Higher Success Ratio of Peaceful Resistance Movements In 20th Century

By: Hussain Khan, Tokyo 

 Maulana Maududi had been emphasizing for a peaceful, lawful Islamic Movement from the very first day of inception of Jamaat-e-Islami in Pre-Partition India. Many examples of its effectiveness can now be seen in recent events India, Pakistan, Iran and etc. A lot of research has also been conducted on its effectiveness by the Western scholars and some American Universities.

“Kashmir Banega Pakistan”

Even Modi ia afraid of Peaceful Resistance Movement in Kashmir

Modi knows very well that the Supreme Court will surely quash his dream of abrogating Articles 370 and 35A. Then how is he going to restore lost image of India as a largest peace-loving democracy in the world, for which he had been spending millions of dollars on American lobbyists and others, and for which purpose Indian Ambassador rushed from Washington to meet New York Times editorial board members requesting them to include his input also in their story of Imran Khan interview?

 Modi knows very well that he cannot maintain 900,000 Army Jawans in Kashmir for long. Soviet Russia could not maintain its Army in Afghanistan more than 11 years. NATO Forces said good-bye to their American ally after a few years. After wasting over one trillion dollars and 2,400 American lives, now America is desperate to get rid of its longest 19-year old war and leave Afghanistan to dogs to fight with each other---Taliban versus Afghan Government--- instead of fighting with America.

 Modi has also admitted this fact that he cannot solve Kashmir problem by “the might of “bullets and bombs” in his last sentence of a monthly radio speech known as “Mann Ki Baat”, as quoted below. 

 Previously, in the second episode of 'Mann Ki Baat' which was aired a week before the abrogation of Article 370, the Prime Minister had discussed Kashmir, saying that "those who spread hatred will never succeed in their nefarious plans". 

He had also asserted that the power of development was stronger than the might of "bullets and bombs". 

 The Myth of ‘Development’ Cannot Obliterate the Force of Aspirations Energizing Resistance Movements

 It means that Modi knows that his current policy of trying to suppress peaceful Resistance Movement of Kashmiris by means of brute force using 900,000 army Jawans will be an utter failure in the long run. He is therefore offering the panacea of ‘Development’ to his nation. This is how he wants to solve the Kashmir problem through ‘Development’ instead of ‘bullets and bombs’.

In our country, Nawaz Sharif was also harping on the same theme of ‘Development’. It was his political philosophy to win the hearts of the voters. Wherever he went for a speech he promised to start some ‘Development’ Projects for the voters of that area. He failed as the aspirations of people were more for a clean, corruption-free government than simply the ‘Development’ Projects.

Shah of Iran spent billions of dollars for the Development of Iran. But the aspirations of people were more for a free democratic government under an honest, patriotic, sincere and trustworthy leadership than simply the ‘Development’ of Iran by a brutal autocrat like him. A peaceful Resistance Movement led by Imam Khomeini succeeded in toppling a brutal government.

That Iranian Revolution through a peaceful Resistance Movement was a role model for one of our prominent Islamic scholars, the late Dr. Israr Ahmad (RA). But Pakistan drifted towards and finally came under the iron grip of a SECULAR civil, army and political leadership after the death of Quaid-e-Azam, Liaquat Ali Khan, Khawaja Nazimuddin, Sardar Abdur-rab Nashtar, Choudhri Mohammad Ali and other non-Secular  Islamic leaders. Therefore, the dream of our respected Islamic scholar could not be realized in Pakistan.

Moreover, it will be a misunderstanding to treat Khomeini Revolution as an Islamic Revolution. It was basically a Revolution against the injustice and against the brutal dictatorship of Shah of Iran. Tudeh Party, a leftist pro-Russian, communist party was also carrying on campaign with the same slogan and the same agenda as that of Imam Khomeini, Both were against Shah of Iran brutality and injustice. Basically the aspirations of the people were to get rid of Shah’s injustice and brutality.

People had to choose between a communist and an Islamic leadership to fulfill their aspirations. I have the experience of my student life, whenever a candidate of Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba stood as a candidate, he almost always won the elections. It was because that candidates of Jamiat were always found in character and morality much better than all other candidates that stood against them. It is therefore easy to understand why Iranian people chose Imam Khomeini as their trustworthy leader instead of Tudeh Party.

Peaceful Resistance Movement succeeded in Iran not in the name of, nor for the sake of Islam, as misunderstood by our respected Islamic scholar. It was basically against injustice and brutality of Shah of Iran. Modi injustice and brutality on Kashmiris is much severe than that of Raza Shah Pahlavi. If the Iranians can succeed, why should we be pessimistic for the success of Kashmiri Resistance Movement?

Instead of a Khomeini-like movement, Imran Khan was more realistic to see and judge directly the ground realities of as to what were the aspirations of the people. He succeeded in developing a peaceful Resistance Movement against the prevailing corruption in Pakistan on all levels. It took 22 years for him to succeed in his PRM (Peaceful Resistance Movement). His PRM was energized by the aspirations of the people and it became more and more popular as more and more corruption cases of the ruling coterie came to light day by day.

Pakistan Movement is also another example of success of a peaceful Resistance Movement. A distinguished hallmark of Quaid-e-Azam is that he led anti-British, anti- Imperialistic, Pakistan Movement in such an extremely Peaceful and Lawful  manner that British authorities could not find any single loophole in his activities to frame any legal charge against him in order to put him in Jail like all other Indian National Congress leaders. Despite his proclamation of Non-Violence doctrine, Gandhi was imprisoned several times. Quaid-e-Azam went one step farther than Gandhi. In addition to being non-violent, he was extremely Lawful and Peaceful as well. And he was successful too in achieving Pakistan through such means. The life and leadership of Quaid-e-Azam struggle and PRM against a bigger-than-India Imperial Power like Great Britain can be an example for the Kashmiri youth.

