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Reflections on India Visit 2012

Book Launches and Peace Award

Vijay Mehta’s India trip was for two weeks in November 2012 where three book discussions of The Economics of Killing took place in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. During the stay, he also received a peace and justice award from iCONGO (Indian Confederation of NGO’s www.icongo.in)

It is noteworthy that while most of Europe and US is beset by financial crisis, India continues to grow at 6.7% per year. However, $40 billion of this new found wealth is being spent on wrong priorities as India is arming itself to the hilt and has become the world’s largest weapon importer in 2011, while 500 million of its citizens have hardly any access to food, shelter and healthcare.

India is more and more emulating the west and turning itself to a consumerist and materialistic society. It begs the question what can India really contribute to the world? India’s population will take over China by 2030. India is the fifth largest economy in the world. India is a country which through Mahavir, Gautum Buddha and Gandhi gave the gift of peace and nonviolence to the world. So why is the country going on the path of heavily militarising itself to become a nation of warmongers? How can India, by its increasing soft power, contribute to solve some of the major global problems of today and build an ethical world to end violence, terrorism and wars?

To highlight India’s increasing military spending 3 book discussion took place in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. The events were well attended by public and media followed by vibrant Q/A sessions. The book discussions preceded a film “Change the World” which is inspired by the book The Economics of Killing. The film is also about a campaign 4D for World Peace. The 4D is a holistic initiative for uniting the four strands of disarmament, demilitarisation, development and democracy. The core message of the film and the book is disarming and demilitarising the world and savings thus achieved to be deployed for poverty reduction, promotion of peace, development and democracy. For photos and media coverage of the events in different cities, follow the links below:

While in India, Vijay Mehta received the Global Indian Karmaveer (Action hero) Puraskaar (Award) by iCONGO (International Confederation of NGO’s). He is now a noble-laureate 2012 – 2013 of the iCONGO team of advisors and mentors (www.icongo.in). It is an award for outstanding luminaries working for peace and social justice.