Opinion: The missing piece in the pursuit for peace


It is heartwarming to see so many nonviolence and peace initiatives underway across the United States. This article explains that there is a missing piece in these initiatives and incorporating it will boost prospects for success.

I come from the land of Mahatma Gandhi, an apostle of nonviolence. I am eighty years of age now and have lived in the United States for sixty years, the last forty-eight in Louisville, Kentucky.

My late father, Bapusaheb Deshpande, had left college in India in the 1920s to immerse himself in the nonviolent freedom struggle that Mahatma Gandhi had started, and was jailed in the forties for a year. He was posthumously awarded the ‘Freedom fighter” designation by the Government of India in the 1990s.

I arrived in the United States in 1962-63 and enrolled myself as an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Alabama when Vivian Malone, the first African-American student was admitted to the University. The then Governor George Wallace had stood in the door of the University President’s mansion to prevent the entry of Malone from registering for classes. We were quarantined in our dormitories for fear of violence. The Governor was eventually ejected and Malone registered for classes.

Fast forward to the twenty first century and few would disagree that racism persists, but it need not.

My research into pursuit of technologies for achieving perfection in manufacturing and services while I was on the faculty of Chemical Engineering at the University of Louisville during 1975-2008, has produced certain discoveries that have led to a scientific framework for internal and external excellence toward a better and more peaceful world.

My work explains that India, at the time of Gandhi, and the world today still is under the mistaken impression that products of reason, such as sciences, laws and policies, are sufficient to solve all problems, in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

If laws and policies were sufficient, racism shouldn’t persist in the US today after slavery was abolished more than 150 years ago, nor should the 4,000 year old caste-discrimination problems persist in India today.

For success in both cases, the required positive changes have to come about from within, and that requires we transcend reason by enhancing the focus of attention, as with meditation.

Meditation practices achieve a shift from negative emotions (anger, hatred, hostility, resentment, frustration, jealousy, fear, sorrow and the like) to positive emotions (love , kindness, empathy, compassion) changing us from within.

The pursuit of positive emotions at the exclusion of negative emotions is not an intellectual exercise. Just do a thirty-day self-assessment, monitoring your emotions, and you will realize that my claim is correct.

And because emotions can be measured, progress can be audited.

When products of reason are combined with the practices of meditation, there will be substantial progress in terms of nonviolence and peace.

A detailed article, titled, Scientific Framework for World Transformation is available in Dialog & Alliance, June 2021. Dialog & Alliance is a publication of the New York based Universal Peace Federation which has a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Cultural Council.

I have made presentations in several countries including to the entire senior staff of the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi, Parliament of Peru, among numerous others always to enthusiastic audiences.

It is hoped that the various peace initiatives will benefit from the ideas in this article.


Pradeep B. Deshpande

Pradeep B. Deshpande is Professor Emeritus in and former Chairman of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Louisville, author of 8 book, over 150 articles. He is also president of Six Sigma and Advanced Controls based in Louisville, Kentucky.  pradeep@sixsigmaquality.com.



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