By Swati Sharan
Here's an idea for all of those who believe in the need for peace between India and Pakistan - it's something anyone can do, it won't cost money, and it makes me feel like I have found one of my life's purpose: Let's have a day of Prayers for Peace Between India and Pakistan.
This is how it would work: On a designated day a few months from now, let's ask people to give 30 seconds or a minute of their time no matter where they are to pray according to their personal or religious styles for peace between India and Pakistan, and see the difference that numbers make in reaching the hearts of people and leaders. It's something that the average person can do regardless of whether they're nursing a baby or out on the fields. They just need to know to keep it in their mind to pray.
Many other initiatives fail because in both countries, volunteering for such causes becomes something for the privileged and therefore cut off from the common person.
There are no guarantees of course, but I think that in our hearts we all wish to do something to make a positive difference. Many of us believe in the power of prayer in the ways that we have been taught. And common to all religions is the idea of the power of prayer becoming stronger when engaged with collectively.
?Here is how we could do it: People can congregate for a brief period in neighbourhoods, organised groups or central places to pray together according to their faith in silence on the given day and time - or they can pray by themselves wherever they are on a given day.
Celebrities or dignitaries can help with publicity beforehand by endorsing it on facebook, twitter, websites, and other media. We can ask our friends in different media to announce it to get more people involved.
These prayers can be done from anywhere on the globe by any one, of any nationality. Many Indians and Pakistanis living abroad also share this wish for peace and would love the chance to participate in this collective prayer. Essentially it would be a numbers game: the more people pray for something at a given time, the greater the difference it can make.
If we get those who are very respected for their praying abilities (ordinary people or respected spiritual figures), then these prayers will have no choice but to be heard. I really do believe that on some level, we create the atmosphere from what is within us. So if we all conjure thoughts of peace even on an abstract level with utmost sincerity, our "auras" can help shift the ambience.
That itself in turn can change the atmosphere for these so-called leaders.
If our prayers are not long enough or there aren't enough of us participating, at least we will help keep the atmosphere peaceful and work at some level against negative behaviours and attitudes. Even if no one believes in this premise, most people can respect the idea of the difference the power of prayer makes, even if our styles are different.
Finally, this idea reminds me of Aurobindo Ghose, the spiritual figure and revered Indian freedom fighter. He had been engaged with more conventional means of freedom fighting before he decided to try intense meditation. He went into the jungle where he concentrated on making his aura so magnanimous that it would facilitate the enabling energy for freedom fighting. He later said that it was when he and others like Swami Vivekananda meditated intensely on the notion of freeing India from colonial rule that many great leaders started emerging, like Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, Tilak, Bhagat Singh and so on.
So how about it? Anyone up for it?
Swati Sharan is a Canada-based writer from India who has worked with various publications and collaborated on the upcoming book Gujarati Achievers 2011 (Dirgha Media). She is socially active with many causes. Email: Swati_Sharanca@yahoo.ca
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
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Page 128 of 175
The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw