NO TO DISINTEGRATION, YES TO REAL HARMONY | Daily News

NO TO DISINTEGRATION, YES TO REAL HARMONY

We had a semblance of unity and peace at Independence in 1948. At that time we were materially on the way to growth, prosperity and mutual acceptance of equal dignity of human persons. The solidarity that was there could have been and should have been built upon with patience, insight and wisdom. Yet we seemed to neglect attending to the three qualities of mind, heart and spirit we needed most. While the prospects of material, temporal and worldly prosperity and progress looked sound and bright - and that was part of the reason for qualifying to be granted ‘Independence’ - the spiritual, the transcendent, intangible, the supernatural and other worldly or real progress was overlooked.

Human beings become more as human beings and enhance their humanity by the spiritual and supernatural qualities in their life. It is important for every organised religious or secular human community of any kind or size to be attentive to these qualities. Spiritual, supernatural and transcendent qualities that at some point become noticeable and striking are not disembodied elements existing in the air in far away space but are visible in human persons, in their thoughts, words, attitudes and actions.

Traditionally, it is religion, religious convictions and their practice that instill these spiritual and supernatural qualities in their respective adherents. However, while those who display religious devotion externally may turn out to be devoid of inner faithfulness, there are those without any adherence to any religion who show a strong moral calibre and an exemplary integrity, decency and honourableness. Political parties should not only pay lip service to these values and feign to endorse them but strongly uphold and promote them among their cadres as these qualities and values are absolutely necessary for socio-political and economic progress and to authenticate political parties themselves.

Parents inculcate right principles and right values in their children from their youngest days at home and teachers reinforce them as their charges advance in years. When parents and teachers neglect their duties, the character of children and students and their social conscience do not got formed. They could even get deformed. If these qualities are not so visible among the members of the main political parties, it means these qualities have not been strongly inculcated in them in their home upbringing and school education and discipline nor in their political party apprenticeship and initiation. Those individuals who have been accused of large-scale fraudulence and corruption and have not acquitted themselves and exonerated of guilt are the miserable miscreants of society however high they may have risen in the religious, socio-economic and political ladder.

VACUOUS RELIGIONS

Religions become stale and mildewed when the sharing of joys and sorrows, mutual aspirations of hope, visions of solidarity, the happiness of guilelessness and serenity of spiritual joy and abstentions of transgressions and misbehaviour are dried up and deadened. When the teachings of religions are not well grasped and lived in depth, religions are turned vacuous and emptied of substance and turned to meaningless rituals, heaping burdens on others and becoming even means of grabbing money and worldly power. In the lives of adherents’ dejection, melancholic gloom, dispiritedness and spiritual emptiness and stern unsympathetic attitudes, wicked exercise of strong arm tactics predominate. When religions seem not to inform, influence and form each individual follower of religion, but engage in buttressing the prejudices, biases, half truths and emotional tendencies that militate against human solidarity, fraternity and integration, religions get shrivelled, lose relevance and even become meaningless. Those who profess to be ensuring good care of religions do not seem to be caring of human values and human rights nor taking good care of human beings, relationships among them in the groups and in the larger community and the environment of humanity; thereby they distort and warp, misunderstand, misread and misinterpret both religions and human beings and human society. Some social and political reformers too have defaulted in the same way.

It is up to circumspective intelligent men and women to ponder and perceive whether they have understood well the core teachings of the religions and whether the following of religious precepts makes their adherents more human, better human beings, and connect them to other human beings in fraternity and spiritual solidarity or estranges from them.

RELIGIOUS VALUES AND POLITICAL CONCEIT

When the community life of the people of any land is afflicted with wide relational and socio-economic and political disparities, the bonds of human solidarity tend to breakdown and even cease to exist. The contradictions in such a society erupt in disruptions which sometimes are politically engineered for partisan purposes and due to purely personal selfishness. If a religion in such a community with inter-relational problems cannot prevent the breakdown of relationships among different people, such a religion and its authorities have lost the power of persuading people to adhere to the tenets of fraternity and loving kindness, perhaps and often because they themselves do not sustain and vindicate those values in their own lives.

Revolutions that promised to restore the dignity, rights, fraternity, equality, liberty and humanness of human beings have ended up losing control and direction resulting in annihilation, assassination and mass murders of millions of human persons. Just as spiritual and supernatural qualities in a person could influence and enhance another person and lead to common good by building a culture of loving care and compassion, aesthetic growth and mystical advancement, the character flaws and glaring deficiencies of a rebel leader could impact in a way that misleads and results in the destruction not only of individual persons and groups of human beings but also huge masses of people ending in extermination of ethnic groups and even genocide.

States based on religion-denying political ideologies even after many decades of totalitarianism, imposition of atheism by force, destruction of places of worship, persecution and unjust trials and imprisonment of religious authorities have failed to obliterate or suppress the natural religious inclinations of human beings. This has confirmed the fact that religion-denying atheistic ideologues do not have the intellectual capacity and the rationality to know what human nature is and what natural basic attractions and desires are consonant with such a nature nor the capacity for tolerance, to forebear the legitimate and non violent desires of other human beings.

GRANDIOSE SELF-IMAGE OF POLITICIANS

A predominant weakness of political leaders blighted by mediocrity is that they suffer from pretentious grandiose and imaginative ideas of themselves thinking that destiny entitles them to power and the highest possible positions and privileges irrespective of their inferior abilities and the wishes of the people who elect them. Many politicians have no idea as to how they are weighed and evaluated by the people; many are incapable of looking at the mirror of the people and seeing themselves as they are politically. The poverty of their interior dispositions do not enable them to look back at themselves humbly. Their misguided conceit prevents them from listening to good counsel. They would rather listen to those who pander to their flashy and grandiose make-believe self-images in the making. Besides these there are the self-absorbed and successful deceivers; the people need to be saved from their clutches.

BUILDING REAL HARMONY

The whole of our society is not in a satisfactory, democratic and genuinely harmonious state where there is a tangible unity in solidarity, serenity in justice and peace. That is the reason why the majority of the intelligent and right-thinking people should relentlessly exert themselves to set right not only the structures of society that need to be corrected but also convert the hearts and minds of all the people to an authentic humanness in which every human person could relate to others in unfeigned solidarity and true fraternity. It is only then that space is created for a vibrant democracy to come into existence.

Every single citizen should be helped to develop and mature himself/herself to be a responsible citizen concerned about the whole of our national society without forgetting the rest of the world for we are all citizens of it and bound with all mankind. Though they could be, not all political parties are active contributors towards that goal of making all the people good citizens. They themselves if they are engaged in politics should become unselfish citizens respectful of all other citizens without discrimination, upholding democratic values in their entirety and concerned about the common good. Everyone would be free to have one’s own views and outlook on life and to persuade others of it. But it could be done keeping to mutual openness and respect. No one needs to forfeit anyone’s friendship or become anyone’s enemy on any account.

Any citizen, even a very responsible citizen, could make bona fide mistakes; but there should be no citizen so irresponsible as to do anything that causes destructive social chaos.

But if with honesty and goodwill we strive together it is possible to get every community organisation of any worth, be they religious, social, economic or political, to positively contribute to promoting just democratic, communitarian, socio-cultural, religious and human values, so that the whole of the human society is integrated and built up and humanly enhanced to make of it a truly human community of a high civilizational and cultural level with a pleasant harmony and perfect peace. If we fail in such an endeavour we would end up in inimical rivalry and inevitably disintegrate and degenerate into an abnormal and inhuman one.


 

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