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Gandhians to ensure Marad stays off violence
George Iype in Marad | October 13, 2003 12:28 IST
Last Updated: October 13, 2003 12:41 IST
Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony has given the task of rehabilitating Muslim families affected by last summer's violence in Marad near Kozhikode to a group of Gandhians.
The Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi, Sarvodaya Mandalam and Gandhi Peace Foundation are working hard to ensure that the fishing village does not get entangled in violence again.
"We have to ensure that Marad does not go back to violence," Dr N Radhakrishnan said. "So we are implementing a new experiment -- Gandhian non-violent conflict management in the village."
"Our challenge is to sustain the peace initiative chalked out by the Antony government," says Dr Radhakrishnan who heads the Indian Council of Gandhian Studies.
The absence of politicians from the rehabilitation process, he feels, will work to the Gandhians' advantage.
Some 1,700 Muslims belonging to nearly 400 families fled the village after Hindus pledged revenge for the May 2 killing of eight Hindus. Marad has a population of around 2,000 Muslims and 1,700 Hindus.
Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi Chairman K Gopinathan Nair, who has been instrumental in bringing together Hindu and Muslim leaders, says the Gandhians will ensure a reign of peace.
"We will not allow politicians to manage affairs in Marad. The core of all communal problems in India is politics and how politicians manage it," Nair told rediff.com
Issues in Marad need to be tackled in a time-bound manner as they are psychological, he said. "People have to get rid of their anger and live like human beings. For this, the Gandhian method of non-violence is best," Nair added.
The Gandhian organisations are conducting a ten-day camp in Marad.
During the camp, Gandhians will highlight the need for peace and harmony among Hindu and Muslim families in the fishing hamlet.
Some 60 Gandhians are currently in Marad talking to various people, especially to the relatives of those killed. "Our work is to promote peace and harmony and of uniting the people," Nair adds. "We are at it successfully."
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