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Peace Through People Power

Updated on January 02, 2014

For too long now, it’s been ‘us’ and ‘them’ – and while in India it’s true of India and Pakistan, the story is the same for many countries around the world. We’ve been brought up to look across our borders with distrust and we’ve been fed on a fare of why ‘they’ are bad. For many of us in India, all it needed was to travel on work, attend a few international seminars to realize just what a myth all our beliefs were. Here were people so similar to us in food habits, tastes, culture and even the language. Here were a people with whom we could be friends.

Aman ki Asha or Hope of Peace

Left to politicians and vested interests in the armies, the hate syndrome would go on – but suddenly, there seems to be an awakening from within. A questioning of why things should always be as they are. In the forefront is India’s leading newspaper – The Times of India. We woke up on New Year’s Day, bleary-eyed and reached for our cups of tea and the newspapers. What was on the front page was enough to jerk us awake. Peace and Pakistan? Even more astounding, Love and Pakistan? I could almost see everyone I knew nodding with approval as I read through that copy and suddenly, the impossible dream seemed possible. A lot of ground needed to be covered but here were the first steps. Working with the Jang Group of publications across the border, the first forays into a more peaceful sub-continent have begun.

So how is it going to work? Firstly, it’s a people to people initiative. Everyone’s fed up of peace platitudes mouthed by governments and armies for whom wars are the money spinners. There will be various platforms where the two nations can come together – business, sports, music, art, cultural festivals. All designed to prove that there can be bridge building instead of electric fences. Right now, all it can be is ‘hope for peace’. Hopefully at some point of time, peace can be taken for granted and be a given.



The media all over the world has very often got a bad name but here are two huge media houses – the Times of India and the Jang Group of Pakistan coming together to show that responsible journalism can be powerful – maybe more powerful than governments, more powerful than armies, more powerful than religions and more powerful than all the belief systems there can be.

Will it work? There will be many who want it to. There will also be many who will try to derail it, any which way. As long as the peoples of both countries can connect without preconceived notions and try and push for peace no matter what, there will be progress made. Both countries stand to gain – tourism and trade could see great strides if only peace were possible.


Source

Maybe it’s time all over the world for people power to start waking up and questioning – to ask for answers to ‘Whys’, to start making their elected representatives accountable. Wars don’t profit all people – they profit the ones who are supposed to look after our interests. Those should not be positions of power – those should be positions of service. I read a wonderful book the other day by a new hubber on emergent governance and how we need to rethink ourselves. Have we had our eyes shut for too long when it comes to things that matter? We need to wake up – and start winning back the world and all its goodness for all her people. Like a tireless seeker of peace says, ‘Peace is the Only Way’.

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    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 7 years ago from Tampa Bay

      that is certainly a powerful page in the news media, actually, amazing. I would never have known this without reading your hub! thank you for sharing a powerful message.

      :]

    • Feline Prophet profile image

      Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

      More power to such initiatives. Got my fingers crossed. :)

    • William R. Wilson profile image

      William R. Wilson 7 years ago from Knoxville, TN

      This is what we need! Thank you so much!

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I took a deep breath of gratitude. The more changes towards peace the better for all of humanity. Thank you for writing this or else I wouldn't have been aware of this!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      If anything else, this is certainly a good start in the right direction. The mere mention of a peace with Pakistan is certainly a ray of hope. Nothing good ever comes out of war. The most intelligent people in this world understand this. What a wonderful hub filled with great tidings for the New Year, Shalini.

      I hope that you're enjoying your New Year so far!

      Dohn

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      rebekahElle - thank you for being the first to comment. The message is powerful, I agree - I do hope it translates into reality!

      FP - so have I, so have I!

      William - yes, peace is what the world needs - now and always.

      VioletSun - I do hope this is one ripple that spreads!

      Dohn - this was a great way to wake up on the 1st - and yes, it's been great so far :)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      A wonderful hub and hope to God that peace will be. It is high time that mankind gets its senses, wherever they are. Thank you for a enjoyable read.

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 7 years ago

      What a great Hub, Shalini. Even more so, for people like my parents who lost everything they owned because of the Partition of India. My father says that Hindus and Sikhs and Muslims all lived in peace and harmony till the power-hungry politicians on both sides shattered their worlds. There are sufficient instances of countries re-unifying so why can't India and Pakistan? The question is, what happens to the looneys on both sides with their one-point agendas?

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Wow, this are beautiful news... and beautiful energy of peace in your Hub.

    • nextstopjupiter profile image

      nextstopjupiter 7 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      Thank you for this great hub! I linked it to my hub "Let's Build the Spaceship Peace".

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Hello, hello - 'get to our senses' is so right! Thanks for coming by!

      Sabu - yes, so many people we know have suffered because of the partition but nothing can stop us if we as two nations want to start communicating again. And we need to deal with the loonies, I guess :)

      Tatjana - thank you so much!

      nextstopjupiter - love your username - I will go check out your hub!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      What a breath of fresh air! If people to people initiatives like this really start to take root, imagine how great life could be. This could really be end of the corporates and the politicians who promote war (but of course never get into the firing lines themselves). Thanks for sharing this, and I keep my fingers crossed that it will succeed.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Love and peace to you too, Tony! Pray peace has a chance to work!

