October 2nd is the birth anniversary of the two great leaders of India, Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. In honour of Gandhi, UN has declared this day as the international day of non-violence. We have inter-religious gatherings and peace summits in many places of our country.

During the peace prayer service today, we had a reading from the gospel where it is mentioned that ‘you are the salt of the earth’ and ‘if the salt lost its saltiness, how can you make it salty again’. I think it is equally applicable for sugar and many other substances. Sweetness and saltiness are the inherent qualities of the sugar and salt and once it is lost, you can’t gain it back. Now a scientific mind might ask the question, what is the meaning of loosing the saltiness? We will keep aside those analysis for a while and move ahead.

We have growing intolerance in the country; many countries including ours are facing growing inequalities between the rich and the poor; justice to all is still a distant dream in the technological world; there are issues of violence, war, refugee crisis, environmental struggles in the midst of all these, there is a great desire for peace…

Peace is not something that is imposed, that one gives or merits: peace is a gift that is received by grace, freely. This attitude of receptivity is the foundation to peace.

The quote by mystic and philosopher named Raimundo Panikkar reminds us that peace is an outcome. We can’t create it. All the more, war and violence can’t even think of achieving it. We need to create the structures — structures which are just and which promote sustainable development — which brings peace. Technologically superior wants to create, but can’t. Peace is a gift. It has to be received.

Just as saltiness is intrinsic to salt, I see peace as the intrinsic quality of society. We should see whether we follow the dictums of democracy correctly.If our present definitions of democracy is not helping in it, we need to modify it.

We should be able to identity that root issue that hinders peace from being an outcome of the society. It is a search; I don’t know the answer… Do think if the question makes sense for you?

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A Jesuit interested to think and write; Loves philosophy, spirituality, politics…. Believes in God & well-being of all humans… Open to difference & newness..

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