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Against Typecasting: A Deconstruction of Prejudice in Society

The Peace Waves audio play is all about evoking and then dismantles stereotypes in a straightforward, iconoclastic manner. The old gentleman is disgruntled about the way the modern youth behave – but he is entirely biased, as though he has something personal against young people. He finds a suitable candidate for the tenancy, but rejects him out of pure prejudice against Muslims. He abhors a group of bikers solely on the grounds of being young. He labels them as a bunch of pleasure-seeking show-offs. However, when some miscreants break into his and his wife’s home, it is the same group of young bikers who step in and prevent the robbery with one of them sustaining injuries to his person. In the end, the old gentleman realizes that he has been wrong all along. He admits that he should not have misjudged all young people as irresponsible and inconsiderate.

This play shows us how prejudice based on social typecasting is an entirely negative attitude and is detrimental to varying degrees. We cannot, and must not try, to evaluate individuals out of preconceived notions about their social category. This only limits the positive potential of what humans can achieve.

Positivity for Peace

Talking about cultural diversity through the ages is Liona Hotta, a singer, musician and composer from Spain. She thinks that peace is primarily based on the principle of “live and let live”. We must also have basic respect and love for other people. She also makes a crucial point about how you can never make peace looking backwards. You have to be forward looking in order to make matters better. Live by whatever you’ve been educated to live by. This is her central philosophy.

Liona is an Israeli born is Asia to a Hungarian father, and a Romanian mother. She is married to a Japanese man. This has various racial historical connotations but Liona is a soul who does not discriminate against anyone, male or female, or based on their national or religious background.

In spite of being such a positive and optimistic person, she does face challenges. As a woman, she faces barriers in social interactions, and as an Israeli, she is subjected to prejudice. She grew up in a kibbutz community living set up, and has close ties with friends and family. She strongly believes in the power of spreading positive energy, and finds that it works with everything.

FAKE NEWS, the modern ADOLF HITLERs and the ensuing Holocaust

 

The world has marked the freedom of the press- or recognised how it has failed to in the past year, protect the very ‘watchdogs’ in our society.  The day’s relevance can in no terms be underestimated, especially in a time when journoseverywhere continue to suffer prosecution.

In the Reporters without borders report of 2018, it had been estimated that 84 media practitioners suffered deaths in connection with their work, with 66 of such being recognised journalists. (The numbers differ depending on your source: refer to Amnesty International)

Already in 2019, ten journalists have suffered death – 174 others are imprisoned with 167 non-journalist whose works are connected to the practice suffering imprisonment across the globe.

The picture, as painted above, gives much credence to the importance the World Press Freedom Day, as has been celebrated yesterday.  Much in particular is the decision to focus attention on democracy as reflected in this year’s theme of “Media for Democracy.”

A solid democracy, in my opinion, is one which is built on information accessibility- This is only achievable in the presence of a free press within a robust media environment. The threat, however, to this is disinformation.

In a news report carried by the Associated Press, the rising tide of the phenomenon of fake news was said to have dominated discussions at the World Press Freedom day event staged in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Apparently, the concern of all is, the world’s democracy is being threatened.

Fake news is obvious- I shudder to say it has lived with us since the world’s foundations were set in place.  No one deserves blame but ourselves for its prominence in today’s age, especially, with our insatiability at sharing anything message, without little efforts at verification.

In our urge to unmake the perceived enemy, we grab every opportunity to spread falsehoods about him (enemy), even without sparing a minute to read in-between the lines for the truth.

We have become too simple-minded, assuming truth at face-value without considering the repercussions for not fact-checking.The attitude of assuming truth at face-value does not only threaten democracy but peace anywhere.

Fake news’ emergence can’t be hung on the neck of any modern man, but all. It might have gained prominence with the elections that brought the Donald Trump administration into office, as it’s widely presumed, but the term is only a reinvention in my opinion.

If anything at all, the genesis of what we currently sugar-coat as fake news can be traced to the days of Adolf Hitler. He institutionalised it, making devastating gains of it by racking one of the deadliest havocs to have been recorded in the annals of humanity, the Holocaust.

