Oaths and Promises “Meant” to be Broken: Lessons of History

What is the utility of repeating now the 70 years old accounts – eye witness accounts – that had happened when India was partitioned into Islamic Pakistan and Secular India? What is its use? It is desirable that in India there should be maintained communal harmony among its diverse people. It is better to let the bygone be bygone. It is better to let the old hatch remain buried. It is better that the old painful events are not repeated. It is always better that peace and goodwill among different communities are established, and once established are allowed to continue. It is better this way. There should not be any doubt about it.

But it is still better than the above desirable things that one should not be cheated; that one should know the truth and be watchful; that one should learn from the history and not repeat the mistakes that were once committed in the past; that one should be found well-prepared to meet the bad eventuality and not found off the guard if – and when – that bad eventuality comes once again face to face. It is still better. And, there should not any doubt about it that one should not be found wanting in this respect once again. To commit the mistake for the first time is quite normal – though the wise minimize its occurrence; but to commit mistake again is stupidity; and, to commit mistake again and again is to commit suicide. It applies equally to individuals and nations both.

It is but natural in this world that people and communities may quarrel and fight, and may make compromises and reconciliation to make peace. It is but natural that these warring communities and their leaders to establish peace and understanding among the antagonists may offer proposals, may make promises, may bound themselves under solemn oaths. It is natural and good thing to be sincere and man of conscience.

Oaths and promises are sacred things. But they are sacred things under a commonsense only. What would you do when for some people binding themselves with solemn oaths and promises becomes a well-calculated strategy meant to be broken at the opportune time and to extricate them out of the difficult situation? What would you do to tackle this strategy? What would you do to foil the plan of the antagonist to cheat and lull its rival?

This is where the utility of history lies. This is where it become desirable to narrate old painful events. It is where it is still better to be on the guard and not to be caught off the guard. It is where the mistakes of the past must not be allowed to happen.

recent example of this strategy of cheating by knowingly telling lies practiced by a nation through its leader is found in the case of General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. After the attack on United States’ World Trade Center by terrorists having link to Pakistan, the U. S. President Bush threatened Pakistan: “In our war against terrorism, either you are with us or you are against us!” The choice before Pakistan was very difficult: To be honest they should have been either with the U.S. with their heart in its war against terrorism or, alternatively, they should have openly sided with the terrorism with all the justifications that they might have had. But they chose neither of these honest alternatives. They resorted to the third way, the way of cheating! While addressing the Pakistani public, the classical statement of intentional lies and plain cheating was made by Pervez Musharraf that we should pretend to be with America, because a similar strategy was adopted even in ancient times in the war of Badr in Medina. This behaviour fairly represents the mindset of all those persons – whether they live in Pakistan or in India – who think that their religion is above any law – whether that law be the national law binding all its citizens or that law be the national constitution (of India) superceding their and others religion or that law be an international obligation to observe peaceful, orderly and humane behaviour. Such a mindset should have no place in India, where rule of law prevails over all religions.

The immediate utility of reading the history and learning from it lies in the current issue of Ram Janambhumi dispute pending for a decision in the Supreme Court of India. It is stated on solemn oath by both the rival parties – Hindus and Muslims both – that they will honor the judgment of the apex court of India and abide by it. It is solemn promise.

Will this promise be kept? Will this promise be broken? Will this oath be honored? Let us hope that the promise will be kept and the judgment will be honored.

But history teaches us that the State should be well prepared for an otherwise eventuality also. It is better to learn; it is better to be on the guard; it is better not to be caught off the guard. And, it is better to be overwhelmingly prepared, to be prepared beyond reasonable proportions, to deal with the bad eventuality – if and when it happens. An example should be made by the Indian State of why one should not dare to challenge the state – whosoever he might be.

What is Indian State? It is one institution – not many, as some people living in a faciful world of make-belive rights propagate. Indian State is one – an organic one – institution, and it has to survive as one against challenges posed to it or it has to fail and collapse as one. In reality, the distinction into police, military, judiciary, parliament or any other ones is an artificial one when a challange to its power is thrown against it. All these organs are not distict entities but organs making one cohesive body of the Indian State.

