Groundwork for ending violence needs moral fibre: Martin Luther King IIIFebruary 17th, 2009 - 9:06 pm ICT by ANI
New Delhi, Feb.17 (ANI): Calling for vision and a steadfast determination to end violence and the menace of terrorism across the globe, US civil rights leader Martin Luther King III on Tuesday said there was an urgent need to begin laying the groundwork for a moral, social, and political climate that rejects both terrorism and war.
Delivering the Maulan Azad Memorial Lecture in the national capital this evening, he said: We will light the way to the end of humanity’’s long nightmare of poverty, racism and militarism and the dawning of a braver and better future for all people. If we rise to this challenge with courage and determination, we will surely fulfill the dream of the beloved community (as espoused by my father Martin Luther King Jr.), where people of all races, religions and cultures can live together in a luminous spirit of goodwill, peace and harmony.
With this faith and with this commitment, let us go to the four corners of the globe with the eternal and liberating message of peace through non-violence, he said, adding that With this faith, together, we can ignite a new non-violent revolution, and, ultimately, we shall overcome.
Stating that he was both honored and privileged for the opportunity to deliver the lecture on the 50th anniversary of his fathers pilgrimage to India, Martin Luther King III said there was no need to look far to find the beautiful legacy of peaceful co-existence, reconciliation and unity left by the likes of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mother Teresa.
These great souls are truly gifts to all people of the world, from their Mother India, he said.
He said that the twentieth century will be remembered as the most violent throughout all civilizations, as nearly 100 million war-related deaths had occurred, leaving in a constellation of wounded and maimed, fatherless and motherless, homeless and helpless refugees.
The twentieth century will not only be mourned for the magnitude of its violence, it will also be marked by the women and men who made the ultimate sacrifice for truth and justice, peace and non-violence, conflict resolution and community reconciliation, he added.
These champions of peace understood that war is not justified as a necessary evil and that the end does not justify the means, he said.
He said that while it was alright to dream about possible solutions to ending conflict and violence across the globe, there was a need to realize that weve got to transform our dreams into vision and our vision into action.
He said both his father and Mahatma Gandhi shared a vision to end poverty, racism and militarism, but neither could envision a world that was at peace with poverty, which they regarded as a form of violence.
If we are to be followers of the path worn by their mighty footsteps, it is our duty to act towards the achievement of all their goals, King said.
Violence, he said, had different descriptions, they could be individual, institutional and structural in nature, and therefore, there was a need to make sure we become more attuned to eradicating the subtle and even more pervasive violence that results from unbridled political ambition and un-checked social neglect.
So, where do we go from here? The lessons learned from the modern civil rights movement in the United States and the movements it spawned in other counties throughout the 20th century are instructive. They were rooted in the philosophy of non-violence, Martin Luther King III said.
While stating that the philosophy of non-violence is a process for achieving harmony through active and peaceful means, King recalling his fathers six principles for spreading this message, said they are:
1) Non-violence is not a method for cowards;
2) It does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent;
3) It attacks the forces of evil rather than the persons doing the evil;
4) It accepts suffering without retaliation;
5) It avoids external physical violence as well as internal violenceit chooses love over hate;
6) Non-violence holds that the universe is on the side of justice.
He concluded by saying that as a path to peace, non-violence is a means to and end.
A central idea in the philosophy of non-violence is the relationship between means and ends: the means for achieving a goal are reflected in that goals attainment. The means are in the end, he said. (ANI)
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