There was no Jihad in the Indian Independence Movement like the one in Afghanistan by the Mujahedeen and the Taliban. The geography of Kashmir is not so mountainous like Afghanistan. Example of Jinnah may be better for them than that of Taliban. Indian brutality on unarmed civilians may bring success more speedily by thus gaining widespread sympathy from all over the world for the Kashmir cause. All top newspapers and tv channels all over Europe and America are daily presenting news and videos of India’s inhuman brutality in sympathy with PRM of Kashmiris. This factor will speed up its success.

Hindus and Muslims both adopted peaceful means of protest like public meetings, boycotts, demonstrations, civil disobedience, non-cooperation and so on to achieve freedom from British Imperialism. And they succeeded through these peaceful means. It shows that no Imperialist Power can subjugate the people who have awakened from the deep slumber of slavery and started a Resistance Movement. That should be a ray of hope for the Kashmiri Muslims as well.

Ayub Khan is credited for the ‘Development’ Projects completed during his military dictatorship regime. All these Projects were planned by earlier pre-Ayub leadership. This Secular-minded military dictator enforced anti-Islamic Family Laws and was condemned in all East and West Pakistan mosques every week in Friday-prayer Khutbas (addresses). Despite all his ‘Development’ works, he was condemned every week on Fridays. No one can win hearts and minds of the people simply by Development unless he fulfills the aspirations of the people.

All such lessons show that Modi can never win the hearts and minds of Kashmiri people simply by allotting Crores of Rupees as funds for the ‘Development’ of each Kashmiri town, as one of his Minsters recently announced to comfort Kashmiri people. Unless the aspirations of Kashmiri Muslims are not fulfilled, neither the panacea of ‘Development’ funds will help to subside their anger, nor simply the abandonment of the current ‘bullet and bombs’ policy.

A Research Study of Over Last 100 Years Showing Peaceful Resistance Movements Twice More Effective Than Their Violent Counterparts

 Maulana Maududi advocated a policy of peaceful and lawful struggle for the establishment of Islamic system of life. Even if forces of evil defeat any Islamic Movement on some occasions, the moral effects of such a temporarily defeated struggle will remain shining and help the revival of the Islamic Movement again and again. Recent researches have proved the wisdom of this policy more clearly and authoritatively with the backup of research data on this subject in the name of non-violent Resistance Movement.

 They have collected data for more than a century from 1900 to 2006. This voluminous data of resistance movements that succeeded in bringing  social or political change has led to the conclusion that nonviolent resistance movements were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts, as quoted below.

 This should also be an encouraging factor for motivating Kashmiri Mujahedeen to continue their Resistance Movement hopefully with faith in the ultimate success of their sacrifices to achieve the end-result they are aspiring for, i.e., ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’.

 For more than a century, from 1900 to 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance were more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts in achieving their stated goals. By attracting impressive support from citizens, whose activism takes the form of protests, boycotts, civil disobedience, and other forms of nonviolent noncooperation, these efforts help separate regimes from their main sources of power and produce remarkable results, even in Iran, Burma, the Philippines, and the Palestinian Territories. 

Combining statistical analysis with case studies of specific countries and territories, Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan detail the factors enabling such campaigns to succeed and, sometimes, causing them to fail. They find that nonviolent resistance presents fewer obstacles to moral and physical involvement and commitment, and that higher levels of participation contribute to enhanced resilience, greater opportunities for tactical innovation and civic disruption (and therefore less incentive for a regime to maintain its status quo), and shifts in loyalty among opponents' erstwhile supporters, including members of the military establishment.

Chenoweth and Stephan conclude that successful nonviolent resistance ushers in more durable and internally peaceful democracies, which are less likely to regress into civil war. Presenting a rich, evidentiary argument, they originally and systematically compare violent and nonviolent outcomes in different historical periods and geographical contexts,………. 


 “This is the first major scholarly book to make a well-supported argument that, contrary to what many people believe, nonviolent resistance is more effective than armed resistance in overthrowing regimes, an advantage that is maintained even when the target is not democratic.--Robert Jervis, Columbia University

Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan offer a fresh, lively, and penetrating analysis of the conditions under which nonviolent resistance succeeds or fails. Using a wealth of data and in-depth case studies, they show that the scholarly emphasis on forceful approaches is misguided: nonviolent movements are often better able to mobilize supporters, resist regime crackdowns, develop innovative resistant techniques, and otherwise take on and defeat repressive regimes and build durable democracies.--Daniel Byman, Georgetown University and senior fellow, Saban Center at the Brookings Institution”

After the breathtaking events of 2011, can anyone doubt that nonviolent civil resistance is an effective tool for political change? In this provocative, well-written, and compelling book, Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan demonstrate that nonviolent civil resistance is usually a better way to force political change. They identify the conditions favoring its success and provide a convincing explanation for why nonviolent resistance is so effective. Their analysis is rigorous yet accessible, and their conclusions have profound implications for anyone seeking to understand--or promote--far-reaching social and political reform.--Stephen Walt, Harvard University

This is social science at its best. Years of critical study culminate in a book on one dominating issue: how does nonviolent opposition compare with violence in removing a regime or achieving secession? The authors study successes and failures and alternative diagnoses of success and failure, reaching a balanced judgment meriting careful study.--Thomas C. Schelling, Harvard University, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics”

 Kind Regards,

Hussain Khan, Tokyo


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