Efforts Towards World Peace Are Stalled

The question arises as to whether the concept of world peace is unreal and utopian, as it seems that all peace conferences organized in world forums and the UNO are taking place in a vacuum.

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Lisbon, Portugal [ Photo: Sunguk Kim/ Unsplash]

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

The great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha discuss several characters, and a number of them have been prone to violence, unethical behavior, and quarrels. At the same time, there have also been noble men and women, as well as saints described in the epics, who were involved in lofty acts and advocated for peace and goodwill. In these epics, the importance of truth, the need for harmony and peace, and the destruction of evil have been emphasized, along with several guidelines provided for peaceful coexistence. Certainly, the epics espouse lofty philosophies related to truth, humanism, and devotion to God. However, the presence of evil has persisted.

If one were to compare the characters described in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharatha with today’s scenario, it would be evident that the behavioral patterns and mental makeup of 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.

This indicates that despite significant advancements in science and technology, the human mindset has not significantly improved over the last thousands of years. This holds true all over the world, proving the fact that humanity and the basic behavior patterns of humans worldwide remain largely the same. The progress of human civilization remains dismal, as any real progress should inevitably result in peace and harmony, which have not materialized.

While several wars and battles have taken place in the past, World War I and World War II were the biggest and deadliest, resulting in the loss of millions of human lives and immense destruction. After the First World War, there was talk of the importance of ensuring world peace, but the Second World War happened. After the end of the Second World War, peace initiatives were again initiated, and the United Nations Organization was formed, with hopes that the UNO would be the ultimate solution to ensure a world without war.

After more than seventy-five years since World War II and despite the functioning of the UNO, peaceful conditions in the world have not materialized. Several wars have taken place in the last several decades since World War II. Currently, the Ukraine-Russia war threatens to be prolonged, and some quarters even suspect that it could develop into a situation similar to the one preceding World War II, culminating in another bloody conflict.

Meanwhile, there have been eminent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and others who propagated the cause of 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, conditions have not improved significantly.

Today, leaders of every country pledge for world peace, but these pledges have proven to be empty rhetoric. The same leaders do not hesitate to initiate, conduct, or support war efforts if it serves their self-interests and their desires for territorial expansion or superpower status.

The question arises as to whether the concept of world peace is unreal and utopian, as it seems that all peace conferences organized in world forums and the UNO are taking place in a vacuum.

Clearly, the battle for world peace must be fought within the minds of men and women. There is no indication that such a battle will 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 and 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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