They are our countries...we can solve our own problems is the BELIEF.
The age-old conflict
The age-old conflict is still on. Sometimes the rage of conflict is felt through violence, sometimes through meetings and child-like feuds, and sometimes it is felt in the minds. The present generation is confused because they know that they have to mindlessly follow the rage, the hatred, yet they do not know why! They have not seen the separation, the snatching away of roots from people who were shifted from one end to the other. So they have never been physically attached to the object 'separation'... it is not their historicity...yet they take it upon them as their 'moral duty' to follow and continue with the rage, with the hatred. But the question is who snatched what from whom? And more intriguing question is why? As an individual whose historicity is positioned in the middle of the old and the new generations, and as part of one of the countries, I think I have the means to respond to the question. Why did we snatch, why did we separate and more so why are we still continuing with the same bitterness – the answer to all of these is belief – because our ways of looking at the world did not match. However it is not the beliefs alone that caused the snatchings, it is the inability to tolerate them that did. One says east, the other says west, one says full moon, the other says the crescent, one says pig the other says cow. We do not grow up enough to realize that these beliefs centre on the same thing – either it is the direction, or the moon, or the animals or scriptures. We do not understand that both need to worship in one direction, spare one animal from slaughter, respect the moon, and need to have a scripture to follow! We are safeguarding our scriptures, our beliefs, and not safeguarding ourselves. I shall stop right here so that I do not end up, even unconsciously offending anyone.
The purpose of my writing is not to show the differences, not to insult any belief, but to see whether we, with different beliefs, can consider re-uniting as well-meaning neighbours keeping our differences intact, for a larger cause. What is the larger cause, it is growth and development. It is peace. For a long time I thought on how to expand the word ‘grow’ – would it be more appropriate to expand it as ‘get rid of wars’ or ‘get rid of walls’? Does the answer lie in the acronym itself! Well for us to actually get rid of wars is not as simple as finding an acronym. Whether it is wars or walls we need to fight against I do not know, but I certainly know that it is time we do something worthwhile to make the countries worth living. And until the time we have this war or the wall standing between the belief, thoughts and intentions will die a thousand deaths.
Is this a fantasy?
Let me take off from reality to see what would happen should we give peace our priority. In short, we will grow. There will be an all around growth that could benefit the world more than stunning it. All the three countries sharing borders and living in despair and agony could over time turn into an area where there would be growth and development. Our countries can flourish in natural resources, abound in spices, and with the storehouse of techies we have, let alone IBMs, we could build a NASA here. No other country can match us in terms of population – population where the majorities are youngsters. A group of people who are perplexed and want to forget what happened in the past, because they were not a part of that historicity. They don’t know what happened between us in and till 1947. We have fought since our independences, which is more than sixty years. If we devote our next thirty years learning not to fight and focus on prosperity of the countries through being interdependent and through mutual help, our histories can change. But the question is whether we are prepared.
Learning from others
Let us look at the United States and Canada. Can anyone imagine any kind of tension there? Why not? Let them also have some cross-border tensions and let us give them our words of advice of maintaining peace. How would it be if we solved our problems without them intervening? And how would it be if we solved their problems! They are very firm on their relationships and know that in order to have power over the so-called ‘developing’ countries; they need to have peace in their respective lands. They have seen and learnt from the disastrous wars, which they call as ‘world wars’, the dangers and threats it can pose to growth and development. The United States emerged as the most powerful country post second world war with the economic decline of the most of Europe. Did Europe stop after that? They certainly found ways to unite as a community.
Are we weak?
Why is it that for ages we are allowing our lands to be the dumping ground of their garbage, either their products or literally their garbage! Why is it that the West till date has succeeded in selling arms and ammunitions to the so-called ‘third world’ countries? Why is it that we have to seek their permission as to what to grow on our own lands? The answer to all these questions is just one – our differences. They are harping on our differences, and Jesus we have many. But to sum it all, our Master difference is one – our belief. We are not able to sort our differences because of the people? I don’t think so. We are not able to sort our differences because of political intentions, or because of fundamentalists? I don’t think so. Blaming the people, or the fundamentalists, or the political leaders will not help. If we really need to understand why we aren’t able to solve our differences or what is it that is preventing us from accepting people of different faiths to unite, co-exist or work and live together, we need to invest some meaningful time together involving everyone and find out the answer. As of now, our differences are our weaknesses which other countries are taking full advantage of.
