Journey of Prem Rawat: Champion of World Peace
Promoting peace, good, and re-education
The Senate of the Republic of Italy hosted Prem Rawat for the fourth time at a conference organized by Senator Arnaldo Lomuti with the collaboration of Piero Scutari in the Minister’s presence of Justice Alfonso Bonafede and Senator Ms. A. Maiorino.
The conference, which was followed live all over the world, offered the option of an educational experience, capable of forming aware citizens and open to the hope of a better life. Prem Rawat, “World Ambassador for Peace,” a recognition he received with the protocol signed at the European Parliament in 2011, has dedicated his life to the promotion of peace, to the good, and to the re-education of “sinners” in prisons.
To date, Prem Rawat boasts the record of meeting 100,000 inmates in over 600 prisons on all continents to communicate the value of freedom, reintegration into society at the end of the sentence, and to promote the gradual reduction of crimes with the consequent closure of prisons with the advantage of cost relief for governments.
The advocate of peace elaborated on a three-year study presented at Harvard University made by the Ministry of Justice of an Indian state in which 5,000 prisoners took part with a surprising result: the decrease in recidivism rates with less than 100 prisoners returning to prison in a 3-year period resulting in the closure of 5 prisons.
His commitment has also extended to prisons in Italy: in Palermo, Mazara del Vallo, Venice and in the prisons of Basilicata. A better defined “apostolic” function that Prem Rawat has been divulging for decades and defined by him as a “peaceful social transition”
According to the Minister of Justice Bonafede, every person who enters prison represents a failure of society. Redeeming people who have made a mistake and making them become a productive part is a success. This is the investment that the states must make to help remove the risk of recidivism, which can also benefit the community.
In the Italian legal system, the re-educational function of the sentence finds its recognition in art including 27 of the Constitutional Charter which says, “We consider it essential to promote an educational path aimed at stimulating a growth of awareness in the perspective of reintegration into society, where often at the basis of a deviant action there is a lack of self-awareness.”
Senator (and lawyer) Arnaldo Lomuti reiterated: “The punishment cannot consist in a treatment contrary to humanity but must have a re-educational function that we must carry out in an opportunity for the prisoner to understand the mistakes made and correct his propensity to an antisocial life, adapt his behavior towards social values – a re-educational path that must make people understand the consequences of certain behaviors and interpersonal relationships.
“I visited the prisons of Basilicata together with my collaborator and travel companion Piero Scutari, met the governing body that governs these environments, and discovered that it is a world unto itself,” said Senator Lomuti.
As long as the force of peace is greater than that of violence, we will always have the hope of being able to have a better country and society. He quoted Nelson Mandela’s words that he defines verses that speak to the heart:
“I have always known that in the human heart there are pity and generosity. Nobody was born hating their fellow men because of the race, religion, class to which they belong. If men learn to hate they can learn to love, because love for the human heart is more natural than hatred. In man, goodness can be hidden but never completely extinguished.”
Senator Alessandra Maiorino, engaged in civil services, said: “The inmates who deny their guilt brought me back to Homeric society where the hearts and minds of men and women were overwhelmed by feelings instilled in their minds.”
Today, we know that our emotions are born from within and not instilled by gods or demons outside our bodies and minds. Yet we continue to behave in the same way as those men and women described in the ancient poems who were not themselves in committing things they repented of and would atone for their lifelong guilt. They felt they had been the victims of forces outside of them. Mr. Rawat’s teaching “Know thyself” is truly the key to inner balance.
Socrates insisted on getting the message “Good is worth it” and that no one makes a mistake of his own free will. It has been said that the closure of prisons contributes to economic savings. Rawat spoke of social fractures – some people told him “if I had known this program earlier, I would never have gone back to prison.” Why wait for people to make mistakes, to violate those written but poorly explained rules, such as: “When you cross that line, then there is the penalty?” The solution lies in the school. Teaching our kids to know themselves, educating to empathy.
Words that come from the heart spoken in the right way can serve as steppingstones along the road to understanding. Knowing how to listen to what others feel, knowing themselves, reading their emotions and those of others means being in tune with what surrounds us. Seneca said: “We spend our life taking care of something else, that is not life, it is empty time. Although our life is not that short, we have a reasonably long time to live, but we spend it after futile things. In reality, the portion of life we truly live is the short one. Prem Rawat’s teachings should go into schools; then we would really close prisons. I hope that all of us can live longer and have a shorter empty time.”
The opinion of a great-renowned lawyer, Oreste Bisazza Terracini
The lawyer Oreste Bisazza Terracini, (OBT), accepting the request to express his opinion on the subject discussed in the Senate, agreed with the position of those who are concerned about the recovery of civil society of people who have contravened the rules of social coexistence that must be reinserted in the civil context and on the importance that the citizen has the possibility of being inserted in the society in which they take care of him from the moment of his birth, also referring to the school, to the family.
Here, too, the discourse becomes broader, specify OBT, because it refers to the possibility of acting on the young adult citizen in general. And he added: “We can affect a personality or person exclusively in two ways: either by soliciting the emotionality, then relying on his emotion, or by leveraging his intelligence, his reasoning faculty, on his mind. However, it is difficult to rely too much on the mind – not because they do not want to rely too much to be convinced, but because the arguments that require reasoning do not take place easily, while emotionality is much more accessible.”
And, to the question: what can be taken into consideration in such a situation when talking about emotionality, he replied: “Something, perhaps the oldest that we can examine in relation to the user of this material, excuse me if I call it matter, is religion. That is, it is necessary to affect man’s sense of religiosity because, he is convinced that the behavior must be positive, because of superstition to the reason of an emotional drive, there is more probability that he then approaches the rational part of the mind in a more adequate way. So, he renews his welcome to Prem Rawat’s initiative, to those who have shown interest in the subject and want to take it forward.”
And he considers what Senator A. Maiorino proposed as positive and appreciable, to be held in high regard. The lawyer Oreste Bisaza Terracini concluded in his capacity as “Coordinator of the League of Human Rights,” proposing his availability to be able to deepen the subject and try to be active in this field.