Monday, September 20, 2004

Politics cannot bring about peace.

Politics cannot bring about peace. Only culture can. Peace cannot come about through a decision from above. People have to change first, and they don’t change through orders. They change gradually, through a different perception of reality, their own and that of others. And it takes two to tango. Unless the antagonists meet halfway, unless goodwill develops across the divide, walls will remain in place.
Political decisions remain irrelevant unless people endorse them. Unless the common people change their mind, no change will come about. Culture and arts, literature and intellectual life must reflect the commitment to peace. They must address the hearts and minds of the common people. Peace will not prevail unless culture clamours against injustice within and across borders.
Education and the media are crucial. If given the right education, the young will grow up believing in peace, rejecting fanaticism, accepting others, recognising diversity. The media, for its part must fight injustice. The media has a responsibility to denounce fanaticism and disown terror in all its forms.

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