TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY

 


Photo by United Nations


This year marks the 20th anniversary of International Peace Day initiated by United Nations Assembly on 21st September, 2001. Since then, the world has seen countless tragedies, atrocities, an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, religious perscutions, mass genocides, gender inequality, migrant crisis, increased level of violence on women and children, historical cities left with war-torn debris and substantially increased levels of violence around the globe.

In the beginning of the century, long after the silly 2k world-ending hysterics, the world had been rocked its core when World Trade Center Towers collapsed in New York bringing down along the western capitalist optimism. The war watched in shock as the towers settled into a rubble. The war had been brought to the very doorstep of Western countries. The action was swift. George W. Bush announced that United States formed a coalition with 40 countries including all NATO members would be invading Afghanistan. It has since become the longest war in history. In 2003, United States led-coalition invaded Iraq to curb the increasing power of terrorism in Middle East.



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In the end of 2004, the deadly Indian Ocean Tsunami left Asia in tatters. It took years before the normalcy resumed in the affected countries and regions. The natural disaster provoked a major humanitarian response but peace was adrift for a long time in the biggest continent on Earth.

In late 2010, the public living in middle-Eastern and North-African countries with oppressive regimes, had enough. They took to the streets, waving flags, chanting slogans, saying that freedom was not earned but a birth right for every citizen on this planet. The protesters were not in pursuit of material wealth rather than pure freedom. They wanted free and fair elections. They wanted decent living standards, absolute protection of human rights. In the beginning, it was hopeful. Brothers and sisters united against the oppressive regimes who cared lining their pockets with money rather than their people. Soon, everything took a dark turn. The protests turned violent, armies were deployed, massacres and genocides became a common place in people’s lives, innocent civilians shot dead in street, residencies were bombed from the sky. 




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The world watched as children with torn clothes, blood smeared bodies, crying for their families and friends. The world has decided that an intervention was badly needed before the whole region evaporated in smoke. It was too late. The protests that were meant to bring peace and freedom to the region birthed a deadly organization, “Islamic State of Iraq And Syria.” (ISIS) The terrorist organization drove out the Iraqi forces and became de factor rules in several regions. They committed unprecedented levels of violence, massacres and genocides were committed day after day. To this day, the region remain unstable and millions of people lost their homes, family members, friends, neighbours and fled their countries. 76 years ago, the people who lived through World War II probably thought that the worst was over. But, it was yet to come.



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Gender inequality rose to unacceptable levels as crimes against women and children. India cried when they realised what a woman’s life was meant in the modern day. Rapes, harassment, molestation, blackmail, murders were reported daily. Indians protested, demanded and requested that no woman should go through what some of their fellow citizens had gone through and still going through. Their pleas fell on deaf ears. While the future is unpredictable, everyday is a fearsome predator hiding in bushes to pounce on women and children. Peace is greatly needed in these times.

 

In Latin America and Africa, peace remains a pipe dream with high level crimes, birthing of terrorist organizations and general disruption of everyday life. Europe was not spared as several terrorist attacks, riots took place in the last decade. In 2020, the coronavirus has brought the world to its knees and we are still fighting the deadly infection and the future remains unpredictable as never before in modern human history.




Photo by Olivier Douliery Credit: AFP via Getty Images


In United States, people watched in horror when presented with evidence on how the police members discriminated against and killed black people. Movements sprouted from anger, statues were demolished, streets were strewn with protesters lying on the ground captured by the riot prevention forces. The violence in the protesters where stores were looted, vandalized has further divided the public. The most powerful nation on earth stands today in two broken pieces and the people who were confused or ill-informed to pick a side remain in uncertainty. If late Martin Luther King’s dream were to ever materialize, the United States of America and the world should reflect, learn from past mistakes and drive forward into the future with a fact that every person irrespective of their nationality, race, colour, caste, creed, will all bleed when cut.


In United States, people watched in horror when presented with evidence on how the police members discriminated against and killed black people. Movements sprouted from anger, statues were demolished, streets were strewn with protesters lying on the ground captured by the riot prevention forces. The violence in the protesters where stores were looted, vandalised has further divided the public. The most powerful nation on earth stands today in two broken pieces and the people who were confused or ill-informed to pick a side remain in uncertainty. If late Martin Luther King’s dream were to ever materialise, the United States of America and the world should reflect, learn from past mistakes and drive forward into the future with a fact that every person irrespective of their nationality, race, colour, caste, creed, will all bleed when cut.


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out darkness, only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.