Before a judgment on the sensitive Ram Janambhumi issue is delivered by the apex court, all organs of the Indian State must connect with each other as one body and get prepared to deal with any eventuality as one body to guarantee the rule of law. The rule of law survives only when the survival of the State as an unchallanged sovereign force is guaranteed. In any case of the challange to State, the police – even the army – has to take action, judiciary has to decide cases and all other organs have to work in tendam. The only thing that is required at the moment is to sit together, think together and act together – in whatever way possible in a democracy founded on the principle of ‘checks and balances’. In an emerging grave eventuality like the present one no organ of the State should be caught unaware. This is the minimum requirement of prudence.

What is that element of force in modern times that protects the sovereignty of any State against a unified mob challange thrown against it? It is not the exclusive brute force of its police or army – not at all. It is the power of technology that protects it, that saves it. Never forget it; never disregard technology’s this power. Use the best available technology to identify, monitor and neutralize the criminal before he commits the crime; modernize the antiquated policing. Drastically overhaul the Indian policing – train its personnel not to wait till the crime is committed but to infiltrate the gangs of criminals when they are busy in preparing and strike them when they least expect it. The governing principle of Indian policing should be: Deploy the best available technology to prevent the crime; deploy the best available technology to neutralize the criminal; remain one step ahead of the enemy of the nation. This is the way of modern policing. Modern challenge of terrorism demands modern solutions, which brooks no delay or neglect.

Here is a piece of history. It reveals the working of the mind of criminal – whether that criminal is an individual or a mob of the multitude of those indviduals or a nation constituted of such people. It is taken from a book authored by Sardar Gurbachan Singh Talib titled ,”Muslim League attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947”. He was a professor at Lahore in 1947 and he has chronicled in his book eye witness accounts of how promises were made and broken; how oaths were sworn by putting hands on the sacred book and were pleasurably broken, when human conscience demanded that they be kept and honored against the victims. However, there were a few honorable exceptions also to this general phenomenon. This book was first published in 1950. The links to Appendix 1 to 50 of this book chronicling the eye witness accounts are given below:

  1. Appendix I – X: Licensed guns and rifles, and knives kept for the self-protection were taken away by the escorting (Pak) police and military from Hindus and Sikhs on the solemn promise that they will be protected by the escorting force and their weapons will be returned later on. When the marauding mob of fanatics attacked them, this solemn promise was broken by the escorting party and by cheating those weapon-less people were massacred by the mob and. the escorting party.
  2. Appendix XI – XX:
  3. Appendix XXI – XXX:
  4. Appendix XXXI – XXXX
  5. Appendix XXXXI – XXXXX:
  6. Link to the complete book

Antidote to Terrorism

By: Shreepal Singh

All humans are same but their thoughts make them different. Thoughts do not remain thoughts, they translate into actions. The leading thinkers of the western world, since the Classical Times (days of Plato, Arestotal etc.) to Renaissance and even now in 21st century, have been fascinated with the idea of equality of all humans. The institution of democracy invented by the west is founded on the corner stone of this idea.

In the physical anatomy all humans are similar but it is not this anatomy that they are entirely made-up of. The life goes below and above this anatomy, of which now our science is well aware. The domain of physical anatomy of life goes to its very bottom, that is, the life of animals having only one cell, and founded on its DNA..

All life in its biological foundation shares some basic and similar working principles but still this life interacts with the outside world of its environment in different ways. In its action in the outside world, life is not similar. It is not equal, it is different.

Life rising above its anatomy too is not similar. In humans, there are thoughts, which are an extention of life. This extention of life above anatomy does not end at thoughts; there are dimensions of life which are much beyond thoughts and our science – psychology and para-psychology – is making stride into this new branch of knowledge.

Humans have thoughts and that makes them different from one another. It is not necessary that a thought would find a place in the head of one person only. A thought – an idea – may grip the minds of a large group of people.

Thoughts or ideas may be dangerous – sometimes most dangerous. If they are translated into action, they may destroy a large number of human beings; in this atomic age they may destroy even the entire humanity – and along with humanity all life on earth. Such is the power of thoughts.