Call it propaganda, but it sounds better as disinformation. If it was bad then, it’sworse today.

Whatever his motivation, he achieved it by preying on the minds of the simpletons of his generation to achieve his end.

The Holocaust, as infamous as it was is a by-product of the modern day fake news.  And no one can claim distaste for it, without distasting fake news. In my layman’s understanding, fake news is nothing but a reinvention of the ideology that “make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”

Indeed, “all propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of all the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”

If there’s anything to be happy about, then it should be in the fact that a man like Hitler never existed in our generation, especially, considering the havoc he rained on humanity with media in its simplest form. What couldn’t he have achieved with it in its current glamorous state?

Propaganda, as well as fake news, thrives on the media, numbers and simpletons. Simpletons who take truth at a face-value. And this is the import of my write-up, we have become to simple-minded, critiquing nothing- sadly, believing anything.

How can do we stop the modern craze in the name of ‘likes and shares’, so that the fears, as exercised by world leaders at the Ethiopia World Press Freedom does not become a reality?

Let’s shun being hypocrites since fake news thrives on reach and numbers when it doesn’t get the shares (retweet, hashtag, forwarding) it wouldn’t get the desired reach.

Let’s be critical- let’s question the motivation behind the meme, the trending videos, hate speech and the defamatory texts. The fact that it speaks evil of the people you are opposed to ideologically, religiously or politically doesn’t it make it factual.

Quoting the tech guru Jaron Lanier, I would admonish we avoid the ‘wisdom of the crowd.’ The fact that the text, video or meme received massive shares doesn’t authenticate it. Don’t follow the masses in popularising the untruth.

Regardless of the iota of truth in the message, its tendency to harm any democratic space makes it a disinformation.  Let’s not give it a ‘leg’ to gain the unnecessary reach.

You can’t hate Hitler but be a participant in sharing fake news. The new Holocaust upon us is heralded by fake news, the earlier we stop it, the best for all. Otherwise, we shall once again send the world to its knees.

Story of a Change Maker

15-year-old Pramila Munda, who is trained as a peer educator says her dramatic transformation is thanks to lessons learned in Sambhav. Pramila leads an adolescent group of girls in Gauchandrapur village of Baharagora block in East Singhbhum district. This is one of the 1614 adolescent groups in the district supported by UNICEF and the Government of Jharkhand in collaboration with local NGOs under the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) national scheme.

The 15 year-old girl recalls, “My parents did not allow me to speak with others especially with boys. They also wished to marry me off. Now I can raise my voice against all these. Hats off to Sambhav!”According to a feedback from adolescents in Jharkhand, majority of parents in the tribal community with daughters believe that girls get spoiled and involved in relationships if they socialize with boys and make friends.

In Jharkhand, as in several other states girls are likely to get married at the age of 15/16 years. At the age of 14 years Pramila’s parents decided to give her hand in marriage as they had found a suitable groom for her. Earlier, she hesitated to share or talk to her parents about anything concerning her life however, through the caring support network of peers and mentors, Pramila found her voice and is now more self-assured and confident. She managed to convince her parents to allow her to complete her education first “Child marriage exists in the village. But now we have an improved understanding and we talk to our parents about the problems it causes. Over the last two years, we’ve also helped to prevent child marriages,” the girl adds with obvious delight. Pramila is now continuing her studies and hopes to become a police officer. “I want to do everything I can in the future to stop child marriage for other girls,” she says.

Last year when Pramila discovered that a neighbor was arranging the marriage of his 13-year-old daughter to a groom, who was above 24 years in age, she acted swiftly and alerted other members of the adolescent group. At the time, Pramila was associated with the Sambhav program wherein she learnt about the pitfalls of child marriage. The next day Pramila and her friends went to the girl’s house wherein they discovered the prospective groom and his family who were visiting, to discuss the marriage. The girl’s family discouraged Pramila from going in front of the groom and his family saying that she was prettier looking than the bride and so the groom may go on to choose her for marriage in place of the girl. In spite of all the resistance, Pramila went on to question the groom asking him what he does for a living and why he wants to marry an underage girl. For this, she received a lot of flak from the villagers present and the groom and his family. When Pramila questioned the  girl whether she was interested in getting married, she responded saying that she was not sure and that if the groom liked her and if her parents insisted, she would get married as she had no other choice. Pramila and few of her group members went on to counsel the girl and her parents about the consequences of child marriage.