The blame game
How long can we blame the Brits for dividing us? Did the UK divide us or did we divide because we wanted to? I think we divided because we wanted the division – we were too intolerant to stay together. Otherwise how are we still continuing with this division, with this dissension! Now that we are divided, let us accept that and move on. Since 1947 we have accepted that we are intolerant towards our respective religions. So be it, let the religions never unite. However, for a greater cause can’t we unite as neighbours? Blaming the UK means only one thing - we can never unite because we are weak – we are victims and they are victors.
The US is undoubtedly the super power now, and they deserve to be just that. They are victors, not victims. They have also fought for years for their independence and it was not a cake walk for them to be where they are today. If they protect and safeguard the interests of their country and neighbours, they are doing it for the sake of growth and they have every right to do that. In the same way we also have the right to rise above our differences. A major wealth flows from our countries for buying arms and ammunitions. If we buy, they why blame the sellers? The sellers will sell and continue to do so but why do we buy? We buy because of our insecurity and instability. So whether we need to stop buying or not will depend on the policies we adopt as neighbouring countries. We allow tensions to float around us for them to sell us arms. Blaming the US would only make us more directionless and clueless as to how we can grow. The buying of arms is just one amongst a plethora of examples.
Our policies and politicians
I have heard of this a number of times that politicians do not want us to unite. We have tensions amongst countries because our politicians are gaining out of this created tension. I don’t know how much of truth is there in this thought. However, the truth is that no politician, in any of these countries, is greater than their people.
Why do we blame the fundamentalists? Who creates fundamentalists? What do the fundamentalists want actually? They want to continue with their own respective belief systems. Don’t we have room for letting the fundamentalists be fundamentalists and move on? Fundamentalists do not always indulge in violence, do they? Well if they do, there are ways to handle the situations. But please, let us not try to reform them. If there are fundamentalists who want to pray in their own ways, let them do what they want. Praying is not counter-productive after all. And besides, they are not against growth and development. Why do we want to make them tolerant? Our countries feel that we cannot do anything until there are no fundamentalists. I find this laughable to see that sometimes we are weak because of Europe, America, and sometimes for our own people! Be it politicians or fundamentalists, our weakness remains a given. The bottom-line is we invariably end up saying is that nothing is possible.
Who do we blame next – History or Religion?
If we have no one to blame, then we blame it on History. Blaming is comfortable because it is lazy. It is ok to be victims because then we don’t have to change. Although it makes us live in despair, still it is far more comfortable. Well the fact is that the two religions can never be together and our histories cannot change. However, we can change… if we accept that despite the differences, we need to work for peace and prosperity. Our population is a threat to the world because it is active and vibrant. The stronger countries will definitely try to dissuade us and there is nothing wrong in that. They will try to safeguard their interests. The question is whether we can safeguard ours? Does this mean we are raging war against the stronger countries? No. it means we are trying to make our own countries equally vibrant economically and ergonomically. And as far as blaming History or Religion goes, I can tell you even with my limited understanding that while History may or may not be laughing at us, Religion definitely is praying for us.
Knot, to be
All I know like most everybody is that, if one day, any day we are able to solve our own differences, break the invisible walls separating us – the ones that are stronger than the visible ones that once separated the two Germany for long, there will be growth and development and re-emergence of peace and prosperity in these three countries. The present generation would be able to live with love leaving the past inherited differences behind.
We need to
- Accept our differences
- Ensure peace, profitability and prosperity for every individual living in these three countries
- Learn from the successful European countries and the US and emulate their principles of growth
- Get rid of wars and the walls of dissension
- Stop blaming
- Have a common mission; vision and a target date for making the three countries prosper
- Understand that religions cannot unite, but neighbours can