30 December 2010

Wish you the "year of Realization & Mobilization"

Namer of a thousand names, maker of meanings, transformer of the world, your parents and the parents of your parents continue in you. You are not a fallen star but a brilliant arrow flying toward the heavens. You are the meaning of the world, and when you clarify your meaning you illuminate the earth. When you lose your meaning, the earth becomes darkened and the abyss opens.

I will tell you the meaning of your life here: It is to humanize the earth. And what does it mean to humanize the earth? It is to surpass pain and suffering; it is to learn without limits; it is to love the reality you
build.

I cannot ask you to go further, but neither should it offend if I declare, “Love the reality you build, and not even death will halt your flight!”

You will not fulfil your mission if you do not apply your energies to vanquishing pain and suffering in those around you. And if through your action they in turn take up the task of humanizing the world, you will have opened their destiny toward a new life.

                    ------------- Silo - "Humanize The Earth"



Wish you the "year of Realization & Mobilization"

With an affectionate Hug,
Sudhir Gandotra

24 December 2010

Doctor Binayak convicted for "Waging War against India"

After this news came today afternoon, there have been many emails expressing shock at this development.
I wonder why are we shocked with this development, that is indeed bad from all points of views of democracy and freedom.
Is it that our "civil society" people are still naive about the "system and its intentions" to kill any initiative for freedom ?
Is it that we are still living in the "dream of being a democracy" ?

This development, will, hopefully work as a wake-up call for all freedom-loving-sincere-responsible people of India to start "actually working" for freedom instead of "hoping for freedom".

Let us realize that we are living in a system that is barbaric-autocratic-violent-to-the-core and that will never encourage anything which is truly democratic and for freedom.
Let us realize that this malice exists not just as a system but also within us (as our own internal violence: hatred, enmity, resentment, anger, frustrations, insecurity, etc.) and need to be overcome from both within and around us.
Let us realize that there is no short-cut to it.
Let us realize that there is no political party existing in the country which will give a true response/solution to this issue.

Let us realize that, we will need to start simultaneously, from within us and around us, to cleanse the system and build a completely new world, as, the one we know so far, is long dead. Those managing the system are the Mafia, whose sole aim is to suck the blood of people, over this dead body, which they keep decorated as a "working system", which, it is not.

21 December 2010

Can we save Bengal from violence, corruption and poverty ?

If there is a sudden earthquake, do you first consult an architect or save
people ?
If there is a sudden fire, do you first find faults with fire-alarms or save
people ?

Faced with any kind of disaster, you do not open the book titled "How to manage
a disaster in 10 steps", but get down to save people with speed, passion and
selflessness.

Time has come to save the Nation and the Planet from the

Corrupt-Violent-Divisive-Mafia that is ruling us everywhere.

Can we start this action from Bengal ?

It can be possible, provided we get 100 volunteers who will immediately mobilize
10 similarly passionate and peace-loving young people, who, in-turn will do the
same. With 10,000 people, working passionately, we can make a sincere attempt to
save Bengal from violence, corruption and poverty.

Shall we make a sincere attempt ?

Those interested are welcome to get in touch with the Humanist Party.

20 December 2010

Foundations for the Economy of a New Civilisation By : Guillermo Sullings

Here we transcribe the whole of Dr Guillermo Sullings' lecture from the Second International Symposium organised by the World Centre of Humanist Studies in the virtually interconnected Parks of Study and Reflection. Sullings, an Argentinean Economist, presented his work in the Punta de Vacas Park of Study and Reflection, Mendoza, Argentina.
19 Dec 2010

Pressenza International Press Agency, Buenos Aires, 6 Nov.2010,
The challenge of thinking about how a new civilisation would be, can be very attractive because one could get carried away with ones imagination and in theory design a new utopia, like the one imagined by Thomas More; author of the book [Utopia] which gave a name to social ideals. This literary exercise is valid in itself, though it could not go any further than the events shaped on the page with all the naivety and incongruence of the writer and his era.