She was dejected as the girl’s parents refused to listen. She became restless as the wedding day drew closer. The next day Pramila and her group of girls informed the Panchayat head (village council) and her school teacher who managed to convince the girl’s parents to stop the marriage.

Pramila, who belongs to a tribal community, has received training as a peer educator to run sessions on life skills, rights and entitlements, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, menstrual hygiene and management etc. The aim is to empower the most marginalized adolescent girls to make informed choices, especially those who are at risk of child marriage or are already married. With 15 days of games and activities interspersed with knowledge on various issues, the young woman learns how to motivate and instruct girls in her own village. Then she runs hour-long meetings twice a month, passing on this knowledge and encouraging their dreams.

“Each workshop, each activity in which we participate as young women is an opportunity for personal growth and for helping to make people recognize the leadership of young women.” Through engaged discussion and exposure to new ways of thinking, the girls work on increasing their self-awareness and developing the confidence to stand up to negative influences.

 

 

শান্তি ও সম্প্রীতি

শান্তি ও সম্প্রীতি এই দু’টি একটি সুস্হ মানব সমাজের অবিচ্ছেদ্য  অংশ। সমাজে যদি শান্তি ও ন্যায় বিচার প্রতিষ্ঠা করা না যায় তাহলে সম্প্রীতি নষ্ট হয় যা সমাজের ধারাকে বাধাগ্রস্ত করে।

শান্তি ও সম্প্রীতি প্রতিষ্ঠার অন্যতম প্রতিবন্ধকতা হলো ন্যায় বিচার ও পারষ্পরিক শ্রদ্ধার অভাব।যখন কোনো ব্যক্তি বা গোষ্ঠী কোনো অন্যায়ের শিকার হয়ে ন্যায়বিচার থেকে বঞ্চিত হয় তখন সেই ব্যক্তি বা গোষ্ঠীর মধ্যে এক ধরনের বিচ্ছিন্নতাবোধ এবং বিচার ব্যবস্হার প্রতি আস্হাহীনতা তৈরি হয় যা সমাজের দীর্ঘস্হায়ী নেতিবাচক প্রভাব ফেলে।পারষ্পরিক শ্রদ্ধাবোধ ও পরমতসহিষ্ণুতার  অভাব সঙ্কীর্ণ  সাম্প্রদায়িক দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি তৈরি করে।সাম্প্রদায়িকতা অনেক ধরনের হতে পারে।ধর্মীয় সাম্প্রদায়িক,গোত্রীয় সাম্প্রদায়িক,রাষ্ট্রীয়  সাম্প্রদায়িক থেকে শুরু করে বর্ণ, লিঙ্গ,রাজনৈতিক মতাদর্শ ইত্যাদি বিভিন্ন বিষয়ে মানুষেরর মন সাম্প্রদায়িক চিন্তায় কুলষিত থাকতে পারে।

শান্তি-সম্প্রীতি এবং সমৃদ্ধি  একে অন্যের সম্পূরক। জাতীয় ও আন্তর্জাতিক উভয় ক্ষেত্রেই উন্নতি ও সমৃদ্ধির জন্য শান্তি -সম্প্রীতি প্রতিষ্ঠা তথা অসাম্প্রদায়িক  চেতনার ব্যাপক বিকাশ দরকার কারণ কোনো  দেশে সাম্প্রদায়িক  সুসম্পর্ক  বজায়  না রেখে কোনো  উন্নয়ন পরিকল্পনা বাস্তবায়ন  করা সম্ভব নয়।সাম্প্রদায়িকতা মানুষের ব্যক্তিগত, পারিবারিক, সামাজিক  ও জাতীয় উন্নতির অন্তরায়।জাতীয় অর্থনৈতিক  ও সামাজিক  স্হিতিশীলতার জন্য শান্তি ও সাম্প্রদায়িক  সম্প্রীতি অপরিহার্য। কাজেই  শান্তি প্রতিষ্ঠা ও সাম্প্রদায়িক  সম্প্রীতি বিকাশের বিকল্প নেই।সাম্প্রদায়িক সম্প্রীতি বিকাশের  জন্য পারষ্পরিক  শ্রদ্ধাবোধ,আন্তরিক মেলামেশা, পরোপকারী  মনোভাব,ধর্ম-বর্ণ,জাতি-গোত্রভেদ উপেক্ষা করে সবার আগে আমাদের মানবসত্তাটাকে গুরুত্ব দিতে হবে।

এই পৃথিবী  জাতি-ধর্ম-বর্ণ  নির্বিশেষে সব মানুষেরই বাসভূমি।পৃথিবীতে বাইরের চেহারায় মানুষের মধ্যে সাদা-কালো ব্যবধান  থাকলেও সব মানুষের ভেতরের রং এক এবং অভিন্ন।তবু মানুষ জাতিভেদে,গোত্রভেদ,বর্ণভেদ,বংশকৌলীন্য ইত্যাদি কৃত্রিম পরিচয়ে নিজেদের  মানুষ  পরিচয়টিকে সংকীর্ণ  ও গণ্ডি-বদ্ধ করে ফেলে।কিন্তু সারাবিশ্বেরর সঙ্গে মানুষের যে সম্পর্ক সেই বিচারে মানুষের আসল পরিচয়  হচ্ছে সে মানুষ। তাই দেশে দেশে, মানুষে মানুষে ধর্ম  ও বর্ণের পার্থক্য  সৃষ্টি করে মানুষের মধ্যে বিভেদ সৃষ্টি  করা উচিত নয়।আমাদের প্রতিটি নাগারিকের প্রধান কর্তব্য  হলো সাম্প্রদায়িক  সম্প্রীতি বন্ধনকে মজবুত করে সুপ্রতিষ্ঠিত করে তোলা।তাতেই সবার কল্যাণ ও মঙ্গল নিহিত।

শান্তি এবং সম্প্রীতি নিশ্চিত করা কোনো বিলাসিতা নয়, বরং খাদ্য, বস্ত্র,বাসস্হানের মতো অত্যন্ত মৌলিক একটি প্রয়োজনীয়তা।শান্তি ও সম্প্রীতিই যদি নিশ্চিত করা না যায়,যদি মানুষের ব্যক্তিগত নিরাপত্তা প্রতিষ্ঠা করা না যায়,যদি মানুষের নির্বিঘ্নে মতামত প্রকাশ এবং বিভিন্ন মতের সহাবস্থান যদি নিশ্চিত করা না যায় তাহলে মানবসভ্যতার এত এত উন্নতি ও বিকাশ মিথ্যা হয়ে যায়;হাজার বছরের মানব সভ্যতার পথচলা অর্থহীন হয়ে দাঁড়ায়।

সৃষ্টির উষালগ্নে মানুষ  যেমন বিভিন্ন  কারণে নিরাপত্তা -হীনতায় ভুগতো,হাজার হাজার বছরের পথ-পরিক্রমা  ও বিবর্তন  শেষে যদি আজ এই তথাকথিত  সভ্য ও আধুনিক সমাজে ও মানুষ  নিরাপত্তা -হীনতায়  ভুগে তবে সেটি মানবসভ্যতার  সকল অর্জনকেই প্রশ্নবিদ্ধ করবে।

The two most important characteristic features of a healthy society are peace and solidarity. The social functioning gets disrupted if proper legislative system is not implemented.

The hurdle in the way of harmony is lack of respect among the communities. When a particular community is deprived of their rights, including proper legal facility they develop a certain kind of displeasure towards the society. Disrespect within the communities and absence of co-operation creates narrow mindedness. The balance of harmony doesn’t depend on any one reason. Secularity, castes, racism, gender biasness can create the obstruction for harmonious existence.

