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Mainstream, VOL LVII No 44 New Delhi October 19, 2019

From Rajghat, Delhi to Geneva: Yearlong Gandhian March for Justice and Peace

Sunday 20 October 2019, by Bharat Dogra

From October 2 to October 4 there was a very colourful gathering of people from several nations in Delhi. This was part of the inauguration and preparation for a global peace initiative in the form of a march from Delhi to Geneva. This march, which started on October 4, will continue for almost a year and will end in Geneva on September 26, 2020, World Peace Day. While the core group of marchers consists of 50 women and men from various parts of world, supporting meetings and initiatives will be organised not just along the main march route in ten countries but in many other regions and countries as well.

This initiative is called the ’Jai Jagat March for Global Peace’, or more briefly just ‘Jai Jagat 2020’. Jai Jagat signifies a commitment to the welfare of all, or a commitment to the entire universe as one family thinking, cutting across all narrow boundaries. This is a message which is particularly welcome at this juncture when narrow nationalism and pseudo-nationalism have been misused to create havoc in several countries.

While spreading the message of justice and peace, there is also the need to expose the hypocrisy of those who chant the name of Gandhi but do not hesitate to tear to shreds Gandhiji’s deepest commitment to inter-faith harmony.

The Jai ‘Jagat March’ and the related dialogues will also provide an opportunity to explore and increase international cooperation for finding timely solutions to those extremely serious problems which together constitute a survival crisis at the global level. How can the energy and creativity of ordinary people be tapped for finding solutions to these extremely serious problems? How can we enhance the cooperation of people and people’s movements cutting across all narrow divisions and boundaries to realize these aims of the highest urgency? These are some urgent questions before us and this march can play an even more useful role in this wider perspective.

P.V. Rajagopal, the overall coordinator of this effort has been involved with land and justice struggles for over four decades as head of Ekta Parishad and in other capacities. Hence he brings a strong sense of justice to this entire effort and to highlighting the concerns of the poorest landless people.

The author, who has reported widely on various Gandhian struggles, is the author of Earth Without Borders—One World for Protecting All. His latest book on Gandhiji, titled Man over Machine—A Path Towards Peace, has been published by Vitasta.

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