Sydney/25 May, 2019
I attended “Spreading a culture of peace” event by IPYG and spoke at the event at the Centenary Square, Parramatta today.
Good afternoon. Namaste!
I acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, where we are meeting today and offer my respects to their leader: past, present and future.
1. Peace within ourselves and peace within the communities are not optional. They are a necessity. Peace provides opportunities for happiness and development of individuals, communities and nations. Today, religious hatred is an important issue, creating mayhem and misery all over the world, latest example of which were in NZ and Sri Lanka. It needs to be dealt with and stopped.
2. Talking about peace, it must be about actions, not just the words because words alone may not mean much and action certainly means something.
3. Unlike many nations, Australia is generally peaceful and we must make sure it stays that way. As individuals and as a community, we need to make sure that Australians can take action together, when peace and harmony are in trouble, side by side, not against one another.
4. If there are issues between nations of our origins, and there often are tensions and issues, and if they involve communities here in Australia, then we must show leadership by reaching out and coming together to discuss and resolve the issues together. We mustn’t allow tensions overseas, in our places of origin, to affect communities in Australia. We mustn’t import tensions and issues from overseas. We mustn’t forget that Australia is a Multicultural, multiracial and multi faiths nation and its success is our joint responsibility.
5. If we have mutual respect for others, and don’t bring race, or religion or Color of skin into it, there is nothing which we can not achieve or resolve for peace and harmony in our communities.
6. Australia is our home. Although most of us have affinity and patriotism towards our country of origin, we firstly must be patriotic to our fellow Australians and our new home Australia. Australia’s interests, ethos and values must remain superior to any other nation. Lack of peace and harmony in Australia will be against Australia. We need to call out those who would divide the Australian community and work together to build better and stronger relationships in within the community and among the communities. We can all be leaders to make Australia a better place. To give an example, few of my friends and I refused to join despicable, objectionable, illogical and unacceptable campaign by some (I call them fake Desh bkakts or patriots) from my own community against businesses from Australians belonging to another community during recent tense period in South Asia. Spreading hatred in that manner or any manner, to me, was, and is, unaustralian, besides being illegal.
7. Peace and justice go hand in hand. Ambassadors and activists for peace must be prepared to stand up and speak against injustice, using dialogue, debates and discussions.
8. Spreading a Culture of Peace within the community is noble and necessary. We need to be proactive, thoughtful and smarter, while working at various levels, but remembering the motto “think global and act local”. Once we build on it at the community and nation levels, We will certainly be able to work at the international level with the Declaration of Peace & Cessation of War and support for relevant instruments like article 10 under the United Nations , the Parliament of the world.
Thank you, IWPG, HWPL and IPYG. Good afternoon
Dr Yadu Singh