In a world where the violence of men and nations has reached levels that make us fear the loss of life on earth and the annihilation of all that mankind has created beautiful, big, magnificent and wonderful over the centuries, a book on non-violence is always good news to receive. The one you are going to read meets these criteria in more than one title and in several angles.
It is, first because it takes us back to the thought of the man who, in
modern times, made of non-violence not only a fundamental theory to promote
but a decisive practice of profound transformation of minds and social
structures: the Mahatma Gandhi. This remarkable man, the author of this book
presents forcefully his spiritual insights and guidance of thought and
action. He shows at what point the idea of non-violence and its orientations
of life such as Gandhi has developed form a base to build the only world
worth being built today: the world of love in all its possibilities of
humanisation of men and peoples.
This book is also good news because it is written by a young Catholic priest
who interprets Gandhi on the basis of what the message of Jesus Christ was
radical in its understanding of love and in its valorisation of force to
love, in the words of Martin Luther King. When we put non-violence in the
global dynamics of love in the deepest sense that Christ gives, we
understand that Gandhi did not only address to his own people in a context
of political liberation of India but to all nations in which non-violence is
a form of very fertile shortcut of what history has as the seeds of
spirituality to make of each person a true human being and of society a
place of true humanity. When a Christian reads and understands Gandhi from
this perspective, as the Reverend Father by Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang,
he offers a valuable contribution to our contemporary world dominated by the
most barbarous and wild violence, a world where it is important and
indispensable to place non-violence as a new basis of civilisation.
His book is also good news for the African continent. For half a millennium
already, this continent is dominated by violence. Her story is a story of
tears and blood, of sweat and trauma from the horrors of slavery to the
present globalization which does not augur something else for the future
other than exponential intensification of violence. Even today, African news
is woven by violence: the violence of weapons, the violence of murderous
tribal identities, the violence of despotic powers, the violence of unending
miseries, the violence of desperation due to injustice, inequality and
denials of human rights everywhere in our countries. In this context, the
good news of non-violence is not only a necessity; it is a life-threatening
emergency. The Reverend Father Basebang understood this urgency and his book
spreads the breath with a real happiness. By publishing such a book, it is
clear that Africa's future cannot be built on another foundation than that
of non-violence as that of Gandhi and that built on the fertility of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Insofar as the book of Father Basebang feeds on all the juice of any
politics of non-violence, it is good news for the education of future
generations, those who have to build their future and who should not allow
themselves to be dominated by the present civilisation of violence and
destruction. Today more than ever, in Africa and around the world, the
ethics of non-violence has to be devoted primarily to the education of
youths. The future depends on it and there is urgency.
With such an ethic, one can imagine that another type of politics will be
possible: the politics of humans. Another type of economy will be possible:
The economy of shared happiness. Another type of culture will be possible:
the culture of responsible solidarity at the level of individuals, peoples,
cultures and civilizations.
We must express deep gratitude to Reverend Father Basebang for highlighting
these basic requirements of humanity from the mind of Gandhi.