and adults dressed up as monkeys, bears, Durga and so many other beings and animals  and it was beautiful to see. (This blog has some lovely pictures.)

When I grew up in Mumbai, we used to celebrate Thai Pushyam with gusto - there were kavadis on the streets, shastapreetis but of late, this has vanished.

But in urban India, I am not sure if such a festival will be celebrated. And that is worth a thought.
Between Halloween and this festival, there is very little difference. Kids (and adults) go dressed up in fancy dress. But obviously, one is our tradition (what we are) and one is some other practice. Of course, you can argue that how does it matter, we are secular, they are kids and so on. Perhaps.  But what is it that makes us forget what we are, or ignore what we are and pick up something else?

As we get educated we lose touch. And, our schools educate us very little in our traditions - indeed we are taught to denigrate them or treat them as unimportant by and large. And what we do have are the big social themed events like Ganpati in Maharashtra, Pujo in Bengal, Dassehra in Bengal etc. This process is worth a thought. Or is it that we are so divided that a North Indian will not celebrate Pongal and a South Indian will not celebrate Karva Chauth and therefore, it is easier to accept something that belongs to neither?

In a root canal procedure, the pulp is removed and what is left is the tooth without any life. Sometimes, if I wonder if our education does just that to us.

What do you use your email for?

A few years back email was the way to communicate. Not a day would go without checking the various email accounts that were created when a rash of service providers offered an email inbox. People from across the world communicated with each other on email.

But over the last many months, I discovered that my frequency of checking email was reduced and I was not missing anything. The only place where I did rely on email was on groups - which I am part of and which has longer conversations happening. Other than that, conversations have moved to instant messaging on phone or facebook or even twitter. The second thing is that all of these service providers, like facebook and twitter have kind of spammed email with their notifications (yes, am sure they can be turned off, but who checks email regularly anyway). Even forwards have moved to instant conversations!

So the only reason email exists is as a repository of those instant conversations or the occasional friend who still has your email somewhere or job sites that keep spamming you with mostly irrelevant job offers.

However, at work email remains an integral part of the worklife. Interesting to see how these trends will reflect at work.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Leftism is a lazy belief

I am astounded by the number of people who live in the corporate world hold cushy jobs and have a blatantly slanted view of the world. When I say slanted, I mean, these are the same people who enjoy all the benefits that centre of right reforms have provided. Much of the benefit of de-licencing industries, banking access, private companies, jobs, tax cuts have all flowed to this very segment.

And yet, after having access to the goodies of capitalism, they hold a leftist belief. I am unable to fathom why this is so, but my theory is that this is an easy belief - a lazy belief - a romantic belief. And this is fed by the very same media that takes capitalist money and spreads a stupid leftist belief.

Let me explain. Every two bit leftist shouts from the rooftop for example that salaries are going through the roof - and when people like us read crap like that, it induces a sense of guilt in us. The two bit leftist of course omits the fact that he or she gets paid to write like that (they do not write for free) and for the most part these leftism spewers accept capitalist money for their ventures or NGO's. But leave that aside - I have seen people working in IT industries crib that their own salaries are high and that IT money is easy money. Now prior to IT, there were many industries in India - chained by the licence raj and in those days profits were evil, so they made black money and shared very little with their workers. In effect, workers were taken for a ride. The IT industry shares more of its money with its people - and it is these people who drive markets for absorbing our surplus labour - people who work for like maids, drivers, gardeners. If it were not for this money, the other set of people would have an even worse existence. For example, today a maid earns more working in a house than working in a garment factory in Bangalore. Hear Milton Friedman on Capitalism in the most enlightening 2 minutes of your life!

But it is easy to have the thought someone in IT makes easy money, pays 30% tax - which the government duly squanders - and assuage the guilt by donating to some charity whose owner goes around in a BMW. This guilt makes oneself want to belief in a leftist ideology. Do you need to be guilty? Absolutely not - atleast I have no plans to be, though you are welcome if you want to. But you see, it is a very easy belief system to have.

And by the way has leftism and unbridled socialism created any great country? North Korea? Do read, The Animal farm by George Orwell to see how ideologies like this progress.

Second: These are the very people who have come up from their roots. Many of them one or two generations ago were poor (one of my own greatgrandfathers was a cook), buy they used education to bring themselves up. And these very people will argue for stupid rules like Right to Education. The Right to Education is less about education and more about discriminating in the name of religion (only Hindu schools are under RTE - bet you did not know this) and about arbitrary powers in the hands of a bureaucrat. There is no need for a Right to Education if our Education sector was a for profit sector. Atanu Dey put forward a beautiful argument on this, which is worth a read. But, does that stop schools and their rapacious owners from making a profit? Of course not. In the name of not making a profit, they pay their teachers less and fleece students and parents alike by charging MRP for every pencil and 50 rupees for a class photo and 100 rupees for a cheap CD and such like. Not to forget the donations.

