Ludhiana, Panjab, India: 18th August 2018
On 18th August Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Sikh representatives joined forces in Ludhiana with human rights and grass-root activists, scholars and farmers in a seminar to launch the initiative “Strengthening Unity, Peace and Justice”. The event was organised by the Sach Khoj Academy (Academy for Discovering the Truth). Following the motto “United we stand – Divided we fall”, the initiative aims at raising awareness to overcome communalism and bring together all people of goodwill to strengthen unity, peace and justice in all spheres of life. Pursuant to other global efforts, the initiative shall contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda signed by 193 nations at the United Nations. The 2030 Agenda wants to make sure that no one is left behind and welcomes all efforts that sustainably serve the five Ps – planet, people, prosperity, peace and partnership.
The initiative “Strengthening Unity, Peace and Justice” was developed after a series of dialogues held by Dharam Singh Nihang Singh, the founder of the Sach Khoj Academy, with renown personalities such as Swami Agnivesh (social activist from Delhi and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize), Mehmood Pracha (Senior Advocate Supreme Court from Delhi and President South Asian Minorities Lawyer’s Commission), Maulana Mohammad Ajazur Rahman Shaheen Qasmi (General Secretary of the World Peace Organisation, Delhi), Prof. Dr. Ronki Ram (Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chair, Department of Political Science, Panjab University Chandigarh), Rajvinder Singh Bains (Senior Human Rights Advocate Panjab & Haryana High Court, from Chandigarh) and Dr. MD Thomas (Director of the Institute of Harmony and Peace Studies, New Delhi).
Dharam Singh Nihang Singh, Founder of Sach Khoj Academy (Academy for Discovering the Truth): “Our journey began with the insight which is at the heart of timeless spiritual wisdom (Gurmat): One God – One Religion – One Human Family. In all the dialogues that we were able to have in the last decades in India and internationally, it became clear that all those who care for the human family and Mother Earth, share the same understanding. All acknowledge that the religion of truth – Sach Dharam – is the religion of Oneness. It is beyond a certain community and unites all the people regardless of their background. The religion of truth takes a firm stand against what is bad in us and in society. It spreads love, and strengthens peace, human rights, justice and the protection of the environment. Those who live the religion truth, do not seek worldly power nor misuse religion for political and business purposes. Truly spiritual people guide those who are in power with wisdom and thus ensure good and farsighted governance. We realised that all those who embrace these insights and an ethical way of life, need to unite, spread the message and work closer together. Therefore, we invite all people of goodwill to join the force of Oneness, leave behind all that which creates boundaries and disharmony, and help reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
Swami Agnivesh, Social activist and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize: “We strive for a world, where workers, farmers, men, women, children and senior citizen all over the world can live together in peaceful coexistence and with dignity. Against the backdrop of widespread violation of human rights, terror and violence, injustice, corruption, exploitation, and the misuse of religion for communalism, the message of love, justice and unity is more important than ever.”
Dr. MD Thomas, Director of the Institute of Harmony and Peace Studies, New Delhi: “Unity, justice and peace are three major pillars of a healthy and harmonious society. Promoting unity means fighting against attempts which impose directly or indirectly a uniform culture and life-style on individuals and groups. Justice calls for affirming the constitutional value of secularism and protection of minorities and becoming all-inclusive. This affirmation ensures that every individual and every community, small or big, can exercise their rights and freedom. Peace can only be facilitated by a steady campaign against all forms of discriminatory and divisive forces and practices. At the same time, it is a prerequisite for peace that we ourselves become champions of unity and justice along with all well-meaning people of all communities in India and the world. Only unity and integrity in our society will accord India the real dignity as a nation. Integrity and unity ensure sustainable development and the well-being of everyone.”
Mehmood Pracha, Senior Advocate Supreme Court and President South Asian Minorities Lawyer’s Commission: “Every human being is a citizen of planet Earth. Therefore, everyone in India and elsewhere is an equal stakeholder of everything that Mother Earth provides unconditionally. Since we are the only species that can shape and control its environment and social fabric, we have a special responsibility to think and act in such a way that all who depend on nature can live in a peaceful and just way while protecting the environment. Let us all be reminded daily of this duty and use all the available wisdom which inspires us to respect the gifts of our wonderful planet.”
Maulana Mohammad Ajazur Rahman Shaheen Qasmi, General Secretary of the World Peace Organisation: “Religion is about unity. Hence there is a need for close cooperation among those who are working for unity and peace. Too often we are divided. And too often religion is misunderstood due to lack of knowledge. In the worst case, it is abused to justify hate and violence. It is high-time that we all raise our voice against all forms of misuse of religion as well as injustice and discrimination in society. If we all follow the Will of the One God, there will be unity and peace.”
Prof. Dr. Ronki Ram, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chair, Department of Political Science, Panjab University Chandigarh: “The question of justice and peace is related to the urgent concern of empowering people at the grassroot level so that they are able to realise their potential to the maximum. The gap between the potential and the actual that one can accomplish reveals the structural violence in society. Here the positive role of religion’s wisdom come into play. However, religion often degenerates because those with vested interests take over and create communalism and division. Therefore, a careful integrated approach towards peace and justice in society is needed where not only infrastructure is built but where all people can realise their potential – not at the cost of others but in a mutually beneficial way.”
Rajvinder Singh Bains, Senior Human Rights Advocate Panjab & Haryana High Court: “To create a just and peaceful society, where all children reach the limit of their potential, it is necessary to have a social setup where no one is discriminated, and where everyone is provided with the blessings of a secure and clean home, a free or affordable health insurance and education. To achieve this, we need to listen more carefully to the wisdom of religion.”
Harmeet Singh Kadian, General Secretary, Bhartiya Kisan (Farmers) Union, Panjab: “We farmers actually respect nature like religion. Everything that grows is by the grace of nature. The seed sustains life. But today we are confronted with many maldevelopments because we have deviated from the path of righteousness. There are people who create disputes and propagate divisions and countries in the very name of religion. Religion in fact teaches unity and peace: both peace of mind and peace for the whole planet. But we do not listen. The endless desires of our mind create turmoil within us and society, and have even led to environmental destruction. It is time to come together so that we can live in peace, and offer everyone healthy and natural food. It is time to leave behind everything that has bad side-effects on us and nature.”
The Sach Khoj Academy (Academy for Discovering the Truth) is an NGO which uses timeless spiritual wisdom (Gurmat) which is at the heart of Sikhi to raise awareness about religion’s responsibility to strengthen unity, peace, human rights, justice and environmental protection. Dharam Singh Nihang Singh is the founder of the Sach Khoj Academy. He has broadcast thousands of hours of lectures on YouTube, and is the author of numerous publications. In February 2015, Dharam Singh Nihang Singh was the first speaker of the dialogue series “Religion matters – Rethinking the challenges of tomorrow”, organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In 2016, Dharam Singh Nihang Singh served as one of the authors of the book “Voices from Religions on Sustainable Development“, which is the outcome of UN consultations in Summer 2015 on the issue of religion and sustainable development.
For more information contact the Sach Khoj Academy
Phone: +91 9878314700