Report of WCPA President, Dr. Glen T. Martin, and Treasurer, Ms. Phyllis A. Turk. Activities in India,
December 8, 2019 to January 2, 2020
Our visit to India was exciting, eventful, and successful. Why are WCPA and the Constitution for the Federation of Earth spreading so dynamically in India? Perhaps because India, with its gigantic scope and population, is a microcosm of our planet and its accelerating global crises? Indeed, the organizers of the Kolkata conference of “World Thinkers and Writers Peace Meet” saw the wisdom of labeling the theme of the conference “Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation.”
Perhaps India, with its ancient traditions focusing on human liberation also functions as a microcosm of our planetary crises: population crisis, water crisis, pollution crisis, weapons proliferation and war crises, climate change crises, government corruption crises, poverty crisis, along with dehumanization, child labor, and bondage crises. Mahatma Gandhi spoke of both moksha and swaraj. Spiritual liberation must be directly connected with self-respect, self-responsibility, and self-sufficiency. The institutions of dehumanization must be transformed in order to liberate our capacities for self-realization.
Whatever the reasons, support for the Earth Constitution is spreading like wildfire in India (perhaps a too realistic metaphor given what has happened in Australia recently). I have already sent you a report on the Building the World Parliament Conference at O.P. Jindal Global University, December 10 to 11, along with the powerful conference declaration that resulted from those meetings. You will recall that our conference met under the theme of “Climate Crisis and the Earth Constitution.” Also, we recall that one of our distinguished international guests was Rev. Robert Wafula, founder and CEO of Wamulu International NGO in Kenya.
But here I want to emphasize the role of women at that conference and throughout WCPA India. At the conference this role was very powerful and significant, and was enhanced by the presence of our WCPA Vice-President for Eastern Europe who came to India just to attend this conference: Ms. Zaklina Dimovska (see photo below, with red hair). Zaklina represents in our mind the power of women to contribute to the good, the power of women for self-awareness and self-mastery that spreads to the society at large. Zaklina, along with the other women present, contributed significantly to the O.P. Jindal conference.
She spoke powerfully about our need to focus on our common goal of ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth as part of the holistic project of self-realization that characterizes our common human situation. I want to thank all the women who participated in the conference and helped make it both a human and intellectual success. I want to also thank Zaklina who traveled all the way from Macedonia to participate in the conference with us.
From the left is Indira Prakash, an official from Bhabha Atomic Research Center, then Phyllis Turk, WCPA Treasurer, then Dr. Vijaya Murthy, WCPA Women’s Empowerment Coordinator, then Ms. Zaklina Dimovska, WCPA Vice-President for Eastern Europe, and on the right is Kanchan Veer a Social Activist and leader on behalf of the Earth Constitution.
Other remarkable women at the O.P. Jindal WCPA Conference:
We would have liked more participation from O.P. Jindal faculty. However, we were pleased to have at least one key faculty member participate: Dr. Tatjana Kochetkova, an international faculty member at that university who was very concerned with the issues of climate change discussed at the conference.
We were in the Delhi area for a few days following the conference, as guests of Swami Agnivesh both at his Taj Apartments and his country ashram. On December 14th, Swamiji and I spoke at the Vedas International School in Greater Noida on the topic of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam and World Peace” (photo).
On December 15, I did a video interview with the World Party International Conference that was taking place in Katmandu, Nepal, and spoke to them about “Creating a Federation for the Earth.”
Swami Agnivesh and I also spoke to members of the Law and Human Rights Project in New Delhi on 16 Dec. On December 20th, I was hosted in Greater Noida by the Society for a Corruption-Free India and its founder Ch. Praveen Bhartiya. Later that day, we moved to the IIMT College of Management to speak with the assembled faculty members about the absolute imperative to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. We were hosted by its director Dr. Rahul Goyal.
Women members of the Delhi Chapter of WCPA organized both these events for Phyllis Turk and myself (photo).
