South Asia has lost a great crusader of peace

Nirmila Deshpande is dead. She will be remembered for her invaluable services for peace in the region. This statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission says it all:

“Nirmila Deshpande, a well known peace crusader of India, died on May 1, 2008, after a long period of illness. She was 79-years-old and left behind so many followers who like her, wanted peace. From her early years she was a Gandhian and an enlightened person whose only aim in life was to work for the cause of humanity. Nirmila was the one by whose efforts the bus service between different cities of India and Pakistan particularly, between the Kashmiri people of both sides, were started. She worked extensively all her life for peace among various religious and linguistic communities in India and to achieve this cause she undertook a 40,000-km padyatra (long march) across India to carry Mahatma Gandhi’s message of Gram Swaraj. She firmly believed that although it was difficult to practice Gandhian principles, it was the only way towards a truly democratic society.
At the time of her death she was Chairperson of the Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, an organization with chapters all over India and Pakistan that works for peace in the region. […]