Below there is an article written with a very kind gaze and deep respect to The Humanist Movement’s work – people that launched and developed the Idea of The World March for Peace and Nonviolence. It was written by Ibrahim H. Rizwan (to whom we are very thankful) and published in a website of one of the materially poorest countries in the world. Nothwithstanding, this is the most 'rich' article written by a journalist about The Humanist Movement I ever took notice. It was published on The Independent - Bangladesh in July, 2006. Unfortunately the link to the article on The Independent site is no more active. But, fortunately, I saved a copy of it on Multiply in the year 2007 and, just because of that, I can share it with you today, almost two years later. Maybe somebody on this community have the possibility of contacting Mr. Rizwan again to warn him about The World March for Peace and Nonviolence. Then, for sure, he will be able to write a veracious article about the event. What do you all think? Peace, Force, Joy and Hugs :)
by Ibrahim H. Rizwan
As sarcastic as it may sound, the new millennium has thus far offered very little along the lines of peace & development (i.e. invention of ground breaking vaccine or pragmatic economic endeavour), and more in forms of destruction & devastation e.g. war, suicide attacks, distress, and ballistic missile tests carried out intermittently around the globe. Unfortunately, as the voices of rift, poverty and intolerance are getting stronger, calls for humanism, harmony and amity seems to be waning in effort and effectiveness, resulting in intensified conflicts and multiplied misery of masses. However, not all voices are dimmed, with an aim to find and solve reasons behind conflict and fracas, some noble minds are still in work to create awareness among grass-root level of people in different parts of the world. The group we are talking about work under the banner of 'The Humanist Movement' (THM), voluntary grassroots' organisation. As the name suggests, the forum is mainly involved with humanity and its development in several aspects.
The idea behind 'The Humanist Movement' was conceived on May 4th 1969 when founder Silo (pen name of Mario Rodríguez Cobos) made a speech at Mendoza in Argentina. In his speech Silo severely criticised increasing violence and asked people to find belief and confidence among them. Literally speaking, his speech and idea shaped and inspired the movement to the form it is today. Right now, the movement is actively involved in improving the state of education, health, quality of life, as well as social and cultural life in more than 110 countries.
In Bangladesh, the forum is spearheaded by some dedicated members including Shahedullah, Nazrul Islam Jashim, Zahirul Islam, Syed, Ayub Ansari, and Sheikh Arif. While talking, the members confidently stated that forum members have implemented quite a few projects in Bangladesh and are still running several projects in about 16 districts through 60 odd units. The projects aim for awareness and betterment in communal, social and economic chapters. Each unit has narrowed down objectives for specific focus. Mr. Nazrul Islam further explained the doctrine of 'The Humanist Movement' as one organisation comprised of individuals who have passion for the development and humanity.
The Humanist Approach
The activities of the Humanist Movement usually start by carrying out Humanist Self-Support Project which is to help people organise themselves, solve their common needs, change their conditions and become self-sufficient. Such projects aim at developing with integral focus on key aspects of development.
Although its nature is different than that of an NGO, the forum is always willing to help any organisation whose aims align with THM; it can provide people the necessary know-how to enlarge and to make their activities more effective. 'The Humanist Centre' is a meeting place where committees are formed to undertake issues that fall under relevant categories. THM being a voluntary organisation, work under the code of self-motivation. Members also contribute a fixed amount semi-annually to the forum which is roughly around $1 in Bangladesh. The accumulated membership fee is later spent for communication, co-ordination and expansion of the Humanist Movement. Members also support the forum through oral orientation, visits, meetings, correspondence and so forth.
As per THM norms, each member is in charge of a certain activity and few 'adherents' (members who cannot participate fully). In this way, the forum ensures that every member is responsible to and for others. Active members take part in regular weekly meeting where activities of the respective units are planned, evaluated, co-ordinated or revised whatever the need may be.
14th July, 2006
Last Friday the bi-annual forum of the Bangladeshi chapter of 'The Humanist Movement' was held at Academy for Planning & Development's auditorium at city's Nilkhet. The event was participated by 500 members and enthusiasts from various parts of the nation as well as few expatriates. The day started with a brief welcome note by Mr. Ayub Ansari which was followed by a short literature on the forum's history and a multimedia presentation which was by far and large informative & interesting. The presentation analysed aspects of social problems and explored ideas for probable solutions.
Shortly after the presentation each audience were given eight subject categories to choose from. These diverse and pragmatic subjects were Education, Health, Youth, Women, Culture, Poverty, Ecology and Violence. After choices were made each group was given a set of persisting problems and asked to give his/her opinion on how to solve the problem under a moderator for each group. As each member voiced their own version of solutions to problems it was moderators' duty to analyse and choose the best suggestion from varied and diversified resolutions. Thus eight solutions were reached addressing eight pressing problems. After some adjustment a final synthesis was reached, upon and thereafter a proposal which included all eight aspects the initial discussion.
This tactic not only has the involvement of each member in an equal manner but it also allows THM to find the best strategy to achieve its objective. In addition, this technique also has the benefit of creating opportunity for members to gather, share ideas & experiences, and evaluate performance.
Associates from USA, Australia, Spain, Mozambique, Pakistan and Nepal were also among participants. Among them Mr. Pablo Martin who is a graphic designer from Spain and a General Co-ordinator of THM said that in its core THM is all about humanity and towards combined problem solving. He also implied that this co-ordinated and bigger movement is able to make a bigger impact in development and problem solving of society than many fragmented individual initiatives.
Similar passion and enthusiasm was also evident while in Mr. Decler who had come all the way from Australia to attend the event. He is an honourary member and has been part of this movement since 1980s. Other present expatriate members were Nicole Myers, Aaron, Danish, David Anderson, Marisa, Tulsi and Gulab among others.
Among the many definitions, perhaps the most common one is that 'The Humanist Movement is the common platform of individuals and organisations working together for a common goal: to humanise the world.' With this common aim the following synthesis ensued:
1.What are the conflicts and who are affected?
2.Who are the beneficiaries?
3.How the system drives the conflict?
4.If we don't change the direction what will be the consequences?
5.What are the roots of these conflicts?
To answer these questions and solve the attached problems, the forum formulated a proposal which can be divided into two segments. The first, is to try resolve conflicts through combined effort; secondly, to visualise any problem and situation from a global perspective and to eradicate problems by encompassing efforts from multiple dimensions.
The aforementioned proposals are key steps towards a better, peaceful and more prosperous tomorrow. Hence by becoming a part of this forum one can learn more and aid to improve the inherent qualities inside, thus through self-actualisation help humanity towards enhancement.
Source of this article: The Independent Bangladesh
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Download PDF: The World March: A Humanist Proposal
A Humanist Proposal.pdf