On December 22 we flew to Pune and were met at the airport by Dr. Rajesh P. Kokare who had organized ground transportation about 100 kilometers to Sri Rampur where we were placed in the very nice city guest house, curtesy of the Mayor who was guest of honor at the ceremonies. On the 23rd we were gifted with tremendous ceremonies and speeches celebrating the inauguration of the Sri Rampur WCPA chapter (next 3 photos below).
From Sri Rampur we took a car back to Pune and flew to Nagpur for events organized by Dr. Ushoshi Guha and Omkar Deshpande. I spoke at Dr. Ambedkar Law College where Dr. Guha is a professor. The college was very impressive venue in which to discuss the Earth Constitution and the rule of law. They had also organized a talk at Govindrao Wanjari College of Law where we also received a very warm welcome. We were joined in Nagpur by Dr. Hemlata Talesra, another of our prominent women members. Both Dr. Guha and Dr. Talesra were at the O.P. Jindal Conference as well.
The next day we went to the famous Gandhi Ashram, Sevagram, not far from Nagpur, which served as a headquarters for much of Gandhi’s work between 1936 and 1948. E.P. Menon met Gandhi at this ashram when Menon was a young man. It was a meeting that changed Menon’s life and set him on the distinguished, lifelong course he has taken as a Gandhian grassroots activist for peace, justice, and sustainability.
We also visited two dynamic sustainable development projects in the area and were joined by Dr. Kamal Taori, our WCPA minster for Settlements and Development, who is spearheading WCPA global grassroots development initiative.
On December 26th Phyllis Turk and I flew to Kolkata and were met at the airport by representatives of the “World Thinkers and Writers Peace Meet on the theme of ‘Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation’.” This Grand Conference took place in Kolkata, December 27-31, 2019.
The Conference was co-sponsored by International Philosophers for Peace (IPPNO), the World Constitution and Parliament Assoc. (WCPA), ISISAR (the International Society for Intercultural Study and Research), and several other Kolkata institutions. Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture was a primary venue, along with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram of Kolkata and East Kolkata Girl’s College.
The Conference required many Kolkata volunteers to make it a success, but it was spearheaded by Dr. Santi Nath Chattopadhyay, President of ISISAR and Vice-President of WCPA, and by his son Dr. Sudipto Chattopadhyay.
One special feature of the conference was the release of several world peace publications edited or written by Dr. Santi Nath Chattopadhyay. The Conference Booklet itself, published as a special edition of the Journal Culture and Quest put out by by ISISAR, was a major document of some 500 pages. In addition, several books edited by Dr. S.N. Chattopadhyay were released, including this own book Peace: A Creative Exploration.
Phyllis Turk and myself left India on January 2nd, 2020. On this trip we experienced a WCPA movement within India that is expanding rapidly, that is attracting prominent, socially concerned leaders and thinkers from all walks of life, from artists to advocates to physicians to social workers to accountants. We were exhausted but elated by the successes of WCPA India and by our experience with the many wonderful, dedicated and caring people that we interacted with during our time in India.
We experienced so many great WCPA linked initiatives, from membership drives, to media announcements, to a Global Schools initiative (sponsored by Deepak Kumar Baruah in Assam) to official registration of our work in India, to opening an all-India Bank account, to forming new chapters of WCPA, to promoting the Earth Constitution in educational institutions and law schools, to hosting stalls at book fairs, to the role and empowerment of women in our work, to the drive for the Global Communications Center to be hosted by Swami Agnivesh at his 7 Jantar-Mantar Road offices in New Delhi. All this means that India may be a true leader in the birth of a new world of peace, justice, and sustainability. May all nations follow the inspiring lead of India in this regard.
Phyllis and I want to thank all the people that hosted us and organized events for us on behalf of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth and the future of humanity. May God bless our great world-transforming project and the vision we share of “the world as one family,” united under the banner of the Earth Constitution.