The sooner we move to an equal opportunity (more schools) scheme than an equal outcome (reservations - spread by votebank) scheme - the better it is for us. Again, easy to believe that our country needs crappy legislations like RTE and reservations in the name of votebanks for education.

Third: Imagined victimhood leads to terrorism. Well, in that case, many people should have been terrorists.Women, to begin with. They have been oppressed by men through the centuries and continue to be. So, how come there is no Womens liberation front that guns down men and places bombs in pubs and cricket matches where men congregate? How come the Kashmir Pandits thrown out of their own houses for being Hindus did not become terrorists? And today more and more people are asking these questions:
If we do not appease people, indeed communities, they will become terrorists. When we talk like this, we seriously undermine the intelligence of communities - indeed insult them. But then, it is easy to appease religions and their bigots than ask them serious questions. Remember this, the real victims often have no voice. The Pandits in Kashmir (read Our moon has blood clots), the Hindus/Sikhs in Pakistan (read Train to Pakistan, Tamas) and Bangladesh (Lajja), the workers in the middle east about whom we hear some horror stories, the women of middle east (read Princess) rural India - there are many such oppressed who have not become terrorists. But then it is easy to believe in this no - because otherwise one has to ask uncomfortable questions about those fund these evil ideologies in the guise of charity and so on?

Fourth: Mother Teresa and the missionaries of charity. Are they into saving lives or saving souls (euphemism for conversion). I read Christopher Hitchens missionary position recently. Again, easy to believe that they are saving lives when they are into saving souls. This sentence in the book struck me

"It is another chapter in a millenial story which stretches back to the superstitious childhood of our species, and which depends on the exploitation of the simple and the humble by the cunning and the single-minded"

But in our books, anybody who opposes conversions is bad - because it is very easy to believe that. Therefore everyone of you has heard of Graham Staines, but very few of you would have heard about Lakshmananada Saraswati who was brutally murdered by 'Maoists' who later turned out to be 'Christians'. But, have you asked yourself, why two tribes are warring (this is in India) - after centuries of peaceful existence - the first insurgencies occured in the 1950s? What is it that in 1971 drove one religion in Bangladesh to kill and murder hundreds of co-Bangladeshis despite many years of co-existence and a common language and culture?

I can go on and on, but to sum it up, unless you read up things instead of depending on your daily media, your beliefs are unlikely to change.

So, if you encounter a leftist, you know that a lot of it comes from being lazy.

The Temple Builders of Tamil Nadu

I recently came back from a visit to Rameswaram and Kanyakumari. Over the past few years, I have managed to cover quite a bit of South India - Kerala, Karnataka and TN mostly. Andhra Pradesh, not as much.

Across these states, Tamil Nadu stands out. The number of ancient temples in Tamil Nadu are just too numerous to mention. Almost every other town is a temple town. Towering Gopurams, prayer and faith, flowers, jasmine, sandalwood - they all look the same - from outside.

But it struck me this time when we went around - other than the big temples, many of these temples are not the most easily accessible even today - I mean, by road they are, but many of them are not so densely populated areas and in those days, most of them are a couple of days trek or bullock cart ride from each other.

I was thinking about the kinds who built them. For a king, building a grand temple probably accomplished a few things. One, of course, was his contribution to history as a temple builder. But the second and probably more important was the fact that - it jump started his economy. To begin with as part of the building process, artists and artisans came there. Since temple building was a long drawn exercise - for example, the Arunachala Temple in Tiruvannamalai has this in its Wikipedia entry:

"The present masonry structure was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagar rulers of the Sangama Dynasty (1336–1485 CE), the Saluva Dynasty and the Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 CE)."

That meant that this type of work provided livelihood for for many types of people - over many years, sometimes hundreds of years - from stone cutters to woodcutters to carpenters to other types of workers. It created a demand for housing and food as well.

As the temple came to fruition, it would attract many other people - from priests to cooks to flower sellers to elephant mahouts to astrologers to sadhus to artists. As people flocked there, there would be other needs and ultimately - development.

A yearly festival would ensure further employment and engagement - apart from the 'feel good' factor.

And of course, each temple had/continues to have its own unique selling proposition. Some are part of larger pilgrim circuits, some have more local relevance, some are architectural and astronomical marvels - aligned to the position of the sun - it is mindboggling to think about it.

