On October 2, 2019, the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the incredible epic Jai Jagat (the “victory of the world” in hindi) was launched: on the initiative of the Indian defence movement of the small farmers Ekta Parishad, a march of about 50 people from various nationalities, which was to link Delhi to Geneva in one year, was leaving. Its main objective: to relay and to collect the testimonies and actions of all the voiceless along its route and excluded from globalisation in order to bring them to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, according to the Gandhian method of non-violence in action.
After having walked the roads of India, Pakistan, Iran and Armenia, the Jai Jagat walkers were stopped in March 2020 in Yerevan because of the health measures taken in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Much to their chagrin, they had to suspend their walk and return to their homes all over the world.
Nevertheless, a seed of hope was planted: that of working through inspiring action towards greater justice and peace for humanity and, more broadly, for all living things on the planet.
This is why, in spite of the measures of travel restrictions and gatherings taken everywhere because of the Coronavirus, Jai Jagat marches and actions are being organised and are taking up the torch again in this month of September 2020 :
- At least three walks from France, including one from Guérande in the very west of France, will converge in Geneva to take part in the solidarity meal THE MEAL on Saturday 26 September from 11.30 am on the Plaine de Plainpalais. The day before at the end of the afternoon, some of these walkers will be welcomed beforehand in the town of Meyrin for an evening of debate and discussion.
- From 21 September, on the International Day of Peace, a peace fast will be launched by Jai Jagat’s friends all over the world: in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Mexico, Canada, Georgia and Europe. The fast will run until October 2, 2020, on the occasion of the 151st anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- On the same day in Geneva, at the International House of Associations, a large conference-debate will be organised throughout the day to discuss between local and international actors the transition to a green and non-violent economy, or the need to completely rethink our model following the pandemic, so as not to return “to the abnormal”.
- In parallel, during this sequence, between 21 September and 2 October 2020, a series of online conferences will take place to exchange on peace, the rights of migrants and indigenous peoples, non-violence in action… See all the details here.
The general idea is that, even though the pandemic has suspended the big Jai Jagat march in Armenia, the message of the latter of the urgency of another global model in which “no one is left behind” (corresponding to the slogan of the United Nations Agenda 2030 “no one left behind”) is more relevant than ever. Indeed, Covid 19 has demonstrated the urgency of a world for everyone, a world that is more respectful of all living things and brings back to the forefront the ideal of non-violence dear to Mahatma Gandhi and his heirs.
If the big march has stopped, it is only a postponed part, in order to be able to leave again next spring, hopefully in order to arrive in Geneva in September 2021.
Jai Jagat, more than ever!
Benjamin Joyeux, Jai Jagat coordinator in Geneva
For all the details on walks from France, read below the articles by Claire Lhermitte, who notably walked from Delhi to Yerevan :