Wednesday, October 04, 2006

There is still hope

Today I have a guest writer in my blog - Gautam Dey Kanungo. He is an extremely good friend of mine and a good thinker. A small incident from his thoughts.

Read his previous post in my blog here.. Please do let me know your thoughts.

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Let me relate to you a first-hand positive experience. The second of October is celebrated as the birthday of India's Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who stands for lofty and apparently unattainable values like truth, integrity, humility...

Last year, a local university had organized a seminar where a few learned professors were to discuss Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Daisaku Ikeda and their path of non-violence. One of my friends asked me to accompany him. The seminar was presided over by a septuagenerian and the speakers were mostly 50+. As I did expect, it was a regular drool about the Gandhian values of non-violence, abstinence, et al. The
president himself seemed to be quite soporific. My cup of cynicism was spilling over.

At last, there were a few academic questions. My cynicism got the better of me and I tried to get a shot at those academics who had, from my viewpoint, come to show off values they would forget the moment they ended the seminar. Referring to William Golding's "Lord of the Flies", I did say that there will always be some good and some bad people, just as there are both creative and destructive forces within all of us. So, is it very healthy and natural to try to suppress our instincts (of
destruction) and whether it was possible at all, over the long run. The more our civilization is moving towards order, the more viciously destructive it is becoming. Earlier it used to be one neanderthal killing another. Now, it's one bomb killing thousands.

One lady professor ventures to mumble "We must use our judgement to decide what's right and what's wrong." Wow! that explained everything. But the old president is speaking to me now - as if face to face - "I agree that our society has become more lethal as compared to the Stone Age, yet I doubt if anyone of us would venture to choose an alternate life in those times. Just look at all the positive things around us - electricity, vehicles, a/c,... I must tell you that it's very easy to get bogged down by the negatives around us, but we must always remember that we are human beings - the only creatures having the power to manipulate the forces of nature around them by analysis. We must have faith on ourselves as well as on the possibility of finding a way to a constructive society. I am confident that by self-analysis, we are capable of finding a suitable solution. :-)"

Now, what do you say to that? Here was a septuagenerian speaking with such conviction, such positivity and such joy! That made me feel that not all was a dark, sad pretence. My heart waits for a revolution that will do as much welfare as the world wars did damage to the world. And I don't think it's just a chimeral dream of mine.

Amen!

4 comments:

Gaurav Jain said...

Very well written! Those words you have quoted are pretty hope-instilling. Also, the book you quoted in Lord of the Flies was a perfect example :)

Hip Grandma said...

I don't think we need to lose hope.After all every evil force meets its Waterloo.After all that Hitler did to them didn't the Jews bounce back?And look at Japan putting every world power to shame!!

HadesShades said...

Thanks Gaurav, for your appreciation.

Gautam.

HadesShades said...

Hello Grandma,
In our universe, anything that begins does end today or tomorrow. But, it's the trail that remains. Old scars are very hard to heal. Take for example, our prejudices based on religion, race, sex, ... No matter how far we advance technologically, these evils are just below the surface, ready to rear their ugly heads at an oppurtune time.
The flaw that I perceive in our social order is that while countering these evils, we tend to be reactive rather than being proactive. There is a need to pursue spreading of love with a zeal of the bloodiest soldier in the world history. Do we have that kind of motivation?
Thanks,
Gautam.