Even today many hundred years later, many of these towns are still dependent on the temples - a testimony to the fact that the temple builders have left their mark on these towns and still continue to provide a livelihood to so many people over so many generations!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What is evil?

My last three posts have hovered around the question of non-violence, winning wars and of speaking softly and carrying a big stick.So, then the question is who is good and who is bad? What is good and what is bad?

Technically, for Indians, after a century odd of occupation the English were bad - we were fighting them in our own country, right? Then, how come, they defeated Hitler and how did that suddenly made them good in our eyes?

Is the LTTE bad, is the Khalistan bad, are jihadis bad? Then who is good? Why are they good? Who is bad? What defines them? And then let us go back in time. Were the aboriginals bad - they were wiped out - as were the American Indians by and large. And India suffered hundreds of invasions which were very very brutal.

These are tough questions and I had not thought them when I set out writing this series of posts. But it is worth a try.

Throughout history, it is not always that the good guys have won. In general, today it is accepted that colonialization was a bad idea - but an idea of its times nonetheless. At one point, the white man was seen as a saviour - taking millions out of ignorance into development - indeed from their pagan roots into more 'evolved' thoughts. The value systems like liberty, equality, fraternity are no doubt good but the belief systems like religion is highly questionable. Even in these highlighted countries, women had to fight for voting rightsa and a right to stand in office - while in many of the traditional societies, women had equal (some societies were matriarchial too), if not more rights. Oh, well, in some very rich parts of the world women are stillfighting for driving rights. But in a nutshell, today, no country can think of colonialising another country. Times change. So, colonialism - which was good then is bad today. Read The White mans burden here.

When the invaders of India massacred its population (mostly the unbelievers in their view), they were doing what they were always doing. Today, an invasion and massacre of that scale are unheard of - not as invading armies. But the terrorists have taken over - and even that is accepted is bad (mostly, though there are apologists - and ask yourself why they can justify this - or what makes them justify this). So, massacre of non-believers is not accepted today - it used to be accepted once upon a time, not by those massacred obviously - but then history is written by the winners. But if we don't fight in the present, we are history - as written by the winners. Massacres of infidels still happens, but hold on to that thought.

What Hitler did – and which in my unimportant opinion turned the tide was that he tried to colonialize Europe – which till then was considered out of bounds. I mean, while the English and French fought in India, they did not fight at their respective countries – those territorial integrities were wrapped up much earlier. And by then many of the colonies had got sufficiently restive enough for England to let go. Remember that India had French and Portuguese territories till as recently as 1954 and 1961 respectively.

So, what if Hitler did win? We would be speaking German instead of English is a very simplistic way of looking at it. But, more than that, would more and more people have found their way into gas chambers? We don’t know. What we do know that is that 6 million of his countrymen were gassed.

What if the jihadis win? Will we have equal rights for everyone? Or will unbelievers be killed just because you worship a particular god? In some parts of Afghanistan, Sikhs have to wear a yellow turban – a chilling reminder of the yellow badge that Jews had to wear. Pakistan has made a micro minority of its already minority communities – and they are now after sects within their own majority.

What if we had let Khalistan evolve as a separate state? Would we be setting the right example for a unified India? Or should we have allowed the creation of India into 25 (or 300) odd different countries. What if the LTTE won in Lanka? Would they have followed universal ideals of equality to all – or would that pave the way for further violence in the world? What if we allowed Maoists to run amock blowing up mobile phone towers and schools – are they taking the world forward or backward?

Hypothetical questions all of them – but the directions are clear?

Were the rapists of Jyoti Singh good? Were the terrorists in Kenya who killed Mitul Shah among many others good? Are the terrorists who keep bombs in crowded places good? If they are, please invite them to your house because I will do everything in my power to keep them out of mine.

Good is all about supporting freedom.
Bad is all about regression.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

So, how does one win a war?

A war cannot be won by appeasement - indeed no war ever has been won by appeasement (Examples welcome). Nor has any war been won by pusillanimity. Or by timidness and fear. Is might the only way to win a war? Actually not. Even in the conflicts that I had brought out, a lot of wars are won by many other things than pure might. And this is where the beauty of the speak softly but carry a big stick approach works. Which means, building the might and the willingness to use it is very important. Whether or not one uses it always is not important. Like the proverbial big stick by the side. It helps.

There are many things that can be done much before it escalates into a war. A great example is the Cuban missile crisis. How about sanctions? How about stopping trade? Or Aid? Or power? Or fuel? Or jobs? All of these work at a country level. But as a nation you have to be willing to use them.

