ONLY love can overcome hatred.
(21 September - International Day of Peace)
A peaceful environment ensures a harmonious life and provides avenues for mutual understanding.
By: Priyanka Saurabh
‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.’ There are words of Mahatma Gandhi which are relevant even in the 21st century. Man has always made efforts to be peaceful and happy – from family to nation – it is imperative to maintain a peaceful environment. What is essentially peace? It is nothing but a state of the human mind, which remains too sophisticated for modern science to fully explain. However, the achievement of peace/nirvana/happiness – whatever the name may be, has been a subject of exploration since ancient times. Mankind has seen many battles. Fighting for cattle, land, resources, colonies, territories, etc. Most of these battles took place due to misunderstandings between the rivals. Thus peace which is essential for the overall development of mankind was made elusive.
A peaceful environment ensures a harmonious life and provides avenues for mutual understanding. This understanding further strengthens peace through dialogue, discussion, cross-cultural exchanges, etc. Thus a virtuous cycle is created. On the other hand, if peace is imposed by force, there will be feelings of mistrust and enmity between competing individuals, groups, states, etc. Here any small misunderstanding can turn into a conflict, which can harm the conflicting parties. Therefore, it is clear that understanding the interests of the other side is essential for long-term peace.
The ancient records of man, be it the Bible, the Quran, or the Vedas, all have unanimously suggested in various ways that peace can only be achieved through love, compassion, and understanding. These words of wisdom have stood the test of time and this fact can be confirmed by turning the pages of our past. The aristocracy has never been successful, nor has war or rebellion ever been a solution to a problem. Everyone from Hitler to Saddam was strongly opposed. Looking at Indian history, we see that the subcontinent was ruled well during the days of rulers who understood the problems of the people and the interests of their subjects. This is evident from Ashoka’s “Dhamma” to Akbar’s appointments to the Mughal court.
India has always set an example to the world for its preaching of non-violence and its strategy of exploring the issues that it faces or is facing. The great Indian freedom struggle invented a new method of resistance without bloodshed and since then the world has tasted Satyagraha. The Non-Aligned Movement has shown the world that, sometimes peace can be maintained with silence and not necessarily every time a particular side is taken. The Panchsheel Agreement is no different.
India, as a nation, can easily prove to the world that its policy of non-violence and understanding is in achieving greater goals with events such as the transition of East Pakistan to Bangladesh, and the election of an Indian judge to the ICJ. can help. India, even being a developing nation, has taken the responsibility of reducing its carbon emissions and thus has a moral responsibility to be a role model for many of the so-called “superpowers” as we are all Mother Earth. are tenants. It simply means being “socially responsible” as a country, as a citizen, and as a partner.
Even amid the process of being socially responsible as a country, our country was and is facing many problems like other nations. But based on a more sensible and responsible government and society, tireless efforts are always being made to deal with various internal issues. The issues of J&K can be prevented by the government being more sensible towards their problems. The “Look East Policy” of the Government of India has contributed significantly towards the settlement of unrest prevailing in the eastern states. The Enclave Agreement with Bangladesh has been a more sensible move on the part of both governments and has resolved the issue of grave concern peacefully.
Religion has always been the cause of riots and has provided an environment for intolerance in society and is a matter of concern nationally and globally. Be it Ayodhya or Jerusalem, religion has played its part and separated people from each other. The irony is that the one who preached to unite the world is now tearing the world apart! If we take a closer look at the different teachings of different religions, it can be understood that they all preach love and intend to spread peace. “Love your neighbor as yourself”, says the Bible; “Worship the Merciful and spread peace”, says the Qur’an; “VasudhaivaKutumbakam”, the Gita says, and “peace be found to those freed from angry thoughts,” says the Buddha.
Efforts have also been made globally to make the world a peaceful place to live. The United Nations and similar international organizations like WTO, ICJ, and many others have made major changes in the world based on mutual understanding and mutual respect. The “Nobel Peace Prize” was an innovative concept that brings forth and recognizes individual efforts to maintain peace and harmony in society in the global scenario. The global effort to fight terrorism and talks to end terrorism gives us a picture of a beautiful tomorrow. Be it 14-year-old Malala from Pakistan or a social organization like ICAN, all of them correctly echoed the words of Martin Luther King, who once said-
“Darkness cannot dispel darkness, only light can. Hate cannot drive away hatred; only love can.”
The writer is Research Scholar in Political Science, Poet, freelance journalist and columnist.