Washington, April 20: All global conflicts are mainly because of communication breakdown and trust deficit and addressing these two issues is the key to resolving conflicts, Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said.
The spiritual guru, who has personally been instrumental in resolving some global conflicts, said the key to his effort is "we speak to people" and tell them that "we understand" them.
"Conflict (are) because of communication breakdown and trust deficit. If you can bridge this somehow then the process to resolve the conflict begins," Ravi Shankar told a Washington audience yesterday during a dialogue on “Combating Religious Extremism and Terror.
He said the root cause of terrorism -- a global issue -- is wrong indoctrination "which needs to be addressed".
Introducing multicultural and multi-religious education at the school and college level can be first step in this direction, he said. "Encourage kids to multi-cultural and multi-religious program. We need to teach (kids) the importance of non-violence in life. We need to wean them away from aggression to value of compassion," Ravi Shankar said, in response to a question at the Atlantic Council, a top American think-tank.
He said there was still hope that not all the educators were on the extreme side. Caste system has been a big issue in India, Ravi Shankar said, and complained that "unfortunately, it has been politicised".
"Those in cities and towns have got over it, but the caste system still exists in rural areas and village," said Ravi Shankar. "School and big spiritual gatherings are ones where there is no caste system, but in marriage caste system is still playing a crucial role. It is a long-drawn issue. It will still take some time. But we are moving in the right direction," he said.
Responding to a question, the Indian spiritual guru said that there is a hall of silence in the American Congress and the Parliament of India should have one too. Observing that a sense of insecurity was on the rise, Ravi Shankar said there was need to instill confidence and reassurance in human values.
"We need to empower our youngsters that they need not be a victim of their stress and disturbed emotion," Ravi Shankar said and urged the audience act like global citizens, especially in the boundary-less digital age.