Peace

 

Peace

Background

The human society around the world is confronted with unprecedented violence, war, genocide, killings and conflicts on a day-to-day life making every one a victim of such organized and manmade crimes. We are no exception to this, witnessing major conflicts and violence in addition to communal uprising, fundamentalism and growing intolerance in a much wider scale. Over the years, several Jesuits in have taken charge of spreading peace and harmony among the communities. They have been doing credible work to heal the brokenness of our world, through grass root level involvement, research and advocacy. We have always responded to hate and violence by love, brotherhood and establishing communal harmony.

Our intervention areas

Gender based conflicts

Women continue to experience disadvantages and oppression. Gender inequalities arising from patriarchal structures are exacerbated by poverty, status (SCs/STs), sexual orientation and gender identity. The major challenge, in fact failure, on part of the government is to arrest the increasing incidence of violence against women in its varied forms. Neither public nor privatespaces are safe for women and girls. Women and girls from Dalit families are most vulnerable to violence and are denied access to justice. The other pressing concern is the declining female labor force participation. All time low, it stands at 22.5 per cent.Crimes against women show an upward trend, in particular brutal crimes such as rapes, dowry deaths, and honor killings. These trends are disturbing as a natural prediction would be that with growth come education and prosperity, and a possible decline in adherence to traditional institutions and socially prescribed gender roles that hold women back. There is feminization of poverty, particularly rural poverty, and increase in female headed households and with farmers committing suicides, the burden to meet subsistence needs of the family is falling on women. Mass migration of men in search of livelihood, puts all the burden of the house on women. Women continue to be denied the right to land. Political representation of women continues to be extremely low in India. A positive step in the direction is the reservation of seats for women in local governance, but they are unable to exercise their powers due to multiple barriers.

Political Participation vs. Politicization and Polarization

The Constitution of India provided every citizen with equal rights for participation in democratic governance process. However, money power, muscle power, caste and communal divides are the order of the day. Politicization of communities for vote purpose is witnessed every day and are more so before any major elections. In order to rule the country and to have power, there is an unending competition between the political parties. This competition generates more conflicts among various communities, religious groups in India. The politicization on the basis of caste, religion, resources is the most conflicting issue which gives birth to other conflicts. The actual development and rights as well justice issues are becoming secondary. In this whole process, the vulnerable communities instead of fighting for their rights, are made victims of such conflicts. Young people have been, and continue to be both the perpetrators and the victims of violent extremism. Powerful corporate and communal lobbies for partisan and vested interests, polarise societies plagued by eroding identities, creating a sense of alienation and being pushed by individual and collective fears. Such a situation breeds divisive hate politics, co-opting people into a consolidated majority that oppresses minorities and the marginalized.

Peace Building Process

Violence is not always direct physical violence, but also includes cultural or structural violence. Violence is experienced whenever the potential development of an individual or group is diminished – for example by uneven distribution of power and resources. The absence of these more indirect, non-physical types of violence is a precondition for realizing comprehensive visions of ‘positive peace’. Direct, cultural or structural violence can be between people, within groups, between groups, and between institutions and people or groups, along with any combination of these actors. Peacebuilding therefore aims to affect change or transformation of relations within and between people, and the cultures and structures that support or direct acts of violence. Peacebuilding is not only at the height of conflict but can refer to interventions before a violent conflict has emerged, during and after cessation of hostilities when a situation becomes post-conflict, and violence becomes more latent. Hence, Peacebuilding is defined as a comprehensive, long-term process working towards sustainable peace based on the values of rights and human dignity. Peacebuilding recognizes and supports the central role that local actors and processes have in ending violence and constructively addressing both the immediate effects and structural causes of violent conflict.

Our resource centres

  • North-Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC), Guwahati- MANDATE of NESRC is to be a centre combining serious intellectual pursuits with involvement with persons and groups active in social change in the region. In the context of ethnic and political conflict, it is to provide a platform for groups in conflict to meet and search for solutions and not itself find solutions for them.
  • Vidyajoti Centre for Christian Muslim Relations, Delhi- To improve understanding and relations among Christians and Muslims.
  • Shanti SadhanaManch- ISI Delhi- Promotion of a culture of peace, harmony, social unity and progress.
  • St. Xavier’s Social Service Society (SXSSS), Ahmedabad, Gujarat- To work towards building more humane, just, free, equal, fraternal and peace-loving society and helping them to help themselves.
  • Shakti, Centre for Human Rights and People’s Empowerment, Gujarat- To evolve a system where the Adivasis could live with dignity in all aspects of life: socio-economical, cultural, educational, political and religious.
  • XLRI – Centre for Justice and Peace, Jamshedpur- To maintain and develop the Centre for Peace and Justice for promoting harmony and peace amongst fellow human beings without discrimination; irrespective of their religious affiliation, gender, race, caste, creed, sex, descent, place of birth or residence, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property or any other such status
  • Samanvaya, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai- To foster and establish peace and harmony in society for the well-being of all (Or, To foster communal peace and harmony in society).
  • St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore- This centre aims to work with teachers, academicians, Intellectuals, citizen Groups, CSOs for building up a platform use for advocacy of the for creating a peaceful environment.
  • Loyola Institute for Peace and International Relations (LIPI), Cochin, Kerala- Promoting peace and reconciliation have become the need of the hour, LIPI, being the Nodal Platform for Peace and Reconciliation of the South Asian Jesuits.It aims at fostering an atmosphere of peace with a multi-pronged approach.LIPI is academic in nature, spiritual in vision and interdisciplinary in approach. Collaboration and networking with similar institutes and other organizations sharing a common vision.
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