Category Archives: Pushpa Iyer

Pushpa Iyer is the Director of the Center for Conflict Studies. She specializes in identity conflicts, non-state armed groups, civil wars, peace processes and peacebuilding in post-war societies. She is currently a faculty member at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and its first Chief Diversity Officer.

Introducing Wandering Thoughts

By Pushpa Iyer

These are Earth shattering times! Tsunami, Tornadoes, Volcanoes, Floods and Earthquakes are headlines pouring in from different corners of the world on any one given day. Simultaneously, headlines about wars, violent killings, hate, and anger that characterise the nature of our relationships with those we consider as ‘others’ are commonplace. Headlines describing the violent, barbaric and greedy qualities of men and women ironically makes some secure in knowing that we Homo sapiens, still have the power to shake the world. Others experience more insecurity; from their perspective, these headlines confirm that their world can be shattered by some privileged people who hold all the power.

There are also the less prominent headlines that tell us about peace in some tiny part of the world, about the goodness of people, and about the great achievements made to better our world. For some, these stories restore faith in humanity. Others pay fleeting attention; for them, the feel good factor is restricted to self, the courtesy does not extend to fellow humans.

Clearly, our experiences shape the way we read and internalise all the information coming our way. And sometime we are just confused with many conflicting images and messages. We therefore choose what we want to read, we retain what we think is relevant and conclude with our opinion which we may or may not choose to voice.

Expressing one’s opinion, during different stages of its formation, requires courage as it involves disclosing who we really are and what we really stand for. However, having a safe forum means we can be assured of people listening in the face of disagreement while we candidly express our personal values, beliefs and biases.

I sincerely hope that you use this forum, Wandering Thoughts, to build courage to exercise your right to have a voice. This also means that each one of us should make the effort to respect others’ opinion and maintain a healthy dialogue with everyone on the forum.

Wandering Thoughts is a collection of ideas, opinions and experiences that comes from us wandering through a myriad of Earth shattering events that we encounter. Together and through this forum, let us develop a deeper understanding the world and its people.