Urban poet, spoken word recording artist, comedian, and broadcaster Mr. Gee interviews international ambassador of peace Prem Rawat in this full-length interview - Peacemakers.
I was in South Africa, and it was really amazing because I was talking about peace and I was taking calls and people were saying, “It’s not possible.”
Because one gentleman said, “I have a young daughter, and she doesn’t see the difference in the black, white. She just plays with everybody, enjoys her time. But this is something that is learned.”
And he said, “But peace is not really possible.” And I said, “Well, hang on. If this is a learned behavior, then we can unlearn it.”
सईद नक़वी : हैलो! मैं सईद नक़वी हूं। पत्रकार था, टेलीविज़न का प्रेज़ेंटर भी हूं, एंकर भी हूं और कॉलम्निस्ट भी हूं। मैंने, इंटरनेशनल अफेयर्स पर मेरी रुची सबसे ज्यादा रही। नेल्सन मंडेला का सबसे पहला इंटरव्यू मेरा था। फिदेल कास्त्रो हुए, गद्दाफ़ी मुअम्मर गद्दाफ़ी, प्रेज़िडेंट जिआ-उल-हक़, बेनज़ीर भुट्टो, ये सब से मैंने इंटरव्यूज़ लिए और यही मेरा काम रहा कि सारी ज़िन्दगी मैं टेलीविज़न के लिए और प्रिंट के लिए। कई अखबारों के लिए काम किया, विलायत में संडे टाइम्स के लिए काम किया। अमेरिका में बोस्टन ग्लोब का फॉरेन एडिटर रहा मैं।
जब मेरे पास लोग आए कि मैं एक, मेरी समझ में नहीं आया कि प्रेम रावत जी क्या हैं ? गॉड मैन हैं, स्प्रीचुवल लीडर हैं, साधू हैं, संत हैं तो भई किसके लिए मैं अपने आप को तैयार करूं।
सईद नक़वी : इस प्रोग्राम में, मैं आपको क्या कह के, आपको क्या कहूं कि आप गुरु जी हैं, आप महाराजी हैं, आप फ़लसफी हैं, फिलॉसफर हैं, आप हैं क्या ? और आपको दुनिया इतना जो पूछती है, उसकी वजह क्या है ? ये जादू क्या है ?
प्रेम रावत : मैं तो मनुष्य हूं। और मेरा नाम मेरे मां-बाप ने प्रेम पाल सिंह रावत रखा था और लोग मेरे को कई नामों से पुकारते हैं। पर मैं वही हूं जो हूं। अब घर में भी बच्चों को कोई किसी नाम से पुकारता है, कोई किसी नाम से पुकारता है। पर इसका मतलब नहीं है कि वो बदल जाता है। मैं मनुष्य हूं, और ये मैंने पहली चीज़ समझी है। और अगर मैं अपनी मानवता को नहीं समझता हूं, अपनी मनुष्यता को नहीं समझता हूं तो मैं कुछ भी नहीं समझता हूं। अगर सिर्फ नाम ही में अटका रहूंगा तो मेरे को पता नहीं लगेगा कि मैं कौन हूं, मैं क्या हूं। और जो कुछ भी लोग मेरे को सम्मान देते हैं, सबकुछ देते हैं, और मैंने, ये मैं सबसे कहता हूं कि ठीक है, आप मेरे को सम्मान दे रहे हैं और मैं स्वीकार करता हूं परंतु ये सम्मान मेरा नहीं है। ये सम्मान सबके लिए है। हमलोग...
So, Mr. Prem Rawat, I’m doing this language laboratory program in the Danish radio. It’s a weekly magazine where my main focus is to try and discover how language can change people and how we can change ourselves and our surroundings through language.
Well, first of all, thank you very much for having me on this show. And what I have learned is, language, or whatever we use to communicate—we need to communicate; we have a need to communicate. And sometimes people don’t see the need—that they need to communicate.
I mean, in this world today, there are obviously those people who believe in peace and who want peace to be there. When you look at all these wars going on, it is the innocent victims who had nothing to do with making those decisions, who are getting punished. And if they could say something, what would that be?
And that, to me, would establish the need—but they don’t have a voice. And to me it’s like, no, there has to be the voice of need that needs to be the loudest for humanity, the need to be in peace, the need to prosper, the need to be content, the need to be fulfilled.
And just, the need to live a life that they feel is good, that they can be; they can practice their religion; they can practice their faith; they can practice their understanding and have a path that they can go on, that can allow them to better themselves. This is the need, and we need to help each other, not get in each others’ way.
So, taking away that greed and taking away differences and starting to see the similarity, that’s the vision of clarity; that is the voice of clarity, and that is the voice of peace.
Concerning the “voice of peace,” and the “language of peace” that we’ve been weaving around here, you’ve been traveling through so many countries and visiting so many cultures—you’ve got them under your skin. Are there any languages or any cultures in the world that you would say have peace as their core foundation?
I think all of them do. The idea of peace, the feeling of peace, the need for peace, the want for peace has been there with us all along. The better half of a human being is peace. And I think that all cultures do give rise to that—you know, do give credence to that.
“Shalom! Salaam!” Peace! To greet a person by saying, “Peace. May peace be with you.” And this is coming from some of the regions that have been fighting with each other for such a long time! And yet, the first word uttered to greet another human being is “peace.”
I think we want peace, you know? But that voice is so dim now, overshadowed by the noise of greed and arrogance and anger and fear... I mean, so many politicians, they use fear! Fear—“But you don’t do this, then this will happen. And, don’t you, you know, and”—fear!
Give people information; let people make up their mind. Give people information! Don’t manipulate their emotions. Give them information, because I think people are intelligent and will make the intelligent choice.
When I listen to you, I also think sometimes that there’s a heavy load on each individual—the force or the need to change and transform into a better environmentalist, into a more peaceful person, and to be talking in a more peaceful language.
So, how much of the peace and prosperity and of our survival in this world is based on the individual changing and transforming—and how much on systems changing and performing?
That’s a really, really good question. Because, when you were asking that, I was just thinking in my own head, “Is ‘being green’ normal, natural, real? Or is it something that we have to change for?”
So, being green, does that mean...? Is that a deviation? Or, is it coming back to the track where you should have been all along? Being kind, is that a deviation, or is that where you should have been all along?
So, when you start to look at, “That yes, this takes effort”—but it’s only because we have already deviated. And this exercise is not about deviating further, but it’s coming back to where you should be, being human. That’s being human.
And I think that having generosity, having clarity, having kindness, having good choices is normal. And where we are, where it’s anger, it’s fear, it’s, “Destroy nature, capture nature, arrest nature, tame nature,” I think that’s deviated. Because you can work with nature—and she will work with you. Or you can be saying, “I want to tame you”—and she will tame you.
That change that really needs to happen is about understanding who we are—not looking at our differences, but our similarities. And, that in fact, if we all came together—not everyone has to come together—enough of us have to come together—it is, you know, the mass.
Enough of the mass comes together where the greedy become a true minority. And those people who truly understand generosity, acceptance of a human being, acceptance of what we have on this earth—that’s generosity. And I think something amazing is going to happen, amazing is going to happen.
But those who need that voice don’t have it! Because they are like, “No, don’t say anything.” And I think everybody needs to come together and say, “No, say it. Say it.” Say you are alive; say you are here; say you want heaven here—and I think amazing things will happen.
It’s been a pleasure.