The Peace Gong

Preparing children to contribute towards a culture of peace and nonviolence through media literacy

  • Philosophy of the Peace Gong: “To ensure a global non-violent future, children should be encouraged to volunteer to build bridges of friendship amongst young people. Promoting children’s participation in community building will not only contribute towards trans-generational progress of the society but also lay the foundation of an active young citizenry who are aware of their rights and duties.”

 

  •  Guiding Principles: Senior Gandhian Mr Natwar Thakkar emphasizes that the communication praxis should encompass not only deep understanding of each other’s culture and tradition but also do the work of emotional bridge building thereby connecting people of diverse cultures. This is essential to make the phenomenon of violence outdated and further mutual understanding. The Peace Gong by connecting children from myriad backgrounds tries to encourage them to do the work of emotional bridge building and thereby contributing to a culture of peace and nonviolence.

 

“Let every dream become Martin Luther King’s dream, let every step towards peace become Mahatma Gandhi’s Salt March and let every obstacle in your path become Nelson Mandela’s painful twenty-seven years in prison. Promise yourself that you will contribute your best to make the phenomenon of violence outdated, promise yourself that you will try to motivate your friends to walk on the path of nonviolence.” 


 

The Peace Gong promotes diversity and helps in facilitating dialogues amongst young people from different cultures and communities. We extensively use the social media, email communications and mobiles to connect with other student reporters from different background across the country and abroad. Using new forms of available communication, The Peace Gong can be a powerful vehicle to help young people to come together and work for global peace.”

 

Novel laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore believed that it was not enough to pass on information, what was important was the ability to put to use what one has learnt and to develop curiosity and alertness of mind. In the contemporary knowledge society this perspective of Tagore is of great importance as there are deluge of information. For a strong foundation of an active citizenry it is a challenge on how the citizens make use of this information for the benefit of the society. In this backdrop, media and information literacy programmes especially for young people becomes significant as it develops their capacities and enhances their skills to not only use information but also use the media to take up social concerns. 

 

Aim of The Peace Gong: Develop communicative, semiotic and cultural skills along with critical thinking abilities amongst children so that they can negotiate the increasing complexities of today’s world.

 

 The universal approach of the Peace Gong reporters to work for global peace is reflected by this evocative poem of its reporter in Pakistan, Syeda Rumana Mehdi:

 

A Positive Power

 

There is anger in me,

There is a thirst for revenge,

There is a desire to kill,

But,

There is also a wish for peace,

 

 There is a yearning to end war,

Without shedding blood,

There is a passion to save lives,

Without losing any,

 

 There is a dream,

To start life anew,

With tales of forgiveness,

With lore of happiness, 

 

Throw a rock at me,

And I wont hit you back,

I’ll give you a second chance,

To redeem,

 

 I’ve embarked on a journey,

The journey of Gandhi,

The voyage of Mandela,

I seek to forgive,

And hope to forget, 

 

Come to me,

Not with weapons,

But with a sinful heart,

Which we’ll together,

Cleanse of all the filth,

 

 Your body is as pure as mine,

Every drop of blood is sacred,

No heart is meant to be broken,

For all our hearts beat,

In the same rhythm, 

 

There is no place for hate,

There is no place for vengeance,

There is no place to lose humanity,

But there is still some place,

To find yourself,

 

 Today, I call out to all killers,

Who perpetrated genocides,

Today, I call out to all potential killers,

Who might kill me for what I’ve to say,

Today, I call out to all scholars of non-violence,

Who saw Mandela in prison for 27 years,

Who saw Gandhi give up his life for his principles,

Who saw Martin Luther King’s dream,

Through their own eyes,

Who stood with Rosa Parks,

When she refused to stand up, 

 

Let’s come together,

To create power,

A positive force,

A healing potion,

A spell,

with the blessings of non-violence. 

 

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