Friday, September 21, 2007

Peace Dividend

This Article was published in today's Times of India, on the occasion of International Peace Day.
written by Sheena Sobti, a student of class XI, DPS, R K Puram, New Delhi.
We stand at a crossroads today, witnessing the greatest technological advancements of all time, and yet at the risk of losing all we have built over the centuries. This selfimposed threat comes from rising unrest and chaos in our world. It is ironic that in an age considered more sophisticated than all the preceding world orders, we are simplistic enough to overlook what was given prime importance even in the ancient world — peace. And we are in grave danger of paying an unimaginable price for this neglect. No development can be sustainable in the lack of peace — be it peace without, or peace within. The scourge of war and social tension can take an indescribable toll on material and moral wealth. Strife is an impediment not only to the prosperity of nations, but also for the overall advancement of individuals. The very religions that were founded to bring us closer to peace are now being misused for just the opposite reasons. Terrorism has reared its ugly head and looms large over all modern nations. Communalism imperils the unity and integrity of each country, and insignificant issues are raked up and made the bone of contention between faiths. Racism encourages separatism and liberation movements, which are prolonged for years and involve unnecessary bloodshed.
It is indeed paradoxical that in this age of globalisation, when the world is nothing but a global village and information technology has made boundaries of state and nation a non-entity, we continue to restrict ourselves to barriers of nationality, caste, creed or race. The shackles of discord can only be broken if each and every one of us rises to the occasion and recognises, as John F Kennedy rightly said, that “mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind”. If there is to be peace on earth, it must begin within us. Religious and political leaders are at an immensely influential position to bring about world peace. The former can do so by highlighting the universality of each creed, the latter by merging nations into one complete family. Peace is a journey of a thousand miles, and it must be taken one step at a time. Let us begin with our own little step, and see what a world of difference that makes.
When a teenager shows more wisdom in thought than our experienced leaders do in action, we should sit up and take notice. Let's do away with the seniority concept in politics, because after all a 'seasoned politician' is just another loser, incapable of changing himself or the system.

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