Having Fit-Bits on our hands, counting our steps during the day is a daily thing for many of us. Having to walk 9,500 km for a bigger cause is a daily routine to one person. He is Mr. Rajagopal P.V. who has planned for a Peace March from New Delhi, India to Geneva, Switzerland via Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.
A ‘March for Justice and Peace’
Reporters in Geneva were told that the March would begin on October 2nd,2019 marking the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Thus, ending it on September 25th,2020 on arrival in Geneva, the ‘City of Peace’. In the backdrop of world wide conflicts, India is staying peaceful. This marks for a good celebration and the event is deemed perfect.
The sole idea of this march was to bring to notice the issue of World Conflict and Dwindling Resources. It is given light by walking across countries, drawing worldwide attention. Rajagopal P.V. hopes big to get the Dalai Lama and the former US President Barack Obama in support of this cause.
The walkers if face any visa issues are advised to take a boat from Mumbai to Greece and continue their walk from there. The itenary after reaching Geneva next year, has a series of meetings and discussions on Peace and Non-violence.
Prior preparations are being made by spreading the word all over the world in creating awareness and to have thousands join the march. During which, Rajagopal expects other walkers worldwide to start off the march from their respective nations all destined to Geneva.
Rajagopal P.V. is a 70 year old Gandhian Activist, who was an engineer turned into an Advocate for the Rights of Landless Farmers in India. Additionally, he was the former Vice-Chairman of Gandhi Peace Foundation and also the President, founding member of Ekta Parishad.
In the context of growing Naxalism in Central Rural India, Rajagopal’s organisation along with the tribals led a peace march to address the issue of Land reforms. This march was marked as one of the most successful non-violent alternatives for showing dissent.
The activist opined that the New Land Reforms of 2014 by the present government need improvements. They were termed insufficient and corporate friendly if not amended. He often demanded a deeper inspection into the land reforms to reduce the increasing disparities between the Rich and the Poor in the country.
The use of Gandhian principles are often mocked by criticizers, and he is not comfortable with the title ‘New Gandhi’.
Problem at hand
World conflicts and their link with Dwindling Resources is a major problem. To be realistic, Land issues and Natural Resource issues are almost never the sole cause of conflict. But they have the tendency to become a major conflict.
Land is just not a piece of Earth, it is a part of a community, an identity, history and culture. As it is part of many, people are easily effected and the issue easily aggravated. Focus on land grievances and handling them at their beginning in a shorter period of time is much needed. Negotiations and rehabilitaions go a long way in achieving peace. Hence, early attention can reduce the human, economic, social and environmental costs of clash.