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Outcry for a Non-violent future

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Outcry for a Non-violent future

Taken from one of the presentations at the
8th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action, Jaipur, India, January 2014

Progress towards a nonviolent future is not inevitable. It depends on all of us – individuals, who are willing to work and are driven by a passion for a better world.

We are living in amazing times when it is becoming easier to build new pathways. It is very similar to pioneers and innovators of the 19th Century. We can harness the advantage of technology, internet and social media to go global with our message in a short span of time.

Grassroots activists and change-makers, let me share a pragmatic vision with you. Let us create a public outcry and demand for abolition of war and military spending for eradicating violence and building a peaceful world. Let us campaign towards replacing 25 million soldiers worldwide with 25 million peace workers, the world will be a different place. It will be a bliss to be living on the cusp of a new dawn when humankind would have taken a full turn transforming our world towards a better future, ensuring the continuation and progress of our sacred civilization and humanity leading to global peace.

There are many grounds for confidence that we can stop killing each other. Most humans have never killed anyone. Otherwise humanity long ago would have spiraled into extinction. Ninety-five countries have completely abolished the death penalty, 27 countries have no armies. Forty-seven countries accept conscientious objection to military service. Spiritual traditions and humanist philosophies proscribe killing. Science promises new understanding of causes and prevention of killing. Components for non-killing societies already have been demonstrated somewhere in human experience. If creatively combined and adapted in any single place. Non-killing societies can be approximated even now anywhere. In short, knowledge exists to assist crossing the threshold of lethal pessimism to confidently envision a non-killing global human future. However, war is not going to end on its own. We have to end war and killing. Let us take the message as far and wide as possible – to schools, universities, temples, churches, libraries, trade unions, policy makers for discussions and actions.

We are in the beginning of the 21st Century. People are throwing off their mental shackles and realizing their potential. A new age of enlightenment has begun in which we have already seen worldwide rise of nonviolent activities and achievements for seeking alternatives to war and violence. There have been key moments in history where ordinary people stood up against immoral governments, corporations and even empires. Let me conclude by saying that slavery, colonialism, apartheid and gender discrimination in voting rights have all been abolished. Let’s work for the day when people seeking peace will be in majority, barriers to peace will be lowered and the future will be safe, secure and violence-free. It is already happening as more and more people refuse to be frightened. Faint-hearted and passive spectators who refuse to accept the present system based on greed, speculation and imposition. I believe all global citizens have the passion, talent, determination and power to be agents of change. The youth and citizens of today have what it takes to change the world as the world is ready to be moved. Now is your time and your moment. Let’s live our pragmatic vision of a nonviolent future and change the world together.