June 14, 2024

The Scoop India

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The Path from War to Peace

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The provocateurs and perpetrators of the war acts need to relook and re-examine their issues in the pure shining divine light of dharma and refine their understanding to align it with facts

The path from war to peace can be short or long. It can be smooth or thorny. It can be destructive or protective. Wars in this world of humans have always erupted through the course of history—between human factions, communities or nations.

Justifications for waging wars have ranged from logical to glib to untenable. Wars inevitably bring death and destruction to both the warring parties—the victor and the vanquished. Wars culminate in the victory of one party and establish peace, but at what cost? The cost is often humongous. Wars between nations not only unleash the forces of death and destruction but also cause regression and recession. 

As stated above, wars between nations do not last long. They cannot, because of the concomitant high cost of continuation. Peace can be brokered by a third party and a quick end to war can be attempted. Dialogue between the warring nations can bring about negotiations for the cessation of hostilities. But how is that common, mutually acceptable ground to be identified and established? For this, we need to examine the basics behind the human instincts that provoke war. And these instincts are—human ignorance, greed and pride. They trigger the forces of usurpation, plunder and hegemony.

Dharma or righteousness takes a back seat. And self-righteousness becomes the driving instinct. Dharma is universal and eternal, and its tenets are simple—easily understandable and graspable. But to understand the tenets of dharma, one needs a high sense of objectivity and an approach in line with reason and logic. How many of us can call ourselves logical and objective? 

Dharma has 10 tenets—forgiveness, patience, truthfulness, mind control, honesty, cleanliness of body and mind, true knowledge, application of intellect, control of the senses, and abjuring anger. Dharma is the set of these axioms and laws which rule the world of sentient beings, including humans.

Dharma protects and preserves those who protect and preserve its defining principles. It is the instrument of governance of this vast universe by its omnipotent and omniscient creator. Dharma covers in its ambit true knowledge enshrined in the eternal scriptures—Vedas—as its important tenet. We have to examine and introspect where and how we are violating the tenets of dharma in wars and other peace-disrupting situations. 

It will not take the warring as well as the war-affected parties long to realise who is transgressing dharma and where. In the current situation of the Russia-Ukraine war, opening the pages of the geopolitical and cultural history of the world and its dispassionate discourse will provide all answers. It will show in clear light where humanism has been dealt body blows and by whom.

The world has always existed and will continue to exist even in future as distinct cultural entities called nations. Nations have to cooperate, collaborate and coexist peacefully. The governing principles underlying this are the same eternal principles of dharma. In the light of those principles, let the geopolitical actors of today identify the common grounds of settling disputes and negotiate for calling an end to war and hostilities. It is of paramount importance to protect the life and property of soldiers and civilians alike. It is of utmost significance that peace prevails.

The desire for cultural, economic, and political hegemony has cost our world dearly in terms of life, property and resources. Devious methods to achieve this hegemony for the satisfaction of economic greed and desire for power and control have led to the avoidable episodes of wars which have brought gains to none and harm to all—actors in the war theatres and innocent civilians of the warring nations as also other nations in an ever-connected world.

Gains to some persons or nations might be visible but these are inevitably short-term gains and the long-term consequences of devious war-mongering are always detrimental—even catastrophic. The provocateurs and perpetrators of the war acts need to relook and re-examine their issues in the pure shining divine light of dharma and refine their understanding to align it with facts. They need to reset their outlook as well as approach to save and preserve rather than demolish and destroy.  

by-atul sehgal

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