2012: A FULL AGENDA FOR ALL
-Fr. Cedric Prakash sj*
2012! We are already in the first week of a year which promises plenty of hope and demands a high degree of commitment from every single individual.
2012! Whilst ushering the World Day of Peace on January 1st, throughout the world, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI themed his message, 'Educating young people in Justice and Peace', "in the conviction that the young, with the enthusiasm and idealism, can offer new hope to the world". Besides, speaking directly to the youth, the Pope also addresses his message, "to parents, families and all those involved in the area of education and formation, as well as to leaders in the various spheres of religious, social, political, economic and cultural life and in the media".
2012! In India, the Catholic Church observes this World Day of Peace on January 30th - a truly appropriate day, as we pay homage to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi on the day he was assassinated in 1948. Gandhi ultimately sacrificed his life for his twin doctrine of 'Ahimsa' and 'Satyagraha'. The Holy Father very categorically reminds us that, "Peace for all is the fruit of justice for all, and no one can shirk this essential task of promoting justice, according to one's particular areas of competence and responsibility."
2012! A year dedicated by the United Nations as the 'International Year of Sustainable Energy for All'. It is a brute reminder that 1.4 billion people still lack access to energy and to electricity, in particular. A few just misuse energy at their whims and fancies. Above all, very often, access to energy and energy services is based on polluting energy sources. We have not given sufficient importance to alternative forms and to more sustainable energy.
2012! Also dedicated by the UN as the 'International Year of Cooperatives'. One needs to highlight the fact that cooperatives impact poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. While the focus is socio-economic development, anything that is collaborative based on a value system helps in the cause of transparency and therefore of justice and peace.
2012! It is going to be a full year indeed as we try to educate our young in the ways of justice and peace as we make a paradigm shift towards sustainable energy and above all cooperate with one another towards the building of a more humane, just, equitable and peaceful society.
The only question which remains during the year is whether we have the courage to walk the talk?
3rd January, 2012
(* Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace.)
Address: PRASHANT, Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad - 380052