Growth and harmony are two sides of the same coin. For the development of both National and International sectors solidarity is necessary as discontent and disharmony prevents development. To maintain the social balance mutual respect, harmonious coexistence, friendly interaction, helpfulness are important, crossing the barriers of caste, creed, religion and gender. Humanity should be the only identity.

In this world people with great diversity reside together. Each race has their unique features. While coping up with religious and racial discriminations people tends to forget the small acts of humanity. The principal duty of each man is to maintain solidarity keeping the differences aside. This is the only step that needs to be taken for the welfare of the society.

Maintenance of peace and solidarity is not at all a luxury. After the three basic needs of food, clothing and shelter peace and solidarity occupies the fourth important place. If a man cannot freely present his thoughts and communicate his ideas the concept of democracy gets hampered and the growth of entire human race gets disrupted.

People suffered from existential crisis in the olden times. The civilization faces serious question if it is continued even today.

शांति के क्षेत्र में युवाओं का एक प्रयास

संस्था सृजन फाउंडेशन, झारखण्ड के 9 जिलों में बच्चे,किशोरी एवं महिलाओं के हिंसा मुक्त जीवन ,सुरक्षा एवं अधिकार के लिए कार्य करती है|  संस्था के साथी रोशन कुमार को अमेरिकन सेंटर कोलकाता से यूथ फॉर पिस की प्रशिक्षण प्राप्त किया और उस सिख के अनुसार समुदाय स्तर में बैठक व प्रशिक्षण के माध्यम से जानकारी दिया तो इसका परिणाम यह हुआ कि समुदाय के युवाओं ने अपने क्षेत्र में एक सुरक्षित एवं शांति के लिए स्वतः अंजाम दे रहें और हर वो रणनीति बना रहे हैं जिनसे समुदाय को जागरूक दे सके| रामगढ जिले के एक छोटे से गाँव हेंसागढ़ा के युवा लड़कियों के द्वारा नुक्कड़ नाटक ,रैली,संवाद के माध्यम से  जागरूकता अभियान चलाया गया जिसका उद्देश्य समाज में लड़कियों के साथ हो रहे गैरबराबरी को ख़त्म करना एवं उनके साथ हो रहे हिंसात्मक व्यवहार घर या बाहर में जो किया जाता है उन्हें खत्म करने का एक प्रयास एवं लोंगो को जागरूक करना | इस अभियान में युवा लड़कियों के द्वारा जगह जगह रैली एवं नुक्कड़ नाटक के माध्यम से लोंगो को जागरूक करने का प्रयास किया गया ताकि लडकियों को एक सुरक्षित माहौल और शांति का प्राप्त हो सके |

निष्कर्ष यह निकलकर आ रहा है कि उस गांव में बाल विवाह ,महिला शोषण ,जेंडर भेदभाव आदि कम हुआ है

Srijan Foundation works for the safety and rights of women and children in 9 districts of Jharkhand. One of the members, Roshan Kumar got trained in American Centre for Youth for Peace and implemented in the community level through training and meetings, among the youth. This had led to the youth taking up the responsibility of creating awareness among the village folk and working on safety and peace. Nukkad Nataks, rallies and discussions were held in Hensagada village in Ramgarh district, against domestic violence and gender discrimination. The rallies were conducted by women to sensitize people regarding women’s safety and the need for peace both inside and outside the house.

This movement has resulted in lower rates of child marriage, gender discrimination and, violence against women in that village.

Edit “Voice of the Youth for Peace”

Gaily Clad Humanity : A Vision

 “Peace is not a dream, it is hard work, and there is nothing naive, glamorous or simplistic about it” – Dr. Oscars Arias, Nobel Laureate in Peace

Violence and Peace are at the origin of two opposite ways of building society. The growth of hotbeds of violence produces most serious negative social consequences. Peace, by contrast, promotes social positive consequences and allows the achievements of real progress.

