This essay is a revised version of an address to the General Assembly of the United Nations, to mark the International Day of Non-Violence, observed every year on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, 2nd October.
Ramachandra Guha is Philippe Roman Chair at LSE IDEAS.
The 11th of September, or 9/11 for short, is a date commemorated with great sentiment and feeling in the city of New York. It is also remembered and marked all over the world. 9/11 is a day, and date, that signifies both the depths of human barbarity as well as the heights of human resilience. The barbarity was represented by the men who bombed the World Trade Centre, the resilience by the men and women of many nationalities who lost their loved ones on that day, and yet, with an exemplary patience and courage, have since rebuilt their lives.
This essay remembers another 9/11, that took place in another city and another continent. The 9/11 I now speak of strove to nurture rather than destroy, to enrich and dignify human life rather than debase and degrade it. This was a 9/11 which, if we understand its message correctly and apply it sincerely, has the power and the potential to deepen democracy, diminish violence, and help construct a more just and caring society. Read the full report »