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Session 8 Youth Session: Grass Root Stories of Peace Initiatives and 8(b). Launch of MIT-WPU World Peace Fellowship

Oct 3rd, 2020, 6:00 pm -7:15 pm

Mr. Joshua Prudowsky - The learned speaker stated that MIT-WPU is in a unique position to aid students in conflict regions by developing a fellowship for such individuals. Considering that India has the largest pool of youth in the world, it is a tremendous opportunity to affect change. He also spoke about the difference between a personally responsible citizen, a participative citizen and a justice oriented citizen. He quoted the famous indian philosopher Krishnamurthy by building resilience and inner peace, by considering oneself a peacebuilder and by being agents of their own creation of well being. He spoke about the ways in which we can become peace builders.

Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal ji - The learned speaker started by thankling the Rev Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad for this excellent initiative before he officially flagged the start of MIT-WPU’s peace fellowship. He then spoke about the correlations between the body, the mind, intellect and the soul and declared that within their permutations and combinations lies the secret to success, to peace and to fulfillment. He spoke about how not adhering to a fine balance between these results in disaster. He also believes that ego creates a big problem especially when individuals believe their way is the right way. He stated that an individual’s way may be right, but it cannot be the only right way. This hubris leads to dissonance within religions and philosophies. He wished that people enlarge the size of ‘we’ and decrease the size of ‘I’.

Rev Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad - The revered speaker started by stating that the speaker before him had truly understood the philosophy behind what the speaker has been saying. He also spoke a bit about the history of the World Parliament and how it started on the 700th Samadhi anniversary of Sant Dnyaneshwara. He also spoke about how a saying of Swami Vivekananda had inspired him and how that inspiration became MIT and how now this inspiration has percolated within the very fabric of MIT. The statement was, ‘Only the union of science and spirituality can save mankind.’

Shri Saji Prelis - The learned speaker began by elaborating why youth matters. He stated that right now it is the largest generation of humanity to ever grace this planet. The median age of the world is in its twenties. He then stated that 1 in every 4 individuals between the ages of 15 and 29 is affected by violence and conflict and that 77 percent of them are working in the informal sector and over 815 million young people are facing a hunger pandemic as well. He then spoke about the nations who have the largest percentage of young people and then he compared the median age of a country’s population and the median age of that country’s leaders. He then elaborated on the challenges, burdens and threats that the youth will be facing and how to face them as well.

Mr Christian Cito Cirhigiri - The learned speaker started by introducing himself and of how he himself hails from a conflict zone. He explained the challenges of the youth by explaining that in his community, due to being affected by conflict the only actual vocation left to an individual used to be to join drug trafficking. But he also stated that not all youth chose this path. He also stated an example of an individual born to Hutu and Tutsi people in Rwanda. The Rwandan genocide pitted the two groups with each other. The child of both people decided to not choose one identity over the other, but an integrated approach.

Ms. Reem Ghunaim - The learned aspekaer started by stating what the world peace index is and how all aspire for peace but only few nations have been able to realise that. Then she explained the peace inequality gap which shows that peaceful nations are becoming more peaceful and the nations which are least peaceful are plunging themselves more into conflict. She believes that this inequality will act as entropy for the stability of all peaceful states in the world and thus it is imperative to act now to achieve world peace. She spoke of how the rotary club is handling this issue and what all initiatives they are taking to ensure peace in the world. Lastl;y she invited everyone to subscribe and join their initiative and contribute to it.

Dr Vistasp Karbhari - The learned speaker stated that the world thinks that there is tremendous difference between science, religion and philosophy instead of recognizing them to be syncretic events to analyze the actuality of existence that we find ourselves in. He also stated that the differences between these three is what leads to conflicts and that in doing so neither of the 3 principles of life are being adhered to. He then stated on the purpose behind science, religion and philosophy and how this affects the bond between them. He then quoted multiple examples where religion, science and philosophy have intersected each other and he firmly believes that they will continue to do so since they are about the understanding of a basic commonality they share.

Steve Killelea - The learned speaker quoted examples about his own life and about his own family run organization that wishes to build upon the promise of peace to the world. He narrates an incident in the Congo in which he implemented the methods of peace learned from peaceful nations in that region. The results were very encouraging.

Prof Joe Thomas - The learned speaker offered concluding remarks where he spoke about how much the initiative of peace has gained by the collective wisdom that the session had generated. He then spoke about the need of the hour which is to chart the route towards peace and then to try and achieve it.

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