Therefore, I think what we need “is action” to change the world. We need to get together to bring peace in the society. Working together is what changes the world. We should act within that what is possible, and negotiate ways of peace where they seem impractical and full of twist; thus, non-violence can acquire a more comprehensive and new meaning. It will not only consist of desire, of moral rejection of violence, obstacles, but also of realistic political method that gives rise to hope.

Gandhi used to say ‘non-violence is older than the mountains’. This introduces us to the concept that it is not conflict that is natural but non violence.

Also we can see that the potential of the youths has never been realized in most of the societies. Youths have immense potential in building a peaceful society. The world today, as we see is filled with energetic young people who has the potential to do humongous tasks. What is needed is that these young people come together and build the willingness to find solution for the problems of present era.

It is in the hand of the people to take initiative to build peace and also to find peace amidst the violence. This will reclaim the meaning of peace. It will lead the world on the path of peaceful joy and love for all.

Therefore, WE WOULD CHANGE THIS WORLD, WE WOULD SAVE THIS WORLD!

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in a ’Testament of Hope’, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 

I hope that the world will live as one, one day.

 

 

 

শান্তি

যুদ্ধ, মৃত্যু, আক্ৰমন-প্ৰতাক্ৰমনৰ, পোৱা-নোপোৱাৰ যুঁজৰ মাজত শান্তিৰ কথা চিন্তা কৰিব পৰাটোও এক প্ৰত্যাহ্বান বিষয়। যিটো সময়ত সভ্য সমাজৰ প্ৰতিটো বিষয়তে প্ৰতিযোগিতাৰ দৰে এক শব্দ জড়িত হৈ থাকে, সকলোৰে মাজত আনক হৰুৱাই  নিজে আগত যোৱাৰ লক্ষ্য লুপ্ত হৈ থাকে তেনে এক সমাজত শান্তি স্থাপন কৰাটোও এক সপোন।
ৰাষ্ট্ৰসংঘৰ সকলো সদস্য ৰাষ্ট্ৰৰ মাজত শান্তি বৰ্তাই ৰাখিবৰ বাবে, আকৌ যাতে যুদ্ধ সদৃশ পৰিৱেশৰ সৃষ্টি নহয় তাৰ বাবে 1945 চনতে স্থাপন কৰা হৈছিল কিন্তু ৰাষ্ট্ৰসংঘৰ প্ৰতিখন সদস্য ৰাষ্ট্ৰৰ মাজত শান্তি আৰু নিৰাপত্তা স্থাপনৰ সন্ধি স্বাক্ষৰ কৰাটোও যেন এক ভেকোভাওঁনাত পৰিনত হৈছে।
ভাৰত আৰু পাকিস্তান যেন দুটা অস্ত্ৰৰ নাম আৰু ইয়াৰ টিগাৰত সদায়ে দুখন প্ৰথম বিশ্বৰ ৰাষ্ট্ৰৰ  আঙুলি বিৰাজমান বুলি বিভিন্ন জনে সময়ে সময়ে কৈ আহিছে। নিজ স্বাৰ্থৰ  সিদ্ধিৰ বাবে আনৰ তেজৰ ফাঁকু খেলা এইসকল লোক কেনে আদৰ্শৰ প্ৰতিনিধি?
সঁচাই তৃতীয় যুদ্ধৰ আৰম্ভ কৰাৰ ঠিকাদাৰ  নেকি?
দুখনকৈ  মহাযুদ্ধৰ পাছতো আমি শিক্ষা ল’ৱ পৰা নাই। অস্ত্ৰ-শস্ত্ৰৰ  প্ৰতিযোগিতাত অন্ধহৈ  নিজকে শক্তিশালি বুলি স্থাপন কৰিব গৈ নিজৰে  অংগক্ষত কৰি আছো।
শান্তি এতিয়া সহজ নহয়। কিন্তু অসম্ভৱও  নহয়।
শান্তি অস্ত্ৰৰে  নহয় সহযোগিতাৰেহে আহিব।  সকলোৱে হাতে-হাত ধৰি সমানে আগুৱাই গলেহে প্ৰগতি আহিব, অস্ত্ৰৰ  প্ৰতিযোগিতাৰে  মাথো তেজৰ  চিটিকনিৰে সকলোকে ৰাঙলী  কৰিব।

