Book Reviews - Courage In The Bleakest Of Landscapes
by Jamuna Rangachari
Unnamed Heroes, Complied and Edited By: Peace Direct, Published By: JAICO publishing house, Price : 295 Rs, Pages : 272
In this path breaking and timely book on peace initiatives, one can feel the heart and soul of each of the protagonists being poured out onto the page. Keeping the format simple and straightforward, as a set of personal testimonies and essays on the peaceful resolution of conflict in various parts of the world, ranging from a peace activist in Manipur, a former IRA bomber, Palestinian and Afghan peace activists, and those who died in the World Trade Center, the stories make a powerful statement. The stories are not professionally written, but are personal accounts written with so much depth that they motivate us to gather our thoughts and start to take action. For, essentially, it is really not about extraordinary people but about ordinary people who have transcended their personal grief and situation to see the larger picture. So one begins to think if they can do it, so can I.
The book also contains essays and suggestions for peace building exercises that can be carried out regularly to include the other. A charming feature of the book is the inclusion of everyday conflict and ways of dealing with it to make people not exposed to high conflict areas to understand how a non negotiating stance can lead to many problem areas in life.
“Think of conflict like an epidemic. When enough people are inoculated against a disease, it stops spreading. Similarly, when enough people in an area are using non-violent ways of dealing with conflict, violence can be halted, “ is the founding principle of Peace Direct, the organization that has published this book, which quotes extensively from many philosophers and visionaries all through the ages on the power of love alone to transcend the web of hatred. There is also a list of organizations working in this area at the end of the book.
As one finishes the book, one hopes for another edition with many more heroes from the Indian subcontinent and also wishes that this book becomes a milestone in the creation of a strong, articulate and powerful peace constituency which energizes the many ‘unnamed heroes’ of the world.