‘When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion or political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.’ – J. Krishnamurti
I got into a disagreement with my brother when he shared this post on his wall on facebook. He agrees with the man above and I don’t. He shared his opinion and I shared mine. Now, let me clear up one thing I don’t dislike anyone for disagreeing with me, because it is only natural. I dislike it when they start to become disrespectful while they disagree, for example calling someone stupid is violence just because they don’t agree with your point of view. Intellectual discussions cannot be fruitful if they are based on emotional outrage.
While I appreciate the man above and my brother for supporting peace and unity, however their argument to blame it on our differences of opinions and beliefs seems a little immature and impractical to me.
First of all, violence is not only directed to humans it is also directed towards animals and nature in its entirety. So violence can be towards any living species, according to my opinion. Furthermore, violence can be physical, like wars, or it can be social, like discrimination, or psychological or economical, like trade bans. Once we have cleared in our minds what violence could and could be, only then can we further discuss the quotation above.
Let’s break down what Krishnamurti has said above. ‘When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent…’ When Krishnamurti states this, he is in short implying that associating oneself to a group is being violent. It is our natural and psychological tendency to associate ourselves to a certain group.
In the next sentence he says that it means that we are separating ourselves from others, which is the main cause of violence. I disagree because the main cause of violence towards any living being is not the differences in themselves. The main cause is showing intolerance of the differences we were created with.
He further adds that anyone who wants to understand violence does not belong to any group and says ‘…he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind’. His point is valid to an extent that a person should be unbiased while trying to understand humans. However, the understanding of mankind is contingent upon accepting the fact that humans will always have differences. They will always disagree on one thing or another. It is a basic and fundamental fact and not accepting this fact leads to such impractical utopian ideologies which are impossible to implement to eradicate the issue of violence.
Therefore, violence can only be curbed by accepting the differences and tolerating each other’s diversity in opinion and beliefs. Making these differences our strength, instead of making them our biggest weakness can the issue of violence be curbed, if not completely eradicated.