THE AUDACITY OF DREAMS
From a tiny inch sized acorn, to a towering giant oak
The litmus test of a true enterprise revolves around how much it can contribute to development and growth, laying the foundations, where growth begets growth and quality begets quality. It is with this belief at heart; Uniting for Peace has embarked on its chosen mission. It is this ardent belief which inspires it to strive harder and look beyond the mile stones of achievement.
If we cannot envision the world we would like to live in, we cannot work towards its creation. If we cannot place ourselves in our imagination, it is hard to believe it is possible. When people can see a vision and simultaneously recognize what can be done step by step with dedication and sincerity to achieve it, they will begin to feel encouragement and enthusiasm instead of fright. The entry into the new millennium demands actions to implement a positive vision for the future - one which draws closer the Peoples and Nations of the world towards a common goal.
Not only father, but Grandfather Lala TD Mehta who had been a distinguished social reformer and champion of Hindu-Muslim unity, was also an inspiration for him. His august personality towered over all the family members. He taught Vijay to develop a world vision. People were thinking as Hindus or Muslims which prompted separatism and which he felt was harmful for the growth of the Nation. He wanted them to be Indians first setting aside caste. The spirit of secularism propagated was an eye opener and came to be accepted as a positive approach to world peace.
How lucky he was to have a father and grandfather with such noble and beautiful thoughts! He was interested in everything and delighted in sharing their enthusiasm. As a child, he was full of questions, and this enabled them to tell him about the world, about the men and women who inhabited it and who have moved others by their ideas and actions. Above all, they loved to speak about the country, its early achievements. Growing up with their teachings, companionship, thinking, vision and guidance, inspired him greatly to be ever dynamic.
Having graduated from the Hindu College, he went on to complete Masters degree at the University of Delhi, the city in which he met my wife Shanti. Despite Gandhi's fasting almost to the point of self-destruction in a bid to deter inter-communal violence, Shanti's brother-in-law was one of millions who died in the chaos that enveloped India during the partition of Pakistan in 1947, an avoidable tragedy created by the hubris and mismanagement of a disconnected political elite.
In the late 1960s Vijay moved to England to pursue a new life and they as couple welcomed into the world four children: Sanjay, Vimal, Ajay and Renu. He embarked into the clothing industry, with remarkable success, but found himself going far beyond his first vision to a much greater passion and enterprise. By the 1980s the business was well established to hand its management over to the next generation.
When you act according to your highest dreams, the outcome is often far grander than you imagine. His true vocation, however, took roots as a Co-Founder and Chair of Uniting for Peace; a role which he still holds today. He is the President of Mehta Centre and Founding Trustee of Fortune Forum Charity, a renowned Author, a champion for truth, global activist for peace, development, human rights and environment.
Vijay got a strict work ethic, coming to office every day of the week to write, prepare for talks and strategise how best to spread the words of peace. He enjoys long walks, Yoga and meditation. He a vegetarian and teetotaller, have the habit of drinking herbal tea made out of his own recipe along with reading piles of books and newspapers.
Today, as a renowned activist for peace, development and human rights, I works tirelessly and devotedly around the world to help sow the seeds to bring an end to wars, militarism and poverty. The vision of an ideal, unceasing energy and deep dedication to the cause gives him strength, power and glory - forever an example. Intensely involved, yet withdrawn, unbending, lofty, cool and fearless, making a unique leader and a great peace activist who looks on to the world as indivisible, for peace and harmony.
The Bhagavad Gita states, “The actions of a great man are an inspiration for others. Whatever he does becomes a standard for others to follow.”
culture of peace, nonviolence and poverty alienation. The Institution is thriving continuously to avert the prospect of nuclear annihilation offered by the Cold War logic of Mutually Assured Destruction - a disaster witnessed during the horrors of India's Partition. Vijay’s second career as a votary of peace led him around the world, from Belfast to The Hague and back to his homeland, India, a country still rocked by unseen conflicts so often ignored by those who focus on Mumbai's new tower blocks, highways and Bollywood glamour.
The entry into new millennium provides an ideal opportunity to pledge and implement a positive vision for the future – to bring together the Peoples and Nations of the world towards a common goal. Harnessing current trends, executing future focussed projects, garnering powerful resources, working closely, productively, effectively and qualitatively is the true vision. The true karma of a leader with humanity at heart. For an enterprise to ally itself with a great purpose it must have courage, conviction, discipline and endurance -- qualities which engender organisational growth and all round success.
