Poetry of peace and Kashmir: Stephen Gill Feature 87


 The present Feature 87 is from the interview with Dr. Nazir Bhatti that took place in the month of July of 2002. Dr. Bhatti, the managing editor of Pakistan Christian Post, published from New York, is well-known for his truthful comments on religious fanaticism. Writers feel honored to be included in his publication. Dr. Bhatti has authored The Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation, a book that is a must for every reader who is interested in the problems of minorities in Pakistan. Dr. Nazir Bhatti asks in Stephen Gill Feature 87 if his poetry on peace and love can solve the problem of Kashmiri. This feature connected with writing will appear in Stephen Gill’s forthcoming book My Conversations.

 Dr. GILL: Awareness that peace can be achieved through peaceful means will open doors for peaceful solutions.  Peace through peaceful means is another side of the coin of love. In other words, peace and love go together.   In the message of peace, there is the message of love. By crossing the pastures of harmony, nations would learn to work together and respect the views of each other.  When there are bilateral relations based on love, the process of negotiations becomes smoother that leads to positive conclusions.

I believe that the leaders of India and Pakistan should sit down around a table, thinking about the destruction that war and the preparations of war cause to a nation. The first battle field of any war is the mind.  That is where any battle starts. Before sitting around a table for a talk, leaders from both sides should understand it clearly that war and violence in any shape will never solve any problem. Violence has never been able to solve any problem in the past. The First World War and even the Second World War and all the wars that had been fought before in the name of religion proved futile. Armed clashes have not been able to solve problems and they are not going to solve any in the future. With all sophisticated engines of destruction available now, the human civilization is likely to disappear forever from earth. It took centuries to build our civilization and now it will take hours at the most to annihilate it. 

I have noted in my novel The Coexistence about live and let live and have pointed out problems which war and bloodshed cause. I say:

War begins in the mind and peace also begins in mind. The same humans who have invented war and its horrifying robots are capable of inventing peace. To prove that humans are war-like because they have been fighting since appearance on earth does not stand in the court of logic. If there were bloodshed, there were also peaceful practices of the use of language, pottery, cloth-making and so on. These are also instinctive, if killing is instinctive.

 In old days, nations thought that a strong military could solve political issues and enforce peace. Those strong militaries could prevent nations from warring, creating status quo that caused separation but not peace. Peace had to be born within through meetings and dialogue, not through separations. Peace cannot be created by thinking that one group is better than the other.  Such feelings erect the walls of separation further. These walls are erected by the feeling of superiority and also by fear and prejudices. (Pages 232-236)

I will conclude with a few paragraphs from my poem “About War” in Songs Before Shrine, published by Authors Press:

Don't tell me

war is nourishing the nation

it is to kill enemies

and to stop disruption.

 Don't tell me

war is good to man

I know it now

as all deception.

 War creates more widows

renders infants fatherless

sets homes in darkness

and loses human affection.

 War pollutes the air                                        

making life very hard

it produces untold terrors                                                     

and stocks tearing tension. (53-54)

©copyright Stephen Gill


About Stephen Gill:

Stephen Gill, a multiple award-winning Indo/Canadian self-exiled poet, fiction-writer and essayist, has authored more than thirty books. He is the subject of doctoral dissertations, and research papers. Thirteen books of critical studies have been released by book publishers on his works and more are on the way. His poetry and prose have appeared in nearly nine hundred publications. The focus of his writing is love and peace.

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nazirbhattipcc@aol.com , pakistanchristianpost@yahoo.com