The world was divided in two big power blocks. One was the Russian block and the other was the American block. The tow giants of the block armed themselves to the teeth. They had destructive weapons like the Atom and the Hydrogen Bombs. They could destroy the whole world within the twinkling of an eye. So the world rested on the top of a volcano. Any moment it could burst and cause disaster. This awful condition made the leaders of the world think and talk in terms of world peace. India has offered a key to world peace in the form of the five principles of “Panch Sheela”.
The five famous principles of ‘Panch Sheela’ are as follows –
- Mutual respect for each other’s territorial and internal sovereignty
- Mutual non-aggression.
- Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
- Equality and mutual benefit.
- Peaceful co-existence.
These five principles, in one form or the other, have come down to us from the time of the Vedas. In time of Ashoka and Lord Buddha, they gained great importance. But the way they are being applied to solve various international problems is a new thing. The late Prime Minister, Nehru, who was an ardent follower of peace, first drew the attention of the world towards them. The Prime Ministers of India and China met in Delhi and signed a treaty over Tibet on the basis of these principles. It was on 29th of April 1954, that this unique peace-pact was signed. The other nations of the world were also not slow to appreciate these Principles. A conference of Afro-Asian nations was held at Bandung in Indonesia. It was here that the nine nations which took part in the conference accepted them with mirror chance. Since then more and more nations have been accepting them. A brief analysis of the five principles will slow that they can solve the problem of world peace.
The problem of war arises when some strong nation wants to annex the territory of some weaker nation. The first principle is an assurance against war. If all the big and small nations’ begir to respect the territorial rights of reach other, the question of war will not arise.
As long as there is fear in the world, that the stronger and powerful nations will attack the weaker nations, the mad race for management will never stop. The second principle is a guarantee against this hostile mentality.
No country wants that other nations should interfere in its domestic matters. Many times we find tense situations in the world due to such interference. The third principle aims at checking this interference.
The fourth principle is very simple. It means that the big nations should treat the smaller ones on the basis of equality. There should be the spirit of mutual benefit among nations.
The fifth principle is very important. It simply means that the big and small nations can live together in spite of their ideological differences. Thus, Russia and America can co-exist, even though they have different political peaceful co-existence.
“Panch Sheela” of the five principles, has received much publicity. Nearly all the nations claim they are followers of Panch Sheela. But when it comes to practice they do not care even a fig for them. The happening in Tibet and the aggressive attitude of China are a clear indication or this fact. Other more recent instances are the happenings in Bangladesh, the savage bombing of North Vietnam and the Soviet entrance into Afghanistan, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Beirut and bombardment of Libya and Iran by U.S.A. So mere lip-sympathy is not enough. The countries which accept them must follow them in practice. This is the only way of making them effective. This alone can bring world peace.