It is also possible for someone with a vocation for power to imagine what a society under their control could be like: how trying to have control over the smallest detail of its workings would be. We have seen this in practice, in the field of the economy, in the frustrating experiences of real socialism, which after 70 years accepted its failure and gave in to the old and well known, capitalism.

Maybe we would have to think of the organisation of a new civilisation as a joint construction: the product of the interrelation of numerous different imaginations, many points of view, as well as many aspirations. If this were the case we could discern a certain common direction, a certain sensitivity common to that to which the human being aspires, and based on this; trace in broad strokes a path which could then with time become a more adequate shape, changed and enriched.

When we speak of Economy it is not difficult to identify common denominators that the majority of us want: better wealth distribution, fairness, harmony with the environment, a good quality of life for all, relations of solidarity, good working conditions, and many others. There may be minor differences, but the majority of us would agree on certain fundamental objectives. There is so much coincidence that we feel superfluous even when it comes to topics such as political proposals, because they all say the same.

We could say that differences begin with the question of “how”. How to organise the economy in a society to obtain that fruit which so many of us aspire to. And while we could say that future aspirations are fundamental to our acting in the present leading us to build paths towards them; we can also say that if the question of “how” is left unanswered, often the aspirations end up as compensatory daydreams which do not mobilize transforming actions.

Looking for the roots of what could be the foundation of the economy of a new civilisation, we start to find after the “what”, the “how”. And how can have at least two levels: one being “how should the organisation of the economy be in order to achieve the aspirations of the majority?”. And the other “how should we go about changing the type of organisation that we have today into the new type that we aspire to?”. Because it is possible that between many we agree and find the formula to organise a new economic system which fulfils the proposed requirements but which at the moment of application is rejected, by those who have the power to do so, because it would go against their own interests. And what if those affected by their petty interests are not only minorities, but also important portions of the population?

Maybe we should descend one more step of the ladder to look for the foundations and think of certain general conditions; such as the favourable ground on which to start the changes. Because to build a solid building, the foundations are really important, but underneath those foundations is the ground on which they will rest and if we build the foundations in a swamp, the building will sink. In society this is related to looking at cultural foundations, along with the value system and the collective attitude.

It would be difficult to build an economy based on solidarity within a society where individualism is prevalent. It would be difficult to build an economy based on environmental sustainability and rational consumption within a society where consumerism is its style of life. It would be difficult to effect the necessary political transformations to apply a new economy within a society without commitment towards participation in management and decision making.

Today most of the world works under the rules of globalised capitalism, and this is set up around Darwinian social behaviour, individualism and an eagerness for consumerism. Although there are many people who are starting to have a different type of sensitivity, the mechanism continues to work, and continues to feed the materialist culture. However, this new sensitivity, which is gradually appearing in many people, though not enough to change the system yet; helps highlight the contradictions and it is there that room is made for a ray of hope.

So we could say that as an initial basis for the economy of a new civilization, there needs to be a deepening of the sensitisation in terms of the need for a deep rooted change of paradigms. And although the image of how this new economy that we are striving towards would be does need to be traced, to be as close as possible to the collective image, what is essential is that through this image new cultural values are born, in harmony with the new born sensitivity, to the point that a new social mysticism is developed.

The valuing of reciprocity as a mode of relations between people, and therefore also of economic relationships, could be encouraged as a certain attitude to life, and this would bring a transforming dynamic to relationships. Unlike simple humanitarian solidarity which not only tends to naturalize the system of relationships between the “helpers” and the “helped” but also it is unlikely to establish itself in most people outside of formal rhetoric.

A critical and self-critical attitude towards irrational consumerism should incorporate itself in this new society as a code of social worth. In the decadent culture of materialism, having and exhibiting objects are synonymous with “being a winner”; in a new culture it could start to be synonymous with “being an idiot”.

Selfishness, lack of social responsibility and animosity against taking part in all things collective, an indifference to the pain of others, and many other tendencies, which today are common currency, allow individualists to justify themselves and pass unnoticed; in future this will be recognised as more and more obviously appalling behaviour.

