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The battle for peace

columns Updated: Oct 14, 2013 23:45 IST

Hindustan Times
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Peace is in high demand but wars and conflicts make it elusive. Unlike any other commodity, peace can’t be bought with might and force but with love, understanding and compassion. Peace is the greatest tool that could lead to good progress in an individual’s pilgrimage on this planet; and for nations, it means the end of conflicts and killings that we have seen helplessly throughout history.

This is in the context of last week’s Nobel Peace Prize announcement; and the controversy as to who should have received it rightfully. The award went to the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based at The Hague, for its exemplary services in the destruction of 57,000 metric tonnes of chemical weapons, mostly leftovers of the Cold War period.

Though rightly given to this relatively little known UN-backed organisation, there were millions of people, particularly in India and Pakistan, who wished Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistan 16-year-old girl and education activist, who survived a shot in her head by Taliban, felt disheartened that the little peace angel has been denied her due.

But this could be dismissed as a noble wish not fulfilled; the OPCW has a greater relevance for world peace today, particularly because of its pioneering role in overseeing Syrian “disarming” and getting the world rid of mass-destruction weapons. Recall the August pogrom that killed hundreds allegedly because of the use of chemical gas.

Peace, by definition, means love and affection for each other and it does not mean the absence of war or hatred, etc. Peace prevails when there is understanding for each other’s rights and the obligation to respect and accept such rights that others should rightly be claiming ownership.

As French philosopher and Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus said, “Peace is the only battle worth waging.” Surely, you can make a huge difference today if you stand up for peace. Let us take peace as a state of mind and say: If each one of us decides to stand for peace, who will then be left for war!