15 August, 2006

When will the wars stop?

The wars won't stop till we have a 'we-they' mentality. The hate won't stop as long as we are pointing fingers at each other.

It's a good day today - India's Independence Day - to remember the Indian non-violent struggle for independence. I admire Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence as a means to put one's point across.

A beautiful story that I want to share is shown in the movie 'Gandhi', from what I remember of it.

A man whose small child was killed in riots came to Gandhiji and said they killed my son, now I am going to kill them. Gandhiji said - I'd suggest that you find from them a child like yours whose parents have been killed in the riots. Bring him up like you would have, your child.

Now, that, I feel is the way we should be thinking today.

It all about choices all of us are making every day.

Some of us are going to be feeding our kids by selling wars, arms and ammunition, may God give such people better sense.

And then, some of us are going to earn our daily bread by going to the front lines - not to fight but to rescue the wounded and provide relief to the refugees. May God bless these efforts and protect them. My prayers are for the relief workers and the volunteers.

Some of us are going to go a step further, stand up and say - I don't just want to help the war-affected, I want to STOP the war, any war that is unjust, that murders innocent people. I wish there are lots of us who want to do that. But then, I am a dreamer like John Lennon was. And the answer my friend in blowin' in the wind as Bob Dylan sang, ages ago.

Coming back to where I started, wars will not stop till we stop pointing fingers at each other.

We need to reach across to people like us around the world, to establish personal relations, to have cultural exchanges, student exchanges, tours and visits - let the soldiers on either side see where their bombs have fallen and how many children have been blown to bits just thanks to a few triggers they clicked from their comfortable cockpit. It all looks like a video game from up there. On the ground, it's different - it's what the cables news never shows.

We need to put an end to this insanity now. We need to stop seeing each other as East, West, Muslim, Christian - we need to see each other as human beings, as sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, or if one is a Darwinist, then as products of a common gene pool.
Then, things will start to change.

To make this happen, we have our thoughts, we have our words, we have the internet. That's enough material to begin with.

Let's build bridges - of understanding, of sympathy, of forgiveness - with our words, with our interaction with people across the world.

God bless us all humans, and give us the wisdom to come through all of this together - as one race and nation. Amen.

farrukh
copywriter, journalist, peacelover

13 comments:

marwan said...

Right on, man. Right on.

MN said...

There is a great story about Buddha. A woman's son was killed and she came to him with the boy and asked if he could bring the child back to life as this was her only child and she could not bear the pain of losing him.

He said YES, but first she would have to go through the town and bring him mustard seed to make a special medicine for this. But the seed he needed had to come from a house where there had never been the pain and suffering of death, not the masters of the house, their relatives or their servants.

She was determined and went to every house, frantically searching. All offered the seed, but not one house had escaped the suffering of a death at some time.

Eventually she came back to see Buddha and she understood the mission he had sent her on. We all suffer equally and we all must bear the pain.

It does not matter what your race, religion or sexual preference may be, a senseless death is a senseless death.

Doubleletter said...

Amen

farrukh said...

Marwan:
Happy to see
You're the first to agree
The change my brother
Starts with you... and ME!

farrukh

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

mn:
I must have coffee with you sometime - we seem to have similar stories to share.

Know any Banyan tree on Sheikh Zayed road?

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

doubleletter:
doubleamen!

farrukh

archer14 said...

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Your article brought Lennons song to life..

Brilliantly written, finally a voice that does not take sides.

“Let's build bridges - of understanding, of sympathy, of forgiveness - with our words, with our interaction with people across the world.”

Wise words…most important of all, we must also educate ourselves. To reason, to choose, to agree and disagree with everyone on this planet without aggression. To not let go of our intelligence when it comes to matters of patriotism, pride, and religion.

This is all rather easier said than done.

But we all can indeed change this world, by first changing ourselves. You are what you wish to see. I believe this was Gandhi’s quote.

John B. Chilton said...

Lennon's Imagine continues:

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace


I imagine he's saying without countries (governments?, ethnic groups?, politicians?) and religion there would be peace. Lennon sounds like a libertarian atheist.

Lennon continues:
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world


People who have done more than imagine that have turned out to be totalitarians of the most horrendous variety, or they have failed utterly to create a society that takes care of peoples even most basic needs.

Actually, we need some government to establish the rule of law and to maintain property rights And we need religion to change hearts of the more talented and fortunate to be more generous towards those who are not, and to change hearts of those who would take advantage of the generous.

Those institutions - government and religion - themselves are flawed and contribute to problems of war and poverty. But I see no alternative to working with them and improving them.

archer14 said...

Indeed, govts. and religion does bring about war and poverty. But a lot can be salvaged by simply educating people.

There can be no harm in educating people. Your intelligence and intellectualism is all that can save you when you are caught in between a co-ordinated Orwellian effort to bring you - to toe their line. The US of A is a case in point.

And Lennon, I'm so thankful that he wrote that song. Apparently he doesn't believe in his creation. Yoko Ono proves this.

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

archer14:

You wrote: "To reason, to choose, to agree and disagree with everyone on this planet without aggression. To not let go of our intelligence when it comes to matters of patriotism, pride, and religion."

Very beautifully put, my friend!

I once heard someone say that education is the antidote to violence. Having said that, direct interaction with people on the other side of the fence can do wonders.

And what better than the internet - instant, cheap, accessible - to reach across the borders - and educate ourselves by talking to our brothers and sisters across the world and finding out what their life is all about.

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

John:

I completely agree with you when you say: "Actually, we need some government to establish the rule of law and to maintain property rights And we need religion to change hearts of the more talented and fortunate to be more generous towards those who are not"

Governments and religion can do so much good - the sad part is that today, in most places across the world, both these powerful institutions are in the wrong hands.

Most reasonable people are just watching the show from the sidelines, with despair. Or, carrying on with their lives as long as it is someone else's kids being blown to bits.

Tim Newman said...

Imagine no possessions

This may have carried more weight had he not been singing it from a mansion in Weybridge.

Tim Newman said...

Your intelligence and intellectualism is all that can save you when you are caught in between a co-ordinated Orwellian effort to bring you - to toe their line. The US of A is a case in point.

So the US is an example of an Orwellian effort to get its population to toe their line? Compared to where?

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