By Narayani Ganesh
Sep 30, 2016
Dada J P Vaswani
India and Pakistan share a common culture,
heritage, history and family ties. Then why is there so much bad blood between
governments while most people on both sides of the border yearn for love and
friendship? DADA J P VASWANI offers his insights on conflict resolution
in an interaction with NARAYANI GANESH in New Delhi
Pune is your home since long but you were
born and brought up in Karachi. How do you feel about Pakistan’s violent
attitude toward India, especially in the light of the recent killings of Indian
soldiers in Uri, Kashmir?
■ I believe that this is
a transition period. India needs Pakistan just as Pakistan needs India. I am
confident that a day will come when the two countries will form a federation.
At least, that’s what I am hoping for.
But, what about the current situation of
terror and distrust?
■That is for politicians
to resolve. They should come together for they are servants of the people, and
so their actions should reflect the will of the people — most people in both countries yearn for peace and friendship. Administrators
are servants but they see themselves as masters because of power politics. They
should really do what is good for the people.
I went to Pakistan some four or five years
ago. I tell you — the people were so happy; they do not have any enmity in
their hearts. It is the administrators… Till 1935, Hindus and Muslims lived as
brothers in Sind. In 1935, the British government separated Sind from the then
Bombay Presidency and from that day, this sense of separation is there and
competition has started. Otherwise, person-to-person, all are good people.
Since the people of both Pakistan and India
love each other, what would you advise them, on how to reach across to each
other? How can we extend ourselves?
■ I believe that peace is
possible via friendship so we should be friends. The people of India and
Pakistan should be friends. Then, with the spirit of friendship, peace will
Recently, some political outfits in Mumbai
have said Pakistani actors working in Mumbai should go back because of
Pakistan’s terror tactics toward India. Is this the right attitude?
■That kind of attitude
will not bring about peace. We should move forward, especially India, because
that has been the teachings of sages and saints of
India through the centuries. The teaching we have been given is that there are
no enemies, there are either friends or friends-to-be. Now that should be our
guiding principle. Either the person who meets you is a friend or a friend-to-be.
But the Pakistan-India face-off is only
getting worse. Also, this is not the only geographical area experiencing
violence — there are reports of terrorism or threats to terror, in USA, North
■This is because of the
present times, and the four ages we have to go through.
We are now in Kali Yuga, which means fighting each other. Yet, we have to keep
our candle burning, only candle, not something else!
There is so much anger… how to harness this
energy for positive action?
■ I believe that the centres of character building are two — the home and the school,
college or university. If we can utilise these two centres in the interests of
peace, matters will be different. Include peace studies in the curriculum. At
our Sadhu Vaswani Mission schools, we are doing it, we talk to students; we
tell them that they are our friends, brothers, sisters; that peace thought is
planted in the minds of children.
Why do some people get angry quickly and
others stay calm when provoked?
■ Because of their
Sanskars and previous karmas. But these can be
reversed; that is why they are born as human beings because only human beings
can reverse karma by self-control, prayer and fellowship with those who are
always calm, learning from the right people. To promote a peaceful atmosphere,
the role of forgiveness is cent per cent. Students learn about the significance
There is so much talk about working for
world peace, of all religious leaders coming together to unite all into one
whole. Is this possible?
■ Peace conferences will not give you peace. The less we talk, the
better. What we want is a life filled with the spirit of peace. How can there
be peace when the hearts of the people are like volcanoes? It is the inner that
expresses itself as the outer and our hearts are filled with hatred. How can we
have peace if we do not learn to love? I think they have these meetings only to
satisfy themselves that they are working for peace but they are not working for
peace, I have attended a few of these conferences, I have not seen that
A recent world peace conference in Seoul
brought several political and religious leaders together and they proposed that
the UN adopt a declaration for cessation of all war and establish peace… can
legislation bring peace?
■ What power has the UN?
It is a weak body. How to enforce such legislation? Peace has to come from the
heart; it cannot be enforced. For example, it is easy to write books but
difficult to follow or live the writings, it is life that is missing. We talk,
but we don’t live that life. That is the tragedy of the present times.
You are now 98 years old. Looking back, is
there anything in your life you think you should have done differently?
■ No. I have not done anything. I should have
done things differently, provided I had the option to
do them. All things are done through me, I am merely a channel; I am not the