100 years post WW I and India’s message to world
The Armistice Day marked 100 years since the end of World War I Memorials were held to commemorate the war that claimed the lives of millions, including that of Indians who fought not for their cause but for the cause of righteousness and the interest of peace, human liberty and freedom
The Armistice Day marked 100 years since the end of World War I. Memorials were held to commemorate the war that claimed the lives of millions, including that of Indians who fought not for their cause but for the cause of righteousness and the interest of peace, human liberty and freedom. The first World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with at least five million civilians also killed of disease, starvation or exposure. In addition, this was also a contributory fact that led to the second World War.
At the Paris meet this time to mark the event, India played a stellar role with the Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu, aptly conveying the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ to the international leadership. He not only reminded the international audience that thousands of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives 100 years ago fighting for a just cause though it was not a battle of their own, true to the spirit of the ancient civilisation that always believed in the principle of universality of life. His emphasis on ‘collective endeavour for collective benefit’ was apt and timely.
The world today is so fragmented and the societies so splintered that they should think positively and work together to ensure their own survival. India is perhaps the only country that spoke with wisdom when it said there was a need for the world to ensure effective multilateralism that brings all the nations on a common platform to explore common solutions for challenges faced by humanity.
The efforts should be directed towards working for global developmental priorities such as eradication of poverty, providing education, health care, employment and gender purity. India for one, despite being the fastest growing economy, still believes that its interests would be better served if only the citizens of other countries would stand to gain from the advances that one makes. Fighting terrorism treating it a common enemy is also essential.
The wars of the kind of World War I may be a remote possibility but as the Vice President stressed the world faces several battles in a different form now. The need of the hour is to draw right lessons from the catastrophic World War I and be united in conquering the battles of the day for the collective benefit of the humanity. The context and consequences of the World War I should not be misplaced. If that war was fought for territories, today's wars are fought more for markets.
Effective integration of the global markets through multilateralism is the real battle being faced by the world today. Free flow of capital and human resources holds the key for betterment of humanity across physical boundaries. Aiming at a shared future in a world order guided by commitment to peace, justice and inclusive sustainable development should be the order of the day. This requires reforms in global institutional structures and systems to ensure transparent and responsive global governance. The United Nations Security Council should be the first one that faces this reform to ensure the whole world is properly represented. Hope the world listens to the Indian message!