Efforts Towards World Peace Not Going Anywhere – OpEd


Even a cursory glance on human history over the past thousands of years would highlight that wars and conflicts, jealousy and greed, lust and vengeance had been the order of the day. Of course, there have also been events of harmony and peace but they have been few and far between and have been more of exception rather than rule and they have been like flash in the pan. 

The great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha discuss several characters and number of such characters have been violent prone, unethical and quarrelsome. At the same time, there have also been noble men and women and saints described in the epics , who were involved in several lofty acts and counselling peace, goodwill. In these epics, the importance of truth and need for harmony and peace and destruction of evil have been stressed and several guidelines provided for peaceful co existence. Certainly, the epics espouse lofty philosophy relating to truth and humanism and devotion to God. However, the evils had still continued.

If one were to compare the characters described in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharatha with today’s scenario, it would be clearly evident that the behavioural pattern and mental make up of the most people living at present and during the last several decades have not been much different. Good and bad dealings were described in the epics and conditions are no different today.

Obviously, this indicates that in spite of significant growth of science and technology, the human mindset has not changed any better over the last thousands of years . This is true all over the world , thus proving the fact that humanity and basic behavior pattern of humans all over the world are largely the same. The progress of human civilization remain dismal, as any progress in the civilization should inevitably result in peace and harmony which are not happening.

While several wars and battles have taken place in the past, the World War I and World War II were the biggest and the deadliest that resulted in loss of millions of human lives and huge destruction. After the first World War, there was talk about importance of ensuring world peace but second world war happened. After the end of the second World War, again peace moves were initiated and United Nations Organisation was formed, thinking that the UNO would be the ultimate solution to ensure the world without war.

After more than seventy five years of world war II and inspite of UNO functioning , peaceful conditions in the world have not materialised. Several wars have taken place in the last several decades after World War II. Now, Ukraine Russia war is threatening to be prolonged and some quarters even suspect that it could develop into a situation that preceded World War II and culminated in the bloody World War II.

In the meantime, there have been eminent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and others who propagated the cause for peace and struggled throughout their lives to create a world where peace would prevail and wars would become extinct. In spite of the great efforts of these noble men who set high standards , the conditions have not changed.

Today, leader of every country pledge for world peace but they have been proved to be empty rhetoric. The same leaders do not hesitate to initiate, conduct or support war efforts, if it would satisfy their self interests and their greed for territorial expansion or super power status.

The question is whether the concept of world peace is an unreal and utopian one , as it appears that all peace conferences organized in world forums and in UNO are taking place in vacuum.

Obviously, battle for world peace has to be fought in the minds of men and women. There is no indication that such battle would succeed in the foreseeable future.

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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