Thursday, July 1, 2010

A global paradigm for peaceful existence in the wake of sectarian deficiencies

It is perhaps our natural tendency, as humans, to form sects. Starting with the commonality as humans, the sects spiral down into subtler ones - religion, nation, regionalism, casteism, sub-casteism/gender, family, etc; with us claiming membership in one or more of these as per our need. The more I think of an ideal sect catering to the whole of humanity, the more I am convinced that all existing narrow sects fail in doing so - either from personal or empirical evidence. It’s only a feeling of compassion towards fellow humans that, I believe, will lead to a conflict-free world. Although, I guess I will have most of the readers on board with the deficiencies of casteism, I might have some trouble in proving the deficiencies of a nationalistic outlook. In this post, I will try to systematically present the deficiencies in each of the sub-sects; and elucidate how one arrives at humanity as the only logical super-sect beneficial to everyone
  • Nationalism: In the background of our freedom struggle and the constant overtures played to the tune of patriotism, it is hard to accept this ideal’s shortcoming. If this were the golden paradigm catering to our goal of a peaceful world, why the multitude of conflicts between neighboring countries? And mind you, there are good number of them with religion playing no role – The two Koreas, Our problem with China- the latter constantly encroaching our terrain, the supercilious attitude of USA towards Canada; and the best example-the Cold War between the erstwhile USSR and USA.
  • Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of our heritage; but it’s just that nationalism is not a global solution. One faces the dilemma of when to stop (I mean at what level) raving about other’s accomplishments?  It’s okay for you to speak highly of the Indian cricket team’s accomplishments and not of stalwarts from your caste? That’s not logically consistent, is it? And yet if you were to speak highly of people from your caste, you are bordering on the highly thin line of caste mania. The blue print of nationalism can be used in these apparently wrong ways too.
  •  Religion and Caste: A brief return to the history and you find Shivaites and Vaishnavaites, Shias and Sunnis, Catholics and Protestants etc fighting in the name of the omnipotent.  Ah! The classics of balayya babu portraying the fight between Reddys in Seema, the fight between Viswa Brahmins and Brahmins, etc suffices to demonstrate the incapacity of this sectarian outlook.  Apart from the great probability of internal conflicts in these sects, it gives certain unfounded privileges to the guys from the apparently “superior” castes for no credibility of their own.
The global paradigm:
Considering the hypothetical situation that the global paradigm of fellow compassion is followed, all good that is expected to happen from sub-sectarian ideas will naturally follow. You will do good to your fellow countrymen, men of the same religion, caste, sub-caste as you; and also your family members. This is because of the all encompassing nature of the paradigm. The encompassing nature is only forward; i.e. nationalism cannot work backward to serve the entire human race. Nor can religion, region or any other narrow sect.
This is not fed to the masses because they are more dependent on the adrenaline to effect themselves into action. To achieve good at a local level, thoughtful personalities have manufactured the sub-sects –regionalism, casteism etc. A commonality apparent to the eye and that which works for the case in hand is better; especially if you want quick results.