In the case of India and Pakistan, we have consistently refused to use any option with the result we have been slapped left, right and centre for 60 years. A couple of big whacks have been handed by us, but over the last 10-15 odd years, we have been at the receiving end. Why? Because we have been consistently neglecting our armed forces, progressively reducing our airforce, progressively decaying our naval force and not building enough indigenous capability. (Google it, you will find links for everything.) Sure, we have a huge economy, but with weight, we also need voice. We do not have a strong voice in the international arena because we are a vacillating nation - we vote for the wrong side (as against in Lanka) or abstain - and rarely make hard choices. We neglect our neighbours to the extent that they dont like us. Nepal is a case in point. Most nations in the world do not know where we stand on issues. All of this puts our nations image as a soft, defeatist, doddering old person.

And yes, our neighbour, after successfully culling its Christians, Hindus (and having kept a nominal number) is now after Ahmadiyas and Sunnis. And don't forget the Balochs and some others. And remains the global epicentre of terrorism. Is it because they are an oppressed nation? Doesnt look like it right? So, what gives?

And what if a country is being threatened by the likes of terrorists or Maoists? How does one handle them? The whole world today runs on economics. Money is paid to and from vested interests. No movement can ever run without funding. Who funds these terrorists? Where do they get money from? Who gives them arms and ammunition? And why? Through what channels? Do they get their funds from illegal channels or legal? If so how?

By indulging in a terrorist act, as a funder, as an ideologue, as a foot soldier, as a tourist guide - do I get hell to pay for it? If I do, then I might think twice before indulging in such an act. If I don't, then there is a good chance I will continue to do it. And here is where the encounter specialists and drones come in. In the case of the former, I know as a criminal that I could be gunned down for the wrong acts that I commit. If not me, someone close to me. Or my assets could get attached. Or I could be killed by a rival. In the case of the latter, a drone could follow me to almost any part and ultimately an missile will land up on my head one fine day.

Yes, encounter specialists and drones may end up causing collateral damage to innocents. But these mistakes happen. But remember, that each time a terrorist places a bomb in a crowded place - every single person who is killed is innocent. 

I have no respect for the human rights wallahs who appear every time a terrorist is caught. I never see them fight for those who lose their limbs and hard earned lives in a terror attack. And yes, I do not care for the human rights of any terrorists - I doubt if they care about it while placing a bomb under the seat of a crowded bus.Freedom from Fear - read and think about this hard hitting letter by KPS Gill written to then PM IK Gujral and see where you stand.

Think of the terrorist Masood Azhar who we released in return for the approximately 150 odd passengers has killed atleast 10 times that number in return. Yes, he returned our favour of non-violence and biryani with the Mumbai attacks which killed off about 183 non-believers into the other world. Would we not have been better off if this scum was eliminated?

Without money and ideology no terrorism movement can run. LTTE, Khalistan, Jihadis. Check. Otherwise, most women would be terrorists no? Most Kashmiri Pandits would be terrorists no? Actually, the league of oppressed is quite a long one - American Indians, Aborigines in Australia - how come all of them dont pick up a gun? So, ask again who funds them? Why? To what end? Who supplies them with weapons? How?

And if you choke them, can you win the war? But do you have the will?

But the first thing is to recognize that a war or a potential war like situation exists with something that threatens your way or life at all. Or would you rather say, we capitulate!

Can a war be won with non violence, Part II?

So, let us now examine some real scenarios – based on history. 

During World War II, actually before World War II, the countriesaround Germany appeased Hitler. I am not sure if they did so in the hope of peace or out of a delusion, but clearly, appeasing Hitler did not work. He continued being a monster and demanding ever more pounds of flesh. And at some point, the Allies needed to fight a violent war (essentially started by Hitler) in order to ensure peace.

And while he was at it, he exterminated atleast 6 million Jews in gas chambers. Non-violence did not seem to work for them, did it?

Closer home, Muhammad Ghori, was defeated and was sent back with honours by Prithviraj Chauhan. In return, when Chauhan was defeated the next time, Ghori blinded him and ultimately killed him. Clearly, even the honourable non-violent act of sending the loser back home with honours did not work for Prithviraj Chauhan.

Then, let us examine Pakistan and its obsession with Kashmir. Every few years they keep doing something to renew their jihad in Kashmir (See Pravin swamis book on Kashmir). It is in their interest (and I cannot see any reason for anybody to do this, but well, perhaps it is history, perhaps ideology, perhaps the Pk army needs to keep its own sense of importance alive) to keep the pot boiling in Kashmir. We have seen their support for internal jihadi groups against India in their country and in our country. They continue to harbor and encourage elements inimical to India consistently. As they say, once you can be fooled, but if you are fooled twice, you are a fool. What of India that has been consistenly led up the garden for some 60 odd years. Clearly, appeasing and aman ki asha is not working here.

