Peace Current Affairs - 2019
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Afghanistan on 29 April 2019 convened rare “Loya Jirga”, a four day long grand assembly or massive meeting for delegates from across country to discuss war and efforts of United States to forge a peace deal with Taliban. At the end of huge peace summit in Kabul, Afghan officials called for immediate and permanent ceasefire.
- It is a centuries-old tradition in Afghanistan which is usually convened at times of national crisis or to settle national issues.
- It means “grand council” in Pashto. It is a 4 day long grand assembly held at Kabul, Afghanistan.
- Participants include ethnic, religious and tribal leaders, politicians and representatives from all over the country.
- In past it has been used to approve new constitution, declare war, choose a new king, or to make social or political reforms.
- In Loya Jirga 2019, more than 3,000 participants gathered under tight security to discuss possibility of peace, cease-fire and women’s rights in keeping with tenets of Islam.
- Several committee leaders favored an immediate pause in violence, which still continues across Afghanistan even after various peace summits taking place.
The Taliban, who were earlier not at talks, are meeting separately with US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha in May 1st week. It is seen as an effort to make a deal with US that could see withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
- The Taliban has frequently refused to talk to Afghan government, as it views government as a puppet regime. This means that even if US and Taliban agrees on deal to end war and set timetable for eventual withdrawal of troop, the insurgents may still forge some kind of an accord with Afghan politicians and tribal elders before an enduring ceasefire could start.
- Most people of Afghan society worry that if US does make a deal with Taliban, then militant Islamists would try to seize power and undo advances in women’s rights, media freedoms, and legal protections.
Note: Taliban is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization in Afghanistan currently waging war within the country.
Tags: Afghanistan • ceasefire • Kabul • Loya Jirga • Pashtun
On 2 May 2019, Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu released postage stamp in New Delhi to commemorate 750th birth anniversary of Sri Vedanta Desikan and his great philosopher’s life and highly valued work.
- Releasing commemorative postage stamps is an initiative to pay tribute to great contributions of visionaries like Sri Vedanta Desikan but it also aims to inspire our younger generation to follow in their footsteps.
- It emphasizes that children must internalize and practice lofty ideals of humanism, peace and compassion propagated by the great saint and spiritual icon.
Sri Vedanta Desikan
- He is one of most prominent preceptors in ‘Sri Vaishnava’ tradition post Ramanuja period.
- He had authored brilliant poems, prose, drama, epics, commentaries, scientific texts and philosophical treatises in many languages, mainly Sanskrit, Tamil, Prakrit and Manipravalam.
- He was a multi-faceted personality which included philosopher, master-teacher (desikan), spiritual teacher, scientist, logician, poet, mathematician, literary genius, linguist, military strategist etc.
- The most essential features of his philosophy is the ‘aspect of inclusion’ which means anyone, irrespective of any caste or creed could join Sri Vaishnava fold. This was a truly democratizing movement in eradication caste distinctions. He truly worked towards shaping our Bharat into a “Jnana Bhoomi”.
- The basis of his spiritual teachings were peace and humanity.
- He has been awarded many titles for his vast range of achievements, including title of ‘kavi tarkika-kesari’ (the lion amongst poets and logicians). He was celebrated as ‘sarva-tantra-svatantra’ (means master of all arts and crafts) and glorified as ‘ramanuja-daya-patram’ (the recipient of Ramanuja’s blessings).
- His written masterpiece ‘Rahasya Traya Sara’, is a treatise on Prapatti (surrendering oneself to divine).
- His great work ‘Paduka Sahasram’ shows his poetic eloquence and his mathematical ingenuity. In two verses of this collection, he gave a solution to mathematical problem that was solved about 500 years later by mathematician, Leonard Euler.
- His works like ‘Silpartha-Saram’, a treatise on sculpture, and ‘Bhugola Nirnayam’, a research text on geography showed his knowledge of the arts and sciences.
- Desikan’s ‘Subhashita Neevi’ contains a fund of moral and ethical advice which are still relevant and practical.
- His authored ‘Aahaara Niyamam’ explains how different food items help in maintaining healthy mind and disease-free life.