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Individuals in Command



All Hardship for

A Durable Peace

By Aleem Faizee, en-route to a peace rally in Malegaon


Renowned Parliamentarian and Activist, Nirmala Deshpande was recently in Malegaon on a mission to promote peace and communal harmony. She shared her experiences and peace plans in details with ummid.com for its readers.



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Nothing is more important today than a better coordination among the South Asian countries and a durable peace between India and Pakistan. There are many people who are working overnights to achieve this. One of these ‘Soldiers of Peace’ was recently in Malegaon on a mission to promote peace and harmony. She shared her experiences and peace plans in details with ummid.com for its readers.

The excerpts:


The Making of an Activist

She was still in the early age when Dr. Ambedkar, a frequent visitor to her residence, motivated her for the social cause. The legendary leader urged her to walk along with him. Unaware of lot many things at that time, she started walking holding Dr. Ambedkar’s hands. The walk that was started seventy years before still goes on. She is now 79, an age when most of the people would love to rest in luxurious apartments. But she is on the roads fighting the tough weather as well as equally harsh criticisms. She is firm and is ready to face any challenge for a lasting peace in South Asia.



Didi has traveled more than 80,000 kilometers so far including the places where nobody has dared to visit till now”, Shivnath Ram said as she was still gearing up for yet another peace meeting. Shivnath Ram sacrificed everything after meeting her and is now working with Didi since last thirty years. “Didi has become an Icon of Peace in whole of the South Asian region”, he added and stood to greet the illustrious lady.


Looking fragile, still walking without any support, she entered into the room. Dressed in a white sari with a red border that was making the warm smile on her face even brighter, she was looking an example of her own. Didi for millions of people, a disciple of Vinoba Bhave, a popular face of Bhoodan Yatra, a Peace Activist, an illustrious Parliamentarian and an acclaimed Social Campaigner, Nirmala Deshpande was right in front.


The Mission

Nirmala Didi immediately came to the point. “The major part of the population in the country comprises of the peace-loving people. Those who intend to disturb the communal harmony and create the problems are very few”, said Didi as Nirmala Deshpande is affectionately called as all across South Asia. “But they are well coordinated. That’s why they succeed in their activities despite being lesser in numbers. Notwithstanding the harm they are doing to the country for their narrow political gains.”


Yet the anticipations were stronger than the assertions. “Still I am optimistic and believe this as a temporary phenomenon. Things are changing very fast and these people will not last for long”, she said stressing the need for a better coordination among the groups that are working for peace and harmony. “Through proper coordination only we can defeat these forces”, she observed.


“The major part of the population in the country comprises of the peace-loving people. Those who intend to disturb the communal harmony and create the problems are very few."

For the Serene Neighborhood

In her own efforts to defeat these forces, Didi is working round the clock, not only in the country but also throughout South Asia. Apart from working in Punjab during turbulence days of eighties, she is aggressively working for peace in Jammu & Kashmir. To strengthen the peace mission, she extensively travels to the countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and even China for peaceful neighboring relationship.


“Sink the Gauri Missiles into the Sea”, she had said to the officials while on a recent tour to Pakistan. Simultaneously she recalled how people in almost the whole South Asia are working for a durable peace in the region. Stating how the people in China love the Indians, Nirmalaji said, “So much so that they wish to be reborn as an Indian after the death.”


The Mission in Kashmir

With slogans like Goli Nahi Boli Chaheye, Nirmala Deshpande frequents to Kashmir and organizes peace rallies. She has even been to the areas that are considered as ‘most dangerous’ and where normally people avoid to go. Recalling how she organized a rally in Kashmir against the full gaze of the militants, she said, soon after returning from this rally she received a call from Kashmir. “The caller said”, she recalled, “There will be no harm to Nirmala Deshpande in Kashmir. You do whatever you want to do. You are a friend of Kashmir and its people.”


“So much so that the Chinese wish to be reborn as an Indian after the death.”

The Affections for the Dejected Lot

Kumbh Melas are regularly held at various locations in India with millions of people coming for the holy dip. But the enthusiasm that is witnessed at Allahabad is hard to match any other place in the country. Nirmala Deshpande goes to Allahabad with her volunteers and felicitates the sweepers. “While the sweepers take care of the devotees who come for Kumbh Mela, nobody is there to acknowledge their efforts. Didi felicitates them in order to recognize the services rendered by these underprivileged”, said Shivnath Ram, her long-term disciple as we reached to the venue where Nirmala Deshpande was to address a scheduled peace rally. She waved to the gathering.


Stating that she is carrying the legacy of Vinoba Bhave and Dr. Ambedkar when we asked, if she is optimistic her legacy would also be carried forward, she smiled, pointed towards Shivnath Ram and Dr. Brunth, the local activist who had invited Nirmala Deshpande to Malegaon, in a clear gesture and proceeded to take her seat on the dais.





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Being an honest person Nirmala started Mission Peace and war against injustice. Unfortunately biased media did not high light her efforts. Many Thanks to you for not only you published her interview but dare to continue her mission." All Hardships for Durable Peace". 
Tarique Faizee



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