In a bid to exchange ideas on the promotion of peace and democracy in South Asia in line with Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals for non-violence, freedom1 Forum today organized a dialogue amidst the representatives of Gandhi Peace Foundation, India and other participants. The topic of the discussion was ‘Peace and democracy in South Asia’. Chairperson of the Foundation Radha Bhatta said peace-promoting democracy is an exploration in entire South Asia, stressing that building peaceful and just society will be materialized when ideals of non-violence become the integral par of the society.”It is detrimental for peace and democracy to see other as enemy. No matter how violence becomes powerful, it is the people who has utmost power to bring down any violence propagator or autocrats’, she underlined.

Similarly, Foundation Vice-chairperson PV Rajagopal lambasted the India’s current trend of inequitable development. ‘India got independence but it is catastrophic that around three hundred thousands of farmers and workers committed suicide during the last ten years’, he asserted, adding Indian independence has been the boon for the affluent groups to gain powers and it has not brought about anything to the poor.

“It should not be late to translate the Gandhian philosophy that people at the grassroots level should get the fruits of development”, he added. Nepalese people who are engaging their efforts for charting out new Nepal should think tot hat direction from the very beginning, he suggested.Stuward Mortan, South Asia Coordinator of Peace Promoters of Quaker Peace Social Witness, the UK-based organization, said the pro-consumer economy has widened the gap between rich and poor, claiming that peace would not be restored in the South Asia till the prevailing gap is reduced.

Putting remarks at the programme, civil society representative Prof. Dr. Birendra Prasad Mishra said Gandhism is a life culture. “Till the politicians embrace simple living higher thinking as life-culture, the ideal thoughts will not transform lives and societies”, he argued.freedom1 Forum Chairperson Tara Nath Dahal said journalists should impart positive message towards promoting peace and democracy in the nooks and corners of the society.freedom1 Forum has long been working for the peace and democracy in Nepal focusing on politically-indoctrinated youths for the last couple of years.