Feb 28, 2009

History is His-Story

Somebody in my commute shuttle made this rather observant observation the other day - "India seems to be dazed with potential confrontations from neighbors on all frontiers - east, west , south and the north" ( or any of their angular permutations)....And that seemed to half-open some fatigued mind's eye in my mind.. Another somebody in the same shuttle nodded dispiritedly (his spectacles notwithstanding the nod) and posed this rather oft-repeated , but seldom-answered philosophical pointer - "What is your suggestion offered as a solution to all these world issues?"... I happened to be the unfortunate creature sitting opposite to this another somebody, and consequently, my eyes met his, just as he completed his nugget. And that eye-encounter completely opened up my half-open mind's eye - I blurted out loud - "India should inculcate spirituality to its citizens and the rest of the world"..Was that something close to 42?

A quick and so possibly inaccurate analysis of the root causes of the state's issues delineates the following - religion, ethnicity, simple economic or social freedom or more profound political hegemony. These, in reality in most cases, are not the causes, but alibis. Nine times out of ten, offenses seem to be committed in the name of these causes, supposedly for these causes, and by the torchbearers of these causes, but on another astute look, these are committed to satiate the voluptuous animal-instinct-driven desire to "even-out" the previous offenses. It's all in the individual's mind...the human ego is the most dangerous entity in the world...If that is brought under considerable control, some (and a considerable some) of the prevalent issues might be addressed.

Getting spiritual, in the exact sense of the word is a daunting (maybe a little fatuous) thing to ask for , to the happy-go-lucky youthful citizen of the state. Not many would remain tongue-tied or limbs-tied when confronted in a nasty verbal duel, but most folks,
can circumvent the start of any verbal duel at all, with just "some tolerance to the supposedly extraneous elements of culture and brotherhood".

Thatz the keyword - tolerance. If the slum-dwelling or bungalow-residing citizen of the state understands that there is a world much bigger than their biggest slums or bungalows and which has interspersed cultures and societies that have evolved in much similar ways as theirs, and learn to tolerate the non-congruent pieces of the similar cultures, and realize the folly of expending their seemingly infinite energies on frivolous diminutives,would certainly bring down the number of emanating bitter broils, if not control all the existing feuds.

Am not indoctrinating complete obeisance to injustice or infiltration, a state and its societies ought to be bolstered by a daunting defense system, that dosen't attack at the drop of a gun. Not to trike back when struck, to disobey and to disregard the opponent are, in my opinion, more powerful weapons, that those emerging from the nucleus of the atom, for they miniscule the more threatening entity - the human ego. However, it takes a great deal of maturity of the mind to practise non-violence. Considering India's Independence story and the great soul who championed non-violence, it is seemingly not totally impossible in India. That calls for another pedestal of mind though, and more surmountingly, another Gandhi. Nonetheless, tolerance , the first step toward non-violence is quite probable. So, let's look within before we leap...


jai said...

Well, India is not a nation of saints any more. If you want to make something to happen, you need to fight for it. As for non-violence, how about the people who lost their lives in mindless violence (Gujarat riots, Bombay riots, terrorism in NE and Kashmir), do they get a second chance?.

srikumar said...

I got reminded of the small story i read in EQ, where warring sides stopped for a brief while to let buddhist monks to pass by. In some ways, its the right solution, agreed. Problem is, multitude of paths to the same solution leads to a war about which of the paths is better. another catch-22.

anycase, disobeying and disregarding in these times will be like how vadivelu is in movies. getting beaten up to the pulp !!

Lakshmi said...

Hmm..not sure which side to take, support strike backs or take the path of non-violence??
As to the question of tolerance, India is definitely a very tolerant country. Look at the numerous attacks that Pakistan has launched on us during the past decade (in the guise of LeT or any of their numerous supposedly outlawed terrorist groups). If we were not half as tolerant as we are, we should have gone to war atleast 5 times in the past one decade.
So, in a way (whether consciously or unwittingly) we are practising some form of non-violence. And what is the result, have they stopped??
Non-violence worked during our freedom struggle because we frustrated the British by non-cooperation..
In today's political scenario, there is no question of co-operation or non-cooperation. So non-cooperation does not come into picture.
We just want to be left in peace to run our lives, while we are constantly harrased by our neighbours.So,in times like these I dont suppose non-violence is going to help us. There i have come to a decision finally!

Kumar said...

Actually there is UN just to create peace in the world but has it achieved its goal. Prabhupada in his lectures in 1960's used say the UN will never be able to achieve it. Why ?. becasuse the uniting principle itself is wrong. In the UN each nation has its own vested interests and are trying to make sure they protect their interests at all costs.

Just as an example they would dump surplous food grains in the sea but never give it for free to a poor suffering nations. There are so many african nations congo et al where kids perpetually starve. They have programs to dump huge E-Waste and other things instead into these poor countries by paying a small amount to those countries.

The uniting principle according to Bhagavat Gita : All Living beings are son's of one GOD. All that exists belongs to GOD, it is the property of GOD. If everyone realizes this then there is no need to have Borders, BSF, Nuclear Bombs etc, because we are all children of the same GOD and hence have equal rights, we are siblings who need to help each other when required.

PS said...

"Give and Take" and "Let Go" have been lost somewhere in our paths to progress. Maybe if we started using these words again , things may change.

Regarding India being dazed by possible confrontations, its a bigger problem. Even if the people within India adopted a Let go approach, the politico-economic concerns in the region would keep the threat of the confrontation alive.

Rahul Dhinakaran said...

Nice point. But note tht Israel is also in a similar position i.e. surrounded by failed states. They deal with that in a manner completely opposite to what you have said here. Cant say that thier method is effective but atleast something happens to the opposition. Personally i would love to take up your suggestion and spread spirituality to the citizens. My question is would this stop our neighbours or will they become more confident. Look at whats happening to Tibet which is a completely spiritual country. THey are being run over by the chinese. It could work either way. The safe option is to have a strong military and then practise spiritualism to a certain extent. Contrasting but i dont see any other way.

Rahul Dhinakaran
Kalki Mechanical Prototypes

Ganapathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ganapathy said...

To say that something is a universal solution is the same associating it with divinity. The Mahatma made it very clear that he wasn't divine. Non violence worked with the British because 1. They were completely dependent on Indians to rule India and 2. They believed in the moral superiority of the system that they had created in India. The Mahatma destroyed the moral foundations of the empire.
Deifying his non violence without understanding his political genius will distort his legacy.