In the words of our dearest Nirmala Didi Deshpande, one of our many intrepid peace activists:

‘Goli Nahin – Boli Chahiye – Naphrath Nahin – Pyaar Chahiye’ …

A former foreign secretary, Nirupama Rao sent round this song yesterday – a famous anti war song called “Where have all the Flowers Gone” recorded by the Kingston Trio. She went on to add that this powerful antiwar song, rewritten by the legendary Pete Seeger in response to the many wars, was originally an Ukrainian folk song inspired by the Russian novel The Quiet River of the Don – what tragic irony.

Today I feel bruised, battered and buffetted from all sides with every possible opinion and position about Ukraine – Russia – NATO – the USA… Who is guilty who is to blame – who to support whom to attack – anguish and despair all round… How far back in our tortuous histories and geographies do we travel?

Womens Day used to be so special – a day of joy and celebration of our sisterhood and feminine bonding. Today I just feel a dull despair and an ache that wont go away and want to.

So as I listen to the piercing words of the song – “Where have all the young men gone – Gone to graveyards every one,” I just want to share some feelings and some thoughts – inchoate as they are…

As women – mothers, grandmothers, daughters, grand daughters, nieces, aunts, mothers in law, sisters, sisters in law, wives, daughters in law, friends and lovers, we only know one truth – it is women and children who pay the price in every war – in every violent conflict. And it is especially those at the bottom of the economic and social heap who have everything to lose.

It is an equally uncontested truth that the winners are almost always those with money and muscle power, backed and instigated above all by the might of the Global Military Industrial Complex – the macho militaristic men who are calling the shots and have trapped us all – the world, our press and our media, otherwise decent men and women, into taking sides in a criminally wasteful and catastrophic enterprise.

We sisters in South Asia will never forget Kamla Bhasin, our peace activist who would always quote Jimi Hendrix in hope of that day when the “Power of Love would vanquish the Love of Power”.

I am also sharing what my friend Nina Rao wrote on her FB page:

“My Belief: Ban all War Pacts - Start Talks on Reduction of arms,

Stop Export of Arms - Have a Citizens Peace Keeping Force that Brings Ceasefire And the Belligerent to the Table

Dialogue is Preferable and possible - UN Must stop Veto, and Sanctions

Have a Global Peace Committee”…

So on this Womens Day 2022 – We have just one agenda –

#Say NO to war

#Say YES to Peace

#Hold Fire

#Sit around the table

#Work for the Cease fire

There is only one way to win the Peace – Peace has to be the Way

Any one listening ?

Redefining Power: Women As Peace Operators | Feminism In India