– Geeta Sundar
Calm. Tranquillity. Peace. Harmony. Quiet. Serenity. Order. Stability.
The absence of violence, fight, discord.
The absence of war, discord, unrest.
The absence of trouble, battle, strife.
But in many places in the world, the absence of war is not peace.
“To deny people their human rights, is to challenge their very humanity.” – Nelson Mandela
21st September annually is renowned as the International Day of Peace or the World Peace Day, (not to be confused as the International Day of Non-Violence, that is on our Bappu’s B’day – Oct 2nd) as per the United Nations. Wikipedia states that the day is – dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access.
Celebrated first in 1982, this day has now been embraced by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people. In commemoration of the day, United Nations Peace Bell at the UN headquarters, New York City. The bell is a cast formed from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, as “a reminder of the human cost of war” with an inscription on its side “Long live absolute world peace”.
For 2018, UN is batting for the maintenance of a strong pillar of the society, with the theme: “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.” This theme observes the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone declaration created in 1948. The present Sec. Gen Guterres, calls upon all nations and all people to live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which he says recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race. He also calls for a 24-hour global ceasefire on this day, with the hope that one day in our lifetime we will witness an end to violence.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is accepted by the UN as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms.
There are 30 articles under the Declaration as follows –
1. Article 1 – Right to be Free and Equal.
2. Article 2 – Right to Freedom from Discrimination
3. Article 3 – Right to Life and to live in Freedom and Safety.
4. Article 4 – Right to Freedom from Slavery
5. Article 5 – Right to Freedom from Torture
6. Article 6 – Right to Recognition before the Law
7. Article 7 – Right to Equality before the Law
8. Article 8 – Right to Access to Justice
9. Article 9 – Right to Freedom from Arbitrary Detention
10. Article 10 – Right To a Fair Trial
11. Article 11 – Right to presumption of Innocence
12. Article 12 – Right to Privacy
13. Article 13 – Right to Freedom of Movement
14. Article 14 – Right to Asylum
15. Article 15 – Right to Nationality
16. Article 16 – Right to Marriage and to found a Family
17. Article 17 – Right to own property
18. Article 18 – Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief
19. Article 19 – Right to Freedom of Expression
20. Article 20 –Right to Freedom of Assembly
21. Article 21 – Right to partake in Public Affairs, Democracy
22. Article 22 – Right to Social Security
23. Article 23 – Right to Work
24. Article 24 – Right to Leisure and Rest
25. Article 25 – Right to Adequate Standard of Living
26. Article 26 – Right to Education
27. Article 27 – Right to Cultural, Artistic and Scientific Life
28. Article 28 – Right to a Free and Fair world
29. Article 29 – Right to Duty to your Community, Responsibility
30. Article 30 – Rights are inalienable (No one, institution nor individual, should act in any way to destroy the rights enshrined here in the UN declaration)
However, despite these articles, there is no provision for “Right to Peace”. Peace means so much more than just laying down weapons. It means more than just love, harmony, unity, kinship, and a sense of belonging. It means a sense of life where everyone can uphold these rights and have their own sense of identity without having been ridden in war filled dust, weapons and wounds.
There is a reason I included the entire list here. Take a glance, just a tiny glance at these rights. Think of all the infants, adolescents, children in refugee battlefields across the world, fighting to find a meal, fighting to remember their innocence, fighting to understand why their parents are dead, fighting to learn violence like a hard pill to swallow, fighting to gather their siblings and make it out alive.
If you are reading this today, your rights have been protected, your rights have mattered and you are eligible to be at peace and live a positive life. So, the next time you want to issue a comment on how unfair your life is and your rights are being violated, think of these equally sensible, intelligent and gorgeous humans who have nowhere to go, nothing to lean on and no one to battle their demons.