Seriously, is there a way out?

After the Mumbai terror, we are all upset, angry and want everything done. What is that entirely depends on the nature of the person or the position he or she is in. I see that Thomas Friedman, who called the world flat now wants it to be a village. Very sensible I think.

I quote: 'Because, I repeat, this kind of murderous violence only stops when the village - all the good people in Pakistan, including the community elders and spiritual leaders who want a decent future for their country - declares, as a collective, that those who carry out such murders are shameful unbelievers who will not dance with virgins in heaven but burn in hell. And they do it with the same vehemence with which they denounce Danish cartoons.'

Is he thinking of small manageable tribal villages and not the global village? Whatever, I wondered whether at my age, would I be consulted as an elder in one of these small segments of humanity. A modern Rishi as it were. I remember reading that the influence of the rishis was such that tigers and deers lived in harmony in their retreats in the forest.

Assuming that this indeed was a possibility, I looked at my credentials as a person of peace. Do I have the aura of a swami and the authority of spirituality to impress upon people in the village that it is evil to kill, in self defense or in retaliation? Could I give them a dream which the village would accept and adapt? A dream so wonderful that it would spread across the village, global or not, and change the world.

It is not surprising that after serious introspection, I gave up this idea and thought it is better to find solutions differently. I looked hopefully for practical ideas from (my friend) the world wide web.

Here is one such:

What are the most obvious first steps toward a civilized, war-free world?
I. A World Police Force to Replace all National Military Forces.
II. A World Court with all the Powers Necessary to Enforce its Rulings.
III. Several Years of Peace in which the New World Police and World Court Show that they Can Do the Work Formerly Performed by National Military Forces.
IV. Disarmament of all National Military Forces, Phased in Over Many Years.

The suggestion is ...................................! ( I leave it you to comment!)

Then again I saw this as I kept looking for some hope for peace!
The Future of War and Peace By Eric Hobsbawm
The 20th century was the most murderous in recorded history. The total number of deaths caused by or associated with its wars has been estimated at 187m, the equivalent of more than 10% of the world's population in 1913. Taken as having begun in 1914, it was a century of almost unbroken war, with few and brief periods without organised armed conflict somewhere. It was dominated by world wars: that is to say, by wars between territorial states or alliances of states.

It is a fascinating study and the conclusion is as expected a mixed one. A tentative forecast: war in the 21st century is not likely to be as murderous as it was in the 20th. But armed violence, creating disproportionate suffering and loss, will remain omnipresent and endemic - occasionally epidemic - in a large part of the world. The prospect of a century of peace is remote.

Indeed the 20th century had so many wars and conflicts. This website below gives us a break up of deaths caused by war.

And our contribution to this statistics is as below. If you think about it, this could have been really avoidable and we could have had a relatively clean record for the 20th century:
1947: Partition of India and Pakistan (1 million)
1949-: Indian Muslims vs Hindus (20,000)
1986-: Indian Kashmir's civil war (60,000)

They are still adding up the numbers for Genocide in twentieth century. I do not know the number for murder, another hideous type of violence. I am sure I can find it somewhere in the web.

I had seen this 'Delhi notebook' recently with a sense of despair about our policies and our leaders: Delhi notebook - malnutrition and malls
By Chris Morris BBC News, Delhi 17 Oct 2008

"And why not? Many Indians are doing very nicely, thank you. Perhaps as many as two million households earn $100,000 a year or more, as the economy continues to grow at impressive speed.
And if you've got it in 21st century India, you tend to flaunt it. The days of homespun Gandhian simplicity are long gone.
But two thirds of this country's population still survives on less than $2 a day. When the numbers are that large, trickle down economics doesn't work on its own.
And that means that child malnutrition could slow the rise of 21st century India. Increasingly the government knows it and it says change has to be a priority.
The money to make a difference is certainly there, but it now has to be deployed with consistent political will. Otherwise malnutrition will remain India's national shame."

I feel good that our awakened middle class and responsible businessmen are going after our netas, pushing for improvements including our security. I do hope that an other form of violence, namely the malnutrition of children due to poverty, will also get their due attention.


Varsha Nair said…
Well said - written, researched Nidhi. Its obvious that we humans are the only thinking animals that, unlike the rest of the so-believed-to-be "unthinking" animal kingdom, are knowingly violent towards each other. And that violence includes ignoring the poor, and even perpetuating poverty in many ways. I mean poverty also of the mind, where so many young minds are brainwashed by someone propounding twisted versions of people's beliefs.
Raghu said…

In reply to what I said when I sent out a link to my blog!

"I am happy that the middle class is taking positive steps and is getting ready to teach the netas a lesson.
While I sound pessimistic I still do hope that India has changed after the Terror attack in Mumbai and things will be better." Nidhi

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