The entire world community should come together to fight terrorism, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said recently after inaugurating a newly-built dome complex housing a prayer hall at MIT World Peace University in Pune. He also inaugurated 'World Parliament of Science, Religion and Philosophy' organised by the varsity.
"Violence and terror are the enemies of mankind. With violence one can’t achieve one's objective...some people think bullet is more important than ballot but ballot can change the fate of anybody," he said. Naidu said those who encouraged extremism were harmful to society. In the past, only India spoke out against terrorism and countries in the West were not bothered about the issue, but after some major terrorist attacks, the US, Europe, Russia and other countries began to feel concerned, Naidu said.
"The entire world community should come together to fight terrorism," he said, adding that terrorism and violence had no class or religion. Referring to the new dome complex, Naidu said the world is experiencing "chaos, confusion, bloodshed and discrimination", and the solution to this chaos lies within the philosophy behind this dome where "ideals of all the religions" reside together. "All religions preach love. This one understanding is sufficient to bring about world peace and brotherhood," he said. India has always welcomed all religions, cultures and traditions, the vice president said, adding that "in its diversity lies India's strength". "This mutual respect and peaceful coexistence is the hallmark of Indian ethos and I pray that this dome, which symbolises harmony and peace is able to inspire a sense of unity and humanity in every single person who enters its premises," said Naidu. The dome has a diameter of 160 feet and rests on 24 pillars. It houses a library and a prayer hall along with 54 bronze statues of scholars, saints, scientists and philosophers from the past. It is true that we have largely forgotten what India has stood for all in these centuries of human existence and how in the world torn with everlasting strife and violence, she has been the oasis of peace and affability. That India has always been a template of assimilative unity and harmony of diverse peoples is something we need to remind to the world. This is perhaps the only land where there has never been any civil war, revolution or internal coup ever in the history of mankind and there is perhaps no major civilisation of the world which has not faced such violent phases in its history. This makes India a unique society and we must uphold this asset at any cost.
This is India’s attribute that keeps Indians glued together even today despite the wide diversity in their thoughts, cultures, practices and beliefs. India has been invaded and occupied by foreign forces from time to time but never could they divide India culturally and emotionally. People of different religious communities have lived and died here for the cause of the country without allowing the differences ever wedging a rift between them. Today the world is a battleground of ideologies born out of religious bigotry and dogmatism. Despite the rising intrusions and influences of outside forces in India, our country is still safer and more peaceful than most other countries of the world because of the inherent tenets of harmony, brotherhood and assimilation which no one can shake. But it is not just India’s peace we must be concerned of; global peace is also something which we badly need. The world is today a global village and people to people contacts have risen like never before. The more people interact, meet and need each other, the greater are the chances of dissentions and rifts. The art of civilisation is to march along despite differences and find out ways to adjust despite reasons to fight. Fighting is easy but it needs maturity and wisdom to check our violent propensities and take different types of people together through patience and understanding.
Our ultimate purpose is peace and progress of the world, because that is what is going to bring happiness to all. Fighting on petty premises makes us lose our virtues and visions alike and humanity suffers; our progenies suffer. World leaders have a vital role to play in upholding democratic values and weaning away people from violence by raising awareness and education. They need to play an active role in safeguarding their borders and their lands of terror activities.
They have to spread humanitarian ideologies and embrace people in love and unity. It is often the shortsightedness of leaders and their narrow interests guided by the greed of power and heft that misguide the people into digressive domains. Leaders have influence on society, and if they lead by example and instill in their people the belief that only love, peace and togetherness can save the world, if they can only show them that all religions speak the same gospels of truth, many lives and societies can change. We have to abide by the tenets of Gandhi, Tagore, Vivekananda and Buddha and spread their message across the world. They all talked of human unity, of peace, happiness and assimilation. If such an emotionally volatile country like India with thousands of different communities, cultures, languages, castes, creeds and religions can live through the ravages of time so successfully, there is no country or society in the world which can’t do so. It just needs the right effort of the right minded persons and leaders to push the cause of peace through better administrative and governance models and greater inclusiveness of people in nation building that can tilt the balance in favour of peace. Majority of people always wants peace. It is only a handful of destructive elements who, with tacit support of certain power groups, try to distablise the world and promote their own parochial ideologies through force. Such forces cannot sustain themselves if people speak up, act, exercise caution and love and trust each other.
There is no point singling out and blaming religions or communities for the action of stray distorted minds. It is all about good people and bad people. If the good people unite and act and pressure their governments to act tough and act smart through better international cooperation, more effective internal policies and strategies and better use of technological innovations, the power of the evil forces are bound to diminish. Terrorism is a global threat today and in no time in history there has been an opportunity like this for civilised nations to unite for a common cause that affects every country and its people. Democracies must take advantage of this boon in disguise and banish those modules and outfits that directly or indirectly promote or influence terrorism.