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Jerry White on Peace, Justice and Healing

Jerry White added, to prevent the growing violence, one has to go through a process of peace, justice and healing. Communicating truth will rebuild communities
Jerry White
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“I had no idea about a landmine and how it looks but it ripped apart my right leg when I was just 20 years old and was studying comparative religion in Israel. I was in hospital for the next six months lying beside similarly injured mine survivors” said Jerry White while recalling the incident of 12 April, 1984 when he was out at Golan Heights, Israel. Suddenly there was a blast and in the next moment  he lay in a pool of blood and found his right leg missing. ” Where is my leg?” was his first reaction. 

Jerry White won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 due to his massive campaign to ban landmines. Nearly eighty percent of the victims of landmines are civilians, the highest number of the survivors are living in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Ukraine. Jerry is on a networking mission with landmine survivors so that they get their rights.

Jerry heads the United Religious Initiative (URI) and preaches a culture of peace between different religions. URI is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace, justice and healing by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world. URI’s network of community led groups work in over hundred countries around the world, gathering groups of people from different cultures, faiths and traditions to work side by side for a common cause.

During Jerry White’s visit to Kolkata, the United Religions Initiative (URI) under the leadership of Rev. Kalyan Kumar Kisku, Mr. Goutam De and Mr. Biswadeb Chakraborty, Regional President, Mentor and Regional Coordinator respectively organized a round table conference at The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata in January 2023. Few of the city’s eminent personalities from various sectors were present, to interact and exchange ideas with the Nobel Laureate to promote interfaith cooperation and harmony. It was followed by an awareness program with students, faculties and senior officials at the Techno India University campus.

Lighting the lamps of Dev Deepawali

The Nobel Laureate recalled how Lady Diana had supported his campaign and even recalled his experience of working in the US Government under Hilary Clinton where he formulated the Conflict Stabilization Operation. He said a research done on Resilience and leadership by Yale University, U.S came out with ten ways of attaining peace in life. These are, he said– Optimism, Altruism & Generosity, Having a moral Compass, Faith & Spirituality, Humour, Having a role model, Social Support, Facing Fears, Having a mission and Training. 

He further said growing violence against People, Planet and Truth are due to Factocide – the destruction of truth in media and education through the ongoing dissemination of falsehoods including the distorted retelling of stories and history. This has twofold impacts. One is Genocide – the destruction of people on basis of their nationality, race, ethnicity, religion and gender. Another is Ecocide – The destruction of place, property and natural environment to deny access to resources, medicines and sacred sites. Both these results in Religicide – the attempt to eradicate a religion, its followers,sacred heritage, destroying diverse cultures and indigenous communities.

Jerry White added, to prevent the growing violence, one has to go through a process of peace, justice and healing. Communicating truth will rebuild communities and regenerate land which in turn will enhance spirituality, reconnecting people to nature, spiritual wisdom, Altruism and service to promote peace justice healing for all. 

Jerry is a firm believer of the saying of Swami Vivekananda “Do not hate anybody, because that hatred which comes out of you, must in the long run come back to you, if you love will come back to you, completing the circle.” He preaches the ways to overcome different crises of life and dreams of a beautiful  world where peace and harmony prevails.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia 

Kolkata based publisher, social activist and educationist.

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