Nations and people become self-centered – ups and downs

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April 26, 2022 | 04:58 IST

Nations and people become self-centered – ups and downs

Jean-Eric Gomes

First the benefits: Becoming self-sufficient and not having to depend on other nations is a laudable goal, especially in the defense sector, which includes cyber and space dominance. To this end, the promotion of Atmanirbhar by the government is commendable. India is endowed with most of the necessary mineral and natural wealth, including a demographic dividend from its peoples which the government must harness effectively. The nation is better off if it can achieve economic independence and pursue its own political and cultural course without interference from vested interests and the foreign hand. In fact, the father of our nation Mahatma Gandhi had died against “the God of materialization” and proposed the Swadeshi economy starting with the people and the Panchayats at the grassroots level. Prime Minister Modi has charted a roadmap with the 3 Ds of democracy, demographic dividend and demand building on our population of 1.4 billion consumers. With inner confidence and hopefully growing economic and industrial power, it is unfortunate that Covid-19 has put a damper on work, but it has also shown us that de-globalization may not be so good idea.

Cons: The pandemic has reinforced the need for globalization and brought to the fore the sharing of science, technology and resources, as well as the realization that no one is immune to contamination in the world. world today if not everyone is safe! Restrictive emigration policies affect access to global finance, cross-cultural exchanges and encourage wide income disparities. The poor may not get premium goods or good education at economical prices and are left behind due to their inability to avail themselves of new job and facility requirements to improve their capabilities. For example, job losses and IT and digital literacy requirements, participation in the growth of robotics and artificial intelligence operations, etc. Global channels and knowledge sharing like in space, science and technology research have been of great benefit to mankind. The chilling situation of an American astronaut descending from an international space station in a Russian spacecraft with his Russian counterparts at the height of the tensions of the Ukrainian war between the two nations is a stark example of this!

On a personal level, yoga teaches that everyone should strive for a healthy mind in a healthy body with a human soul. The pleasures and riches of the world are on the circumference and the struggle for peace and contentment can only be attained by peaceful souls. Before politicians started dividing us, it was possible to live in peace with minimal violence and spread more love than hate. To quote the Dalai Lama: “It is only through compassion and inner peace that we can spread peace in the world. A peaceful individual can build a peaceful family, then a peaceful community, then a peaceful world.”

Rabindranath Tagore tells us, “Do not go to the temple to lay flowers at God’s feet, first fill your own house with fragrant flowers. Do not go to the temple to light candles before the altar of God, first remove the darkness of sin from your heart. Do not go to the temple to bow your head in prayer, first learn to bow in humility before your fellow men! Do not go to the temple to pray on your knees, first bend down to lift someone who is oppressed. Do not go to the temple to ask forgiveness of your sins, first forgive with all your heart those who have sinned against you”.

The New World Order: We now preach “Sab ke saath, vikas, vishwas” but display mainstream arrogance, state patronage for vigilantes, communal discord creating violence, and even priests preaching and inciting hatred and the audience applauding with “Jai Sri Ram” to call for the rape of women from a particular community! Democracy was diluted with the majority in Parliament bulldozing draconian laws and passing bills without proper discussion, removing most of the checks and balances that existed in governance, to allow the ruling party to impose a new idea of ​​India by imposing Hindutva philosophy targeting minorities, openly provoking their religious duties, what they wear, eat, social norms followed, language, freedom to choose who they marry, using any means possible, like before the elections inhumanely targeting and quickly razing residences/shops as punishment after riots to enforce their mandate.

Internationally we have Russia denigrating Ukrainians who don’t toe their Nazi line, invading their country with all their military might, bombing cities to rubble killing, terrorizing/inflicting war crimes and being responsible for over 5 million people, mostly old people, women and children fleeing in terror as penniless refugees seeking refuge in foreign lands.

At the UN, Russian aggression is castigated by 98 nations, but supported by 24, and 58 nations, including India, remain neutral! The new world order is based on self-interest where humanity, morality, honor, righteousness and economy take precedence over politics. Secret international intrigues are exposed in the persecution of Wiki Leaks founder Julian Aasange. Noam Chomsky, while berating Putin, reportedly said that if international laws were strictly enforced, every American president after WWII would be guilty of war crimes! Primitive man had to create weapons to survive in dangerous jungles. Are we now savages in our own concrete, egocentric high-tech jungles? Unless Vasudaiva kutumbakum (the world is one family) materializes, nations make just laws and all agree to enforce them strictly with deterrent consequences for non-compliance, peace is impossible!

(The author is a retired naval officer, freelance writer residing in Porvorim)

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