Starting with this first principal, that of a new culture of values, which corresponds to the new sensitivity which is being born, it will be possible to raise the pillars of a new economy.

One of those pillars is the generation of channels of direct democracy in various spaces for peoples participation. Otherwise, how could the people who want to transform the economic system operate under the rules which regulate them? People should be able to participate in the decision making which administers public budgets, and they should be able to take part in the decision making involved in the creation of laws which modify the rules of the game of the economy with the aim of a fairer distribution of wealth. Workers also need to have the power to make decisions about the management and administration of companies. A society with a culture of political involvement, and with a project to transform the future cannot fall on the dead tracks of formal democracies, often associated with concentrated economic power, but needs viable channels of decision making.

Another of the pillars of a new economy, and which has to do with a change of paradigms, is the application of the principle of “equal opportunities for all”. The state should guarantee that everyone will have equal opportunities for their economic development. Then it will be left to each person to decide how to use these opportunities, but they should be available for everyone. Starting by guaranteeing public and free education at all levels for everyone, continuing with financial help, and dismantling the pockets of power which condition economic relations.

Of course, over the pillars of a new economy there should be a whole raft of legislation and new procedures for a mixed human scale economy. Themes such as workers participating in the shared ownership of companies, interest free state banking, tax reforms, shared budgets, and others, will need a detailed technical analysis to work out the viability of its implementation. But this analysis will be difficult for technocrats academically formed with a vision in which money and the economy have been the central value.

It will be necessary, a foundation of an economic science at the service of the human being, to modify the current conception of the economy as “an exact science, with some social interferences”, and to move onto the conception of the economy as a social science, which uses technical instruments. It would no longer be necessary to look for the balance of the market at the cost of social sacrifice but to achieve a social balance based on the principle of equal opportunities and adapting the techniques to such a principle. And it will no longer be possible to gauge growth and development with money as the unit of measure, but to weigh up the indices of human development, putting the economy at the service of such indicators.

Finally, we should say that as global problems need global solutions, and it will not necessarily be the powers which generate them which will take care of solving them, it will be fundamental to be able to count on a level of world resolution for such problems. The extreme poverty of many countries, global warming, the collapse of energy and food supply, and other world scale scourges, cannot be solved country by country, but rather as a whole. The nations which maintain and respect their cultural diversity and independence, should work as a great Universal Human Nation, to coordinate the solving of world problems.

Translated by Viviane Fathimani

19 December 2010

Who Creates Terrorists ?

By Sudhir Gandotra

Politicians, Law-makers, Judiciary, Police & Army, Religious-heads, Media and others are known to be talking about terrorism as a big threat to the society today. Some call it the biggest threat while others use different adjectives to bring home the same point.

While they all talk about the terrorism and the need to kill the terrorists, and using that as the reason or an excuse, buy more and more arms, pass every-time-tougher laws against freedom of people and create a fear-psychosis in the population, no one seems to be talking on the issue of “Where/How did terrorism start and how is it surviving and increasing all the time ?”
It is important to understand the root cause of terrorism and why they go for violence. There is always an interest and a reason for a group to pick up arms. Violence can be of two kinds, Organized and unorganized. Organized are those used by police and army, in different forms. Unorganized are the others who are in modern terms called ‘terrorist’.

I am neither a social-scientist nor a historian with the credentials to go into the technology of the topic/s involved in this matter of human behavior and history of conflicts. But, I, as a simple peace-loving-citizen of this world, would like to express my views on the matter, inviting discussion from other such concerned citizens on this topic, with the humble aim of reaching some conclusions as to what can we, the simple peace-loving-citizens of this world can do about this issue.

With this background, I would like to stress that violence that manifests in different forms, creates violent response from others. Manifestation of violence shows a poor ability to manage situations, a lack of smartness, a lack of humanness, a lack of abilities to use the mind for resolving an issue. Same is the reason for violent-response also.