Vijay’s untiring efforts in this direction would go on to promoting the UN's Millennium Development Goals by 2015. As a Founding Trustee of Fortune Forum Charity, he along with his daughter Renu Mehta Founder of Fortune Forum charity held three summits in London in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The Summits attracted a worldwide audience of 1.3 billion people (one fifth of humanity) including print and media coverage. The keynote speakers for the first and second summit were Bill Clinton, former US President and Al Gore, former US Vice-President, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize 2007. He addressed and attended many international conferences and served on many advisory boards, forums to address the dynamics between peace and disarmament, offering dialogue and non-violent solutions to tackle conflict.
His actions show that every successful human endeavour is a consequence of the right combination of elements-a fiery determination, focussed direction, forceful impetus-these are the elements that spark off and sustain the saga of progress. These are the forces of human nature which combine with the vision create and conceive new worlds of achievement, where ideas transform into reality.
Through his peace missions, he came across, many influential luminaries, including Nobel Peace Prize winners Mairead Maguire, Dr. Shirin Ebaadi, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He galvanises everyone he meets with boundless energy, optimism and passion to effect change in the chaos, violence and unpredictability in the society. As a chair person and activist of Peace Mission campaigning has provided an opportunity for extensive travel around the Globe advocating peace, bringing an end to wars, arms trade, militarism for poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Throughout life, he never missed an opportunity to stand for the cause of humanity. He travelled extensively, attending global meetings and conferring with leaders and experts by acquiring a wider perspective of life, on finding solutions to various issues facing the world. The need for an alternative to the nuclear threat was also very much on his mind. He represented the spirit of moderation, tolerance, and understanding for human development.
As he deploys his boundless energy and optimism as an advocate of non-violence and dialogue with a world that grows more chaotic and unpredictable with every passing year, and one in which security crisis are entangled with rapidly changing economic, social, and technological trends, he knows the importance of working with all sections of society to bring in lasting peace. In 2009 he met former prisoners and hunger strikers in Belfast and had a direct dialogue on the real problems of keeping the peace after the Good Friday Agreement in Belfast.
"A mind once experienced by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions"
On 15th March, 2012, Uniting for Peace’s flagship campaign 4D for World Peace has gone Global with its launch
The mission of the campaign is to take the Quantum Leap Faster, Higher, and Further to spread the message of 4D.
iCONGO AWARD for 2012
"We are what we repeatedly do, Excellence then is not an act, But a Habit" ~Aristotle
Vijay has been nominated for the “Global Indian Lifetime Achievement Award” by iCONGO (Indian Confederation of NGO’s) for 2012
Some of his Notable Publications
In his latest book The Economics of Killing: How the West Fuels War and Poverty in the Developing World  – which examines the power of Military Industrial Complex, it’s continuous engagement in perpetual wars bringing untold suffering to mankind. It outlines a world which can move away from war economy to peace economy based on policies of disarmament, demilitarisation and sustainable development. The book also advocates for a move from the war economy to a green economy that would create green collar jobs such as renewable energy, waste management, pollution control and carbon capture. On conflict resolution, the book advocates for peaceful settlements through dialogue such as the Good Friday Agreement, the Indian independence movement and the civil rights movement.
Vijay is a leading peace campaigner working tirelessly for peace. He is amazing. If anyone could sell fridges to Eskimos it will be him.
A leading activist once taught me UN values and its mission to solve the world’s most intractable problems—challenges that directly or indirectly affect us all: issues such as health, the environment, human rights and justice, peace and security, population, hunger and peacekeeping. For all of our human diversity, the UN represents the global, the local and the truly indispensable. That activist and my mentor is also my father Vijay Mehta.
People like Vijay are 1 in a million
Longstanding activist for peace, development, human rights and the environment, who along with his daughter, Renu Mehta, has set a precedent for striving to change the world.
“Life has taught me to be humble and realise how small a cog you are in this universal scheme of things. Understanding this essence of life, I try to spend every waking hour to speak, write and act for reducing violence, wars, suffering and bringing peace, justice, harmony joy and happiness. My passion and spirit is in my motto ~ Be good and do good.”