Peace and Brotherhood: the need of the present world

Dr. Dilip Kumar
At present we are living in a globalized world. The world has been transformed into a village that McLuhan calls the “Global Village”. Globalization as a process and flow has fostered interdependence connecting the world to one another. In this era of globalization, war, discontent, depression, migration, environmental imbalance are the major challenges facing the whole world. Therefore, an important need of the present world is to establish peace and brotherhood.
The theme of this year’s (2022) International Day of Peace is “End racism. Build peace.”
The above theme has been set in view of racial discrimination and harassment across the world. As conflict continues around the world, people are migrating, we have seen race-based discrimination across borders. Today we see hate speech and violence directed at racial minorities. Since everyone has a role to play in promoting peace, tackling racism is an important step towards establishing international peace.
Today’s global society can work to break down the very structures that keep racism rooted in us. Today there is a need to support the voice movements for equality and human rights coming from any corner of the world. In this era of democratic decentralization, we can promote anti-racism activities through education and corrective justice. As Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put it:”Racism is poisoning institutions, social structures and everyday life in every society. It continues to be a vehicle of inequality. It continues to deprive people of their fundamental human rights. It destabilizes societies, destroys democracies.” undermines and destroys the legitimacy of governments… the link between racism and gender inequality is unmistakable.”
The present world is facing innumerable problems like war, conflict, migration, epidemic and environmental crisis. Looking at the present world with apprehension, historian Yuval Noah Harari says in his book ’21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ that, “We created myths to organize our race. To make ourselves powerful, we have subdued nature. We are reinventing life to fulfill our strange purposes. But do we still know ourselves or will our inventions make us irrelevant?”
The world, which has been liberated from the long colonial era, is still facing the serious challenge of imperialism, marketism and consumerism which has given rise to deep discontent. The arms race has now turned the whole world into a house of gunpowder. Weapons manufacturing has now taken the form of an industry whose purpose is to sell weapons by creating global tension. The Russo-Ukraine War is a naked reality of the contemporary world that even today, with the advancement of science and technology, we are engaged in wars.
The problem of migration is arising due to war and internal disintegration, due to which the refugee problem is proving to be a major challenge before the whole world.
Communism and terrorism are the biggest obstacles to global peace. Everyday instability is seen in one or the other corner of the world due to various types of terrorist activities.
Unbalanced economic development is also a major challenge before the whole world. Indiscriminate industrialization has given rise to environmental imbalance which is a hindrance in the establishment of global peace.
So far, countless measures have been taken for global peace. Concepts such as disarmament and arms control are working to end the conditions of war and the arms race. To protect the world from nuclear threats, many important treaties like PTBT (1963), NPT (1968) and CTBT (1996) have been signed so far.
So far, countless efforts have been made to tackle the environmental crisis on a global scale.
Continuing efforts from the Stockholm Conference (1972) to Glasgow (2021) are prime examples. Sustainable development is an important effort towards environmental balance.
Given the myriad reasons for discontent, it seems that achieving peace now requires much more than laying down arms. This requires the creation of societies where all members feel they can develop.
It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally. Today there is a need for coordination among all religions, sects, creeds and groups of spiritual faith in the world. Now there is a need to develop healthy ways of living taking the essence of traditions and principles. Today, there is also a need for the reorganization of the family, the smallest unit of social organization, which has always been the ‘first school’ of human beings.
India has always been one of the leading countries in establishing global peace. Peace and harmony have been the basic features of Indian culture since ancient times. India is the birthplace of many religions. These religions gave the message of peace and humanity throughout the world. The concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” has been a prominent feature of Hinduism. Buddhism and Jainism taught the lessons of non-violence, asteya, non-possessiveness all over the world. During the Sultanate period, the Mughal period and the British period also, India promoted tolerance only.
India also absorbed the cultures from outside. Innumerable sects of different religions have always not only propounded doctrinal ideas in the direction of establishing peace and harmony, but also actively propagated it among the general public. Even in the era of colonialism, India gave the message of peace to the whole world in a constructive manner. Who can forget Swami Vivekananda’s speech in Chicago?
Even in the condition of subjugation, the scholars here not only awakened the Indian society, but they had an impact on the whole world. Mahatma Gandhi and his thinking mainly the methods of truth, non-violence and satyagraha are popular all over the world. Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent movement generated the desire for independence in many dependent countries and his means proved helpful in achieving independence for many countries. People like Nelson Mandela got the inspiration and self-confidence from Gandhi to achieve independence.
Today Gandhi’s concept of ‘Sarvodaya’ is an inclusive model of development before the whole world. Seeing the usefulness and impact of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas, every year on 2 October, his birthday is celebrated as ‘International Day of Non-Violence’.
After the Second World War, during the Cold War era, when the whole world was facing an invisible wartime situation, then India gave the message of peace and brotherhood to the whole world.
The policy of non-alignment showed a new path to the newly liberated countries, while the following points of Panchsheel principles contributed to making the whole world peaceful. These 5 principles of Panchsheel, as stated in the Sino-Indian Agreement of 1954, give a message of goodwill to the whole world-
(1) To respect each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
(2) Not to act aggressively against each other
(3) Not to interfere in each other’s internal matters
(4) To follow the policy of equality and mutual benefit and
(5) To believe in the policy of peaceful co-existence.
Even at present, India as the world’s largest democracy is striving for the expansion and inclusive development of the democratic system. India, striving to emerge as a superpower in the 21st century, is constantly striving towards establishing global peace.
Today global peace is the need of the whole world. This cannot be possible in a day. For this, the whole world has to sacrifice its personal interests and make humanity an end. Realizing the concept of ‘world citizenship’, along with human interests, nature will also have to be protected.
Looking at all the aspects in this way, we can say that today the whole world needs to rethink how to maintain peace and brotherhood among themselves. International Day of Peace is a special occasion when we can take new initiatives towards establishing global peace.
(The author is Associate Professor and Course Coordinator English Journalism, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Northern Regional Campus, Jammu)