    • profile image

      kirubaharris 7 years ago from Chile

      The amount of money and time India and Pakistan have spent on arms and wars could have solved both our countries problems long ago. I truly hope peace between the two is possible. May be people power can indeed work better than political greed, corruption and whim.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Wow ! That was so well written. It stirred up so much emotion in me. I have loved my visits to India and my Indian friends so much. Peace all over the world would be wonderful. Thank you ...

    • Tammy Lochmann profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

      I can't think of anything better to start off a new year but a promise of peace between the people of two contries. I will keep you and all of your people in my thoughts of peace. Thank you for sharing this news as I would surely not known about it. Wonderful article.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

      This is a wonderful story of hope! Thank you, Shalini!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Hi K - such a waste, really! Here's to people power working!

      Dim - thanks for reading. Isn't it strange that so many want peace and yet we don't have it?

      Tammy, yes, it was a great New Year surprise - thank you for your good wishes.

      Hi Tom - thanks as always for coming by and reading!

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 7 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Shalini What a wonderful world this would be if countries could all live in peace. But the sad reality is that a minority can cause such much hatred in the world. Hope you may always find peace.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Exactly, what the world needs now. Great hub.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Yes, Shalina it is strange that the majority of people want peace.When I think of how much money is made through selling arms, think of many corrupt governments.........some people profit from war. The innocent and the patriotic seem to suffer most

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Hi D.A.L. - yes, what a wonderful world it would be, indeed!

      How true, breakfastpop - the need of the hour so to speak!

      Dim - you're so right - tragic, isn't it?

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

      Shalini, I hope it works out. However, I don't think it's hatred that causes war -- it's conflict of interest, or the perception of it. Most of the biggest enmities are between brothers. They are not fighting each other because they are different. It is because they are the same and they can't agree on how to slice their inherited pie.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      All world peace takes is for everyone to refuse to take up arms and refuse to offer violence to another human being. Unfortunately, we live in a society where violence is glorified in the media, in films and on television. Great Hub Shalini, as only the people can bring about peace

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Just a quick apolgy for always calling you Shalina instead of Shalini .......Sorry. Must have a mental block.

    • I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

      I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 7 years ago

      wonderful news! what a beautiful reality it would be! Thanks for sharing :)

    • khurram's world profile image

      Khurram Sikandar 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Well I hope and pray that both countries come together in all area like trade, sports etc.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Aya - I hope it does too. In this case, the hatred has been fostered over the years by vested interests, in spite of there being so many similarities!

      CMHypno - it's so simple, isn't it? Maybe we're all to blame for being so passive!

      Dim - it does sound so much nicer :)

      I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s - 'a beautiful reality' sounds wonderful!

      khurram's world - I do hope and pray the same too!

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

      Shalini I am with you on hoping for the best here !It would be a great start and even better if all nations followed along as well.Peace in our lifetime would be wonderful. Thanks for a good read. And happy new year.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Happy New Year to you too Tony :) I echo that - peace in our lifetime!

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

      Happy New Year Shalini. How fantastic if 2010 were to be the year that common-sense and a love of humanity finally prevails over the war-mongers. It's such a little thing to ask, to give peace a chance, but what an enormous difference it would make to the world at large. The press have so much power at their disposal, and the power of words should never be under-estimated. Let's hope that this media campaign is just the beginning.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Hi Amanda - Happy New Year to you and yours too! I wish the powers that be would really 'give peace a chance'!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Just want to add my thanks for giving this topic visibility in this forum. As Tammy Lochmann said above, I would not have known about it otherwise.

    • profile image

      Nicks 7 years ago

      If it is any consolation, countries do sort out their problems and become 'friends'. Look at Europe, which only sixty years ago had nearby countries fighting to the death. It all looks so irrelevant now...

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Sally's Trove - thank you so much for reading and your kind comments.

      Nicks - you're so right. If it could happen after two major World Wars, it could happen anywhere!

    • brightforyou profile image

      Helen 7 years ago from Florida

      Lovely story, thanks for sharing!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Thank you for reading, brightforyou.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 7 years ago

      Peace really is powerful. It is peace that defeats wars and emerges victor. I know!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      quicksand - it's so much more powerful and so much better than fighting, isn't it? Thanks for reading!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Very nice. We need new media, ideas, approaches. Thanks

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Very true, Micky - thanks for the comments and for becoming a fan!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      I love this concept. Surely these two countries can live in peace some day. I hope so.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      I sincerely hope so too, James! Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • Somesh Dutt profile image

      Somesh Dutt 7 years ago from India

      Aman, Peace, Shanti all names to the same meaning. I sometime wonder will there really be peace among the 2 nations...

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Seeing what happened at the IPL auction, I wonder too, Somesh :(

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Pat writes: What a hopeful Hub. I went to the funeral of a dear friend the other day. She was a Quaker and some of those present said that they had met my friend through working for 'Justice and Peace'. The room was full of positive, loving people and I thought if we can just keep this attitude and spread it the world might gradually change for the better.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Hi 2patricias - if only we could. What a wonderful place the world would be!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Very insightful! Great ending "peace is the only way!"

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Yes, it really is, isn't it? Thanks for coming by!

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 7 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      Peace should be achieved only through peoples' initiatives, through struggling for common welfare but not through the humbugs of the political world there should not any confusion about that...

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      How true Moulik! We really can do it if we try!

    • profile image

      Farhan zafar 4 years ago

      We r talking for peace but the most important thing is that What r the steps taken for peace.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image
      Author

      Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India

      True, Farhan - we need to do a lot more.

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