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Sometimes wars are required to ensure peace

war and peace

The topic ‘sometimes wars are required to ensure peace’ might seem antithetical to the teachings of many great religious figures. Christ exhorted us to ‘show the other cheek’; so did Buddha, who preferred peace to any form of violence; at the same time we have Lord Krishna who, in the Gita, tells Arjuna to go to war with his cousins in order to ensure peace and dharma. The point here is which path should one follow? Should we follow the path of Christ and Buddha or that of Krishna and Guru Gobind Sigh, the tenth guru of Sikh who was not only a saint but also a warrior?

The answer is up to our own discretion; I think it’s a matter of individual and sometimes of collective choice. If my own brother or neighbour does a minor harm to me, I might look up to Christ and Buddha, and show the other cheek, thus condoning his actions and feelings towards me; but if the severity of harm keeps on increasing, and if the turning of the other cheek becomes a cause even greater trouble, then would it always sense to make peace with my brother or my neighbour? Won’t that be a sign of cowardice? It would indeed be! So, I believe that while the Christs and the Buddhas may be right in their way, their precept of making peace may not always disarm my enemy. In personal matters and in matters that are trivial, I will always make peace with my brother, my neighbour and my antagonists, my opponents and my rivals; but in matters that are grievous, unbearable and outrageous, I would not make peace through non-violent means ; I would rather pick the sword and tame my opponents and foes.

History shows that the world has always been full of tyrants who were cruel, intolerant and oppressive; the only way they could be stopped in their path of destruction was through confrontation, a confrontation in which they got the taste of their own medicine. Had it not been for these face-offs, truth would have never prevailed and evil would have forever been victorious. We have the example of Nazi Germany from recent times; if the entire world had preferred peaceful and non-violent means of persuading or stopping Hitler, then the whole human race would have been under a serious threat.

Thus I wholeheartedly agree with the statement given above: sometimes wars are required to ensure peace; the cost of peace at times may be very high, and we human beings should be ready to pay a price for that. Just as destruction is one of the forms of creation, so war is one of the ways of ensuring peace.

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