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Mainstream, Vol XLVIII, No 49, November 27, 2010

Dalai Lama’s Simple Words and Our Silence

Wednesday 1 December 2010, by Humra Quraishi

As scams get unearthed you can well imagine what lies ahead.Dark patches are getting darker, disillusionments are turning into nightmares, those disparities are widening,and hopelessness looms large.The crux is: the mess is getting messier. And yet there is that lingering hope that perhaps sense and sanity might prevail.

In fact, last week-end as I sat hearing the Dalai Lama talk on the human approach to world peace, at the Institute of Social Sciences, those simple thoughts and simpler strategies touched. He spoke of non-violence at any cost and with that he also stressed on the tremendous power of an earnest dialogue.Talking, communi-cating, discussing, interacting could prove to be more successful strategies than violence or counter-violence. In fact, he had gone ahead to expand on exactly this in the context of the war waged against the erstwhile Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein: “If only an independent thinker or a peace activist had flown down to Baghdad and held talks with Saddam Hussein, then, perhaps, that war could have been prevented …there is no problem which cannot be solved through discussions but somehow we seem to moving away from that human approach.” He repeatedly stressed on religion being used by certain vested elements, as he put across, “You will find mischievous elements around … amongst Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, in every possible religious group and it’s these elements that spread hatred and again they have to be countered not through violent ways, for violence does not lead to a lasting peace … understanding of the human being and love that can overcome much of the hatred getting spread around. Those who have had an abundance of emotional love in their childhood, especially their mother’s love, are found to be less aggressive and more humane in their approach.”

In fact, whilst listening to those simple thoughts being so brilliantly put across, I was wondering that it is essential the Dalai Lama address the police and other security personnel to relay to them that those terrorising policing tactics should stand outdated if they want some semblance of peace.

These Conventions Seem So Artificially Hyped!

Each time I receive an invite for any of those national or international conventions or those unending conferences on the protection of human rights or limbs, I sit back and ponder on the disasters unfolding in every single sphere and yet we hosting unending hyped sessions.The latest in this series is this—the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) completing 21 years of its existence. Read this officially worded backgrounder on it and then sit back and ponder on the very hollowness echoing around:

Twentyone years ago today a remarkable milestone for the protection and realisation of the rights of all children—the Convention on the Rights of the Child—was officially opened for signature by United Nations Member States. …The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the first legally binding instrument designed to protect and promote the rights of people under 18 years old. Its adoption by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1989 is celebrated annually as the Universal Children’s Day. It has now achieved near-universal accep-tance, with ratification by 193 parties. …The Convention sets out rights that children enjoy as human beings and also identifies special rights and protections they require during this vulnerable phase of their lives…The rights in the Convention are predicated on the principles of universality, non-discrimination and account-ability. This means that they apply equally to every child, including the most disadvantaged. The Convention creates a moral imperative, determined by the world leaders and governments who drafted and subsequently joined the Convention, to ensure that efforts to protect and promote children’s rights must be equitable. Every child, not matter how disadvantaged by parental income or family circumstance, geography, disability, race or gender, has an equal right to enjoy the protection of the Convention and the rights it sets out…

How very easy to sit down and frame these long winding sentences. And how very difficult to put them to practice or even to counter the grim ground realities—of children being killed and abused and used by the various governmental agencies and yet mum we sit.

I wonder which national or international forum speaks out when dozens of children get killed in broad daylight or get tortured in detention-cum-interrogation centres by those who are supposed to sit and protect them!

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