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Home > News > Report

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 thetask of rehabilitating Muslim families affected by last summer's violence in Marad near Kozhikode to a groupof Gandhians.

The Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi, Sarvodaya Mandalam and Gandhi Peace Foundation are working hard to ensure that the fishing village does notget entangledinviolence again.

"We have to ensure that Marad does not go back to violence,"Dr N Radhakrishnan said. "So we are implementing a new experiment --Gandhiannon-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 therehabilitation process, he feels, willwork to the Gandhians'advantage.

"If politicians belonging to various parties are entrusted with this job they willmake a mess out of it. That is why we decided to step in," he says. "So far, we have succeeded in maintaining communal harmony."

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Some 1,700 Muslims belonging to nearly 400 familiesfled 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 togetherHindu and Muslim leaders, says the Gandhians will ensure a reign of peace.

"We will not allow politicians to manageaffairs in Marad. The core of allcommunal 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 isbest," Nair added.

The Gandhian organisations are conducting a ten-day camp in Marad.

During the camp,Gandhians willhighlightthe need for peace and harmony among Hindu and Muslim families in the fishing hamlet.

Some 60 Gandhians arecurrently 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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