Being able to think about peace in the midst of war, death, assault and defence, desires and reluctance is an arduous and onerous subject matter. At the time when in every subject of our civilized society one word remains connected like competition, the goal of moving forward by defeating others and finding one’s self among all is lost, establishing peace in one such society is also similar to a dream.
The United Nations Organization was established in 1945 to build peace among the member countries; preventing conflicts from commencing into any equivalent war circumstances. But signing the peacekeeping agreements among the member countries for international peace and security has turned into a farce.
From time to time, various people have mentioned that India and Pakistan connote as the name of two weapons and two First World countries have always fingers prevailed on their triggers. What kind of ideals do these delegates represent by playing the game of colours with the blood of others for their own benefit?
Is it true then that they are the bearers for the initiation of the Third World War?
Even after two ruinous World Wars, we could not acquire any lesson. Competing with weapons to prove and establish oneself a superpower, we have become blind to the fact that we are also injuring ourselves.
Now, peace is neither easy nor is it impossible.
Peace will come not from arms and weapons but through cooperation. Progress will come when all hands are held equally in advancement; weapon rivalry will bring the blood splash to all.

 

Diversity of religions across South Asia

Religion is an organised system of belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe. There is no culture recorded in human history which has not practiced some form of religion. As with many cultural advancements and inventions, the early civilizations like Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China were the birthplace of religion.

Religion, then and now, concerns itself with the spiritual aspect of the human condition, gods and goddesses, the creation of the world, a human being’s place in the world, life after death, eternity, and how to escape from suffering in this world or in the next. Every nation has created its own god in its own image and resemblance.

South Asia is made up of seven nations: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Maldives. The main religions followed in South Asian countries are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Bahaism are also there with a lesser number of followers.

Mahakal Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal

Hinduism is one of the most prevalent religions of the South Asia. There are thousands of temples worshiping different gods and goddesses are found in the region.

 

Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India

 

South Asia is home to a large Muslim population. One third of the world’s Muslims live in South Asia, which has become a major source of Islamic ideas and organizations across the world.

Golden Temple in Amritsar, India

 

Sikhism arose out of Hinduism as a reform movement in the 16th century. It stresses that people can escape rebirth by meditating on God’s name.

St Mary’s Church in Jamshedpur, India

 

Christianity is a religion that arose about 2,000 years ago in Palestine among Jews, who believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God, the creator of all things. Christianity is practiced by Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant religious sects.

 

Buddhist Monastery in Dalhousie, India

 

Buddhism is a religion that arose as a reform movement in Hinduism in the 5th century BCE. Its founder was Siddhartha Gautama, who believed that suffering was inherent in all life.

Religion has the potential to reach the core of a person; it is extremely personal which is why respect by all humanity is necessary if we are to live on the same planet. All of us have our own ways of following a religion. Every human being need not adhere to a conformed practice or behavior. There are also the atheists who do not believe in any religion at all and governed by the logic of reason. No matter which religion it is, the message of love and universal brotherhood is inherent in every religion, region and culture.

 

Who Am I? Understanding Self-Identity

“Who am I”, this question leads to the word ‘self-identity’ which each of us may ask ourselves on an everyday basis.
Since we all live in a world with many other people, the external world of our society plays a huge role in defining our self identity. As humans, we all have a need to develop a personal identity that distinguishes us from others.
Each human being is an individual with his or her own set of ideals and beliefs which they develop with regard to the surroundings they are exposed to. While establishing one’s own self-identity, there definitely will be instances where the values may be conflicting. The key to maintaining peace in this regard is having respect for each other’s beliefs, understanding the area of clashing ideals and in turn coming up with an amicable solution that suits best for both parties.
Take a moment to think about what you would say to someone when asked the question “Who are You?”