It is important to be clear on this, because, in this presentation, while I do not intend to justify the violence committed by people nor the violent response of the affected side, it is important to note that people/groups/organizations/countries do respond to violence with violence. Experts in the field of psychology and education may need to look at a possible solution through non-violent education so that people develop the attitude of non-violence as part of their growing-up process. I certainly am against the violent action of those in uniform, for the solution always lye’s in the hands of the power that be, by discussions and negotiations.

The different manifestations of violence and some examples of how violence creates terrorism and hence the terrorists, is worth looking into. It is clear that terrorism is the act, while its practitioner is termed as a terrorist.
At times the violent ones use different manifestations of violence which I have tried to explain below.

Physical Violence : Where people are ill-treated, thrown away from their homes/villages/slums, families are killed, houses are burnt, short supply leading to hunger and sickness, what happens ? While this kills many, some from family or village vows to take revenge by taking up arms joining the group which offers them the chance. These become the criminals, Dacoits or even a group of Terrorist, since they need guns for their revenge. Its known that different violent groups help each other in their network, just like the people in trade or community. For poor people, running away from the violent situation, having no money or resource, the criminals come to their rescue, providing them food, shelter and the resources needed for violence, provided they becomes a part of the gang. This process easily creates terrorists.

Economic Violence : Poverty also breeds Violence. Terrorism is nothing but a form of revenge of the weak-minded with a mistaken ideology. There are enough examples of Dacoits of this category. Naxalites (the extreme left Maoists) get their major support from people affected by economic violence of the system.

Racial Violence : Where people are discriminated racially and their dignity is violated, some are strong enough not to submit, resist by running away and later returning to take violent revenge. There are enough examples of dacoits in this category. This was the case in Sri-Lanka by the LTTE.

Religious Intolerance (also a Violence) : Religious violence are clashes created by the religiously fanatic people. The case of Jihad is an example in Islam where they even go against their own people. Well-documented presentations show as to how the big powers, military-industrial-complex of America, have created and nurtured the Islamic fundamentalism in order to create conditions for increased and regular sale of arms. There are well-documented presentations showing the increase of cultivation of plants and manufacturing of drugs have grown once again after the Taliban were thrown out of power by the American troops. Similar was the case of extremism in Punjab state of India with the menace of Bhindrawale and the like. The constant conflict between India and Pakistan has the colors of this category.

Ruling over others' territories (Wars) : Wars create foreign-rulers and it is natural that a situation of hatred is crated between the losers, who are violated all the times, and the rulers. Enough examples that created a situation of terrorism can be seen in the History. When British ruled India, people who were fighting for freedom, were termed terrorists by the British rulers, while we Indians called them ''Freedom Fighters”. The point of view changes everything. The same can apply to those who are fighting for freedom in Gaza, on Indo-Pak borders, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma and many other places. There are others who are fighting silent wars, like the case of Aung San Sui Kyi of Burma and Liu Xiaobo of China, who has been denied release from jail even to receive his Nobel prize. When Russians were occupying Afghanistan, USA worked to create and nurture Al Qaeda and now they are fighting among themselves a deadly war on many fronts. Many more cases that demonstrate cultivated terrorism can be sited.

Violence is not a natural way of reaction of human beings who are without tensions and in peace. The violence we witness today in the society demonstrates the lack of education (specially on non-violence and its various forms), denial of human dignity, equal opportunity, freedom, non-discrimination, and many other factors.

Violence is not just of any one category but usually has overtones of more than one types. For example, the case of Phoolan Devi who was raped by the higher caste hudlooms, ran away to forests to become a dacoit and returned with guns for her revenge and killed them all, we can see the mix of racial, economic and physical violence among others. Same way, all examples if taken would show us the manifestation of violence having more than one colour, while one of them may be a primary one.

We are facing a system with greed and corruption that rides on the weakness of insecurity of many who, on gaining control of power upon people's resources, are now sick-and-hell-bent to maintain this situation. They go to any extent to retain this situation, compensating their lack, a psychological weakness, while putting millions in the process of suffering that breeds violence.