Saturday, December 2, 2023

A happier and healthier world – is it anathema?

MR Lalu

Ravages of war have seized the momentum of joy across the globe. Be it Ukraine or Israel, wars are justified for various reasons and condemned as well. There have been helpless debates and discussions, anger and admonishment, sympathy and empathy all over the world. But nothing seems to give warmongering a halt. That is the terrible part of it. As rockets rain fire from the skies, heaves for life get saturated under the rumbles with all prospects of rescue fade away. Nobody bothers to count the lifeless bodies that scatter in flesh and blood on the streets. Homeless families and orphaned kids cross borders with millions joining the line seeking asylum in their neighborhood and elsewhere. Demographic scenario of war zones and the countries sharing borders with them undergo drastic changes with lasting effect. Green patches of prosperity get crushed into the dryness of deserts and the price that warmongering pays to win a war would be limitless. Resources for human survival dry out and supply chains get crumbled. What else is war if it is not devastation, lamentation and humanity dispossessed of basic freedom to live in a happy and healthy living atmosphere? Russia-Ukraine bloodshed has become a long-term affair of madness and its ruthlessness is no more a subject of critical examination. Things get easily brushed aside in our brain and with the passage of time war becomes a normal, usual affair. How long can wars be subjects of inquisition and concern when we have a pile of issues for taking our arms and armaments to defend our cause?

History is embedded with instances of acrimony and barbarity and civilizational shifts. Remember, the Chinese had to build the Great Wall to keep the barbarous invaders away.     A perfect answer to what had ultimately turned this globe into a planet of acrimony and savagery is not available. One thing is clear. Don’t think everything is beautiful here. At least the human mind, with all humility, we can say, is the place where sinister acrimony sprouts and spreads and gets articulated. From world wars to the numerous wars big and small fought between countries and territories and clans and civilizational branches, animosity has been reverberating from the human mind since it evolved into recognizing danger in the existence of the man next door. Paranoia is seizing the process of human evolution with all applicable solutions being enfeebled. Exclusive religious philosophies with their ideological alacrity could be seen fighting for intellectual hegemony and stretching their predatory wings into new territories, explicitly with the purpose of destroying the innate wisdom of the land which is under its captivity and vigorously campaigning for a better world. All they want is to capture and crumble the world into a unilateral living space where everything looks the same, everybody prays the same way and dresses the same robe and shouts the same slogan and visits the same religious place. History is indicative of the fact that diversity was profane and the force with which they hammered on the world was too hard that great civilizations collapsed and vanished and the flow of human intelligence unfolding into the beauty of its multiplicity was severely shattered. And of course, demography’s transition was taking an aggressive shift consistently. Things haven’t changed much even today.

There is an irresistible tendency to justify atrocity in the name of religion, region and ethnic identities. The Israel –Hamas conflict is the latest and perfect embroidery of human ruthlessness on the canvas of time. With hundreds of innocent lives being lost and women and children under the captivity of terrorists with a perceived threat of being butchered, the limited land space is filled with horror and lamentations. Bereaved and displaced and hopelessly thrown out of their living spaces, what they (Israelis and Palestinians) are left with is unending agony. Israel was caught by surprise by the Hamas atrocity and its misadventure brought catastrophic devastation to both sides. In true sense, have we lost the last chance to live a happier and healthier life on the planet? How long can the sole inhabitant of the planet, the human-being, with his meticulously loaded brilliance live a life that is caught between fear, grief and foreboding? As extreme chances of horror grip the fragrance of life on a daily basis with sickening barbarity and violence becoming a normal affair; conscience, compassion and empathy have lost their significance and space.

Academic studies would deeply delve into the reasons that enabled a handful of Hamas terrorists to cross the well-guarded borders of Israel. But things wouldn’t stop there. Staggeringly, wherever war is fought, enmity would continue to have its control over the imaginations of many generations. They would grow listening to the ballads of horror, dispossession, sacrifice, displacement and of course tales of great valor would further embolden their commitment to wait and grab chances for retribution, which means, the world would get soaked in blood again and again. Though multiple infuriating rivalries are put on hold at present, a volcanic eruption of enmity with its rarity in its quantum of destruction would strike the world again in various corners with more lives sacked to death and buried under the rubbles of insensitivity and insanity. Sadly, we seem to have decided to leave this world as the most horrible place to live in. Undoubtedly, the fear and predicament that had risen from the debris of devastation would dissipate over the passage of time and the world would once again roll back to its multiple elements of struggle that make human existence possible. Things would begin to look natural, and the flow of life would once again gain momentum.  But a question seems to be emanating from the backyards of human history, as to how and when we can get our globe on our side with its purity restored and divinity balanced.  A time for a harsh wakeup call for humanity has come, ensuring a collective and non-confrontational existence with values of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is one family) deeply penetrating everywhere.  We deserve a happier and healthier world, don’t we?

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