Peace Portraits: Pathways to Nonkilling

REVIEWS, 2 May 2022

Review by  Joám Evans Pim | Center for Global Nonkilling – TRANSCEND Media Service

Peace Portraits: Pathways to Nonkilling: A Memoir, by Balwant Bhaneja
Available on Amazon and in a Digital Kindle edition

Center for Global Nonkilling (CGNK) nonkilling.org

29 Apr 2022 – The Center for Global Nonkilling has just released its latest book, co-published with Creighton University, which artfully explores the intersection between faith, ethics and politics in modern times: Peace Portraits: Pathways to Nonkilling – A Memoir.

The intimate autobiographical portraits in the collection reveal how five global peace leaders –Mahatma Gandhi, Lester B. Pearson, Glenn D. Paige, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai, and Máiread Corrigan Maguire impacted the author’s life. Using their short biographies, Balwant Bhaneja examines the path of nonviolence and nonkilling.

As Bhaneja writes:

“Peace is a much abused word. It has been misused and misspoken by all sorts of leaders in defense of their insurgencies and wars—Stalin mobilized the Soviet Union in the name of peace, Hitler’s war to colonize Europe was to bring peace and prosperity for Germans, and even Bush’s military intervention in Iraq was to introduce peace and democracy in the region to make America look great again. These wars of the previous century were fought in the name of peace which led to the deaths of around 200 million people, mostly innocent civilians.”

He adds:

“The US involvement in the Afghanistan war in this century has been the longest in any foreign war, 20 years in 2021. You have to be naive to feel high-minded after having paid such a heavy toll, and have the gall to call it a “’mission of peace accomplished.’“

By bringing together the spiritual life with the political, Bhaneja delves into the nature of personal conscience as embodied in the thoughts and actions of these peace champions. His definition of peace continues to evolve, from internal as peace of mind and personal happiness to peace outside, to see if and how it can be externalized to alleviate physical misery around. It is through this quest he came to learn about Nonkilling Peace and its measure. “Deliberate killing of humans stops progress—you stop killing, progress resumes.”

Professor Glenn D. Paige on Bhaneja’s book commented:

“This is a unique contribution to nonkilling literature. Reminiscent of classics like St. Augustine and Tolstoy— it is not a story from bad to good, but from ahimsa to nonkilling—good to good.”

The author brings a wealth of experience to this important topic being active in promoting alternative visions of how politics might be conducted. A continuous thread through the book is the question: could we not take a portion of the money and resources put into armaments and military research and instead direct that to a ministry of peace? An interesting and worthwhile work.

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Dr. Bill (Balwant) Bhaneja is a former Canadian science diplomat, a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, and author of six books and scholarly papers on politics and science. He holds a PhD in science policy from UK’s Victoria University of Manchester, currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Center for Global Nonkilling in Honolulu-Hawai’i of which he is a founding member, and produces the Nonkilling Arts Research Committee (NKARC)  Newsletter. A peace activist, his recent books include:  Troubled  Pilgrimage: Passage to Pakistan (TSAR/Mawenzi,  Toronto, 2013);  Quest for Gandhi: A Nonkilling Journey (Center for Global Nonkilling, Hawaii, 2009); and in collaboration with Vijay Tendulkar, Two Plays: The Cyclist and His Fifth Woman (Oxford University Press (India), New-Delhi, 2006). He lives in Ottawa, Canada. Email: billbhaneja@rogers.com

Joam Joám Evans Pim is director of the Center for Global Nonkilling and a member of the TRANSCEND Network.


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 2 May 2022.

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