Staying with Pakistan, as they continued to massacre Bengalis in East Pakistan, India had to step in. Not stepping in would have amounted a massive genocide (intervening resulted in a genocide of far smaller proportions - a crime for which justice is being delivered about now).

The naxal movement in the 70s was eliminated not by peace,but by some very brutal interventions. The Khalistan movement in Punjab was crushed not by flower wielding hippies, but with some tit for tat campaigns bythe Punjab police. (See this moving letter from KPS Gill to PM IK Gujral on the suicide of a police officer.) And of course, the encounter specialists in Mumbai who broke the back of Mumbais underworld (who, of course, now enjoy state patronage in Pakistan). 

Sri Lanka broke the back of LTTE, in a brutal manner, but that has left the island in peace not bombs for the first time in many many years. Yes, they were brutal, but those who live by the sword must be prepared to die by the sword.The LTTE used children too as suicide bombers - can you get any more evil? Turns out that you can - mentally handicapped women were used as suicide bombers in Iraq.

When the Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of the valley, they were non violent – indeed, there is not a single act of reprisal that they undertook. Clearly, non violence did not work there as well.

And lastly, the case of Jyoti Singh who was brutally rapedin Delhi. Did non-violence work for her? You decide. Because dead people can rarely decide.

Non-violence may be the highest good (Ahimsa Paramo Dharma), but let us not mistake it for being non-violent out of fear, but out of confidence. As Winston Churchill said speak softly, but carry a big stick (and show that you have the will to use it if required.) The best non usage of the big stick and yet decimating the opponent is the Cold War and that is where economics comes in.

Non violence against terrorists – clearly does not seem to be working. Ask Mitul Shah. No, you cannot ask him. He died you see, after he offered himself as a hostage to jihadis in Kenya. Clearly, the memo of non violence did not reach them.

No terror movement can be crushed – like Hitler, like LTTE unless one goes after the evil ideologies, their funders, those who encourage and uproot it completely.

History has shown us that in order for the just to win peace, some amount of violence is required, indeed justified. Do you have examples to prove otherwise? 

All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing: Edmund Burke

What are fighting for? And how then, does win over evil? Coming in the next part...

Can a war be won by non-violence - Part I?

It is a very romantic notion to say that one can win a war by non-violence. But yet, we tend to inherently believe that it can happen. Two oft quoted examples are Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. (Thanks to Dum Spiro, Spero)

First the former. Mahatma Gandhi, no doubt, played a stellar role in the Indian Freedom Struggle. There were others, lesser known leaders, throughout the country who played a great role in it as well. Was the entire Indian Freedom struggle non-violent? Clearly not. And did non-violence on one side necessarily result in non-violence on the other? Clearly not. Jalianwala Bagh is just one of the many examples. Having said that the non-violence did strike a chord with the masses in providing their voice to the struggle. Did non-violence win us freedom? Highly unlikely even though your school books would say so.
Clearly, the struggle was not all about non-violence.
And secondly, it was also becoming expensive for the British to hold onto their 'empire'. Clement Attlee who led the post war labour government wanted to get rid of British colonies.

Attlee's solutions were to make India independent, to pull out of Palestine, to nationalize major industries and begin socialized medicine, and to turn to the sympathetic liberal government of President Harry Truman to pay for it all. 

Thus it was that alongwith India - Sri Lanka (1948) and Burma (again, 1948) got independence at about the same time. Also, remember that there were still French (Pondicherry 1954) and Portuguese (Goa 1961) parts of India that continued to remain in India - perhaps unaffected by the so called freedom movement! So, what gives? Clearly economics! And by the way, to get some princely states to access, our army was sent, not flower vendors.

Now about Nelson Mandela. This was very interesting. Mandela was in prison post what is famously known as the Rivonia Trial. And a slightly simpler explanation (though badly spelt) here,

Mandella was an educated lawyer and was brought to stand trial in 1963 at the age of 45, for plotting to overthrow the government of South Africa by violence. He was convicted of sabbotoge - several bombs that went off were blamed on the African National Congress (ANC) of which he was the leader. Several people were killed and he was imprisoned for murder and sabbatoge. He remained in prison for 27 years.

Mandella was offered a full release in 1988 - on condition that he renounce violence. Having been a lawyer for over 2 decades, Mandella noted that prisoners cannot enter into contracts - only free men can negotiate, so he refused a full release - unless it had absolutly no conditions. This set the movement to free Nelson Mandela! 

Now that these two examples are out of the way, let us ask ourselves this question again, can a war be won purely by non violence?