Asia West Pacific

‘In a gentle way you can shake the world’

By Subhash Chandra

Marches are a way to reaffirm peace. It is also about preparing oneself to understand the suffering of people. In 1930, Gandhi’s famous Salt March provided a nonviolent method of resisting injustices. The Salt March was a means to counter the injustice of the British colonial administration’s collection of tax on salt by marching to the sea o make salt.

Inspired by the Salt March, a group of fifty peace activists from various countries started a global peace march called ‘Jai Jagat’ (victory to the world) from India on 2nd October 2019. The Jai Jagat march was a way to engage and advocate for justice and peace to the local people, bureaucrats, politicians, students, teachers, businessmen, civil society and the government body at both the regional and national levels of the respective countries. The plan was to walk about ten thousand kilometers for three hundred seventy days through eleven countries in order to to engage in dialogue among groups in a week-long United Nations’ Geneva Forum programme.

Due to the COVID outbreak, the march had to be suspended in Armenia. But the successful first step of the march through two thousand kilometers in India was very powerful and a historical one. It directly engaged about eight thousand women, eighteen thousand youths, twenty thousand men and fifty thousand children, and in conversations with the UN-affiliated organizations on nonviolence and its practical implications. In Chhindawara district, about twenty five thousand school children gathered under a tent to sing the Jai Jagat song. The march also inaugurated a course on nonviolence as a regular subject at Samrat Ashok Technical Institute (college) in Udisha state of India. As Gandhi once famously said- ‘In a gentle way you can shake the world’. The Jai Jagat 2020 campaign was able to do so to some extent. This 13:37 minutes video made by the Jai Jagat movement team gives a glimpse of some of the accomplishments of the march in India and much more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3JB_JYnJh4

The suspension of the campaign was taken as the opportunity to learn from the past and to take the time to plan a new campaign. It has been decided now to reshape the campaign as ‘Jai Jagat 2021-2030’, a ten-year movement. I, Subhash Chandra, Friends Peace Teams contact in Nepal, not only participated in the Jai Jagat 2020 March in India for a week but also contributed in linking the campaign to a few other countries enroute. Recently, I was asked by the core leadership of the movement to serve in the action group of this decade-long global movement for peace and justice. This year the movement is focusing on nonviolent economy and constructive program themes. I look forward to how and where we can join hands to uplift the much needed peace movements in the world today.