The most disquietening thing today in this advanced scientific age is the fact that our world is mostly dominated – and is run – by thoughts and ideas. There are innocent ideas; there are dangerous ideas; there are complex ideas – and simple ideas, the ideas that are political, economic, religious, emotional in nàture. There are all sorts of ideas and they compete with each other to dominate and subdue the rival ones. It is voletile situation.

Suppose, a dangerous religious idea gripping a large number of people gets dominance – say, Islamic idea of killing all those who refuse to convert to its fold! And, suppose they come to hold atomic weapons to fulfil their – this – idea into action! It is not far fatched supposition; it is a reality already existing. Anyone with sane mind can visualize the catastrophe that it would bring to entire humanity.

How to get out of the realm of ideas – all ideas? How to become sane in our actions? Is there any way?

Yes, an ancient knowledge that India has preserved since ages has a solution.

There is a science of “controlling – and even stopping” thoughts, thoughts of all kinds. Wow!

It is known as “Yoga” and the very opening sentence of “Yoga Sutra” (of ancient sage Patanjli) describes this science dealing with “Chitta Vritti Nirodh” – that is, controlling or taming the propensity – habit – of our mind.

One cannot – and should not try to – control one’s thoughts, which look to us as our own thoughts but are not so in their origin. It is an intricate science, which has its own safety rules. The first thing in this science is to prepare yourself – physically and mentally – ready, willing and capable to control your thoughts. It is the most appropriate point at this stage to inform the reader that the purpose of “controlling thoughts” etc. is not to control them for the sake of control. The purpose is something else, and very sublime in nature, and it is out of context to dwel on the same here.

To prepare oneself, one has to commence with the change in one’s way of life and thinking. How? The first thing is to practice “Yam”. What is Yam? 1. Ahimsa – that is, commiting no violence against any life. 2. Satya – that is, always speaking truth. 3. Asteya, that is, not to covet, not to steal, not to take what does not belong to you. 4. Brahmcharya, that is, abstaining from sex. 5. Aparigrah, that is, not to hoard or keep with you more than what is ethically required. These are the rules of Yam. Then, there are next steps with their associated rules: Niyam; Aasan; Pranayam; Dharna; Dhyan; Samadhi. All these have elaborate rules, which need to be observed for your own safety. It is obvious that all these rules are not the matter of mental thinking but a matter of practicing them in life. They are the rules of conduct. If practiced in conduct, they bring a radical change in one’s thoughts. Still, observing these rules of conduct is just the first step towards “controlling” one’s thoughts (Chitta Vritti Nirodh) – there are yet many more and subtle measures, like Niyam, Aasan, Prztyahar, Dharna, Dhyan, Samadhi etc. All these measures when mastered by one, make him / her the master of one’s complete self, including quieting one’s all thoughts. In Samadhi you have no thoughts whatsoever but a peaceful consciousness of your existance. Humanity needs to know this science in this age of atomic bombs.

Let the humanity learn this science – for the sake of its own good and welfare in the face of dangerous ideas equipped with atomic weapons.

Today, it is Afghanistan; Tomorrow it could be You: Fighting Terrorism

Yesterday 14 innocent people were killed by terrorists in Afghanistan. Day before yesterday, it was 68 in number who were killed. Before that, many more were killed; and before that …. it is endless process. Today it is Afghanistan, tomorrow it could be – would be – you. Today it is iraq, Syria …., tomorrow it could be – and would be you. It is fight against terrorism. It is fight against supporters of terrorism, against those who help them by providing them a country, facilities and resting place; it is against those who finance them.

It is a fight of humanity against a common danger – common enemy – called terrorism. Would you stand aside and look on at the fight? Or, would be the part of a united war against it? Watch this video and learn a lesson.

Dear Donald Trump, How to ‘Make America Great Again’?

By: Name withheld

Donald Trump has a mission, vision and strategy. He has a mission to make America great again, and, before that, to make America safe for Americans. He is obviously much occupied in his presidential campaign in clarifying his vision and strategy for this priority. In his vision, Islamic Terrorism is the greatest threat to the safety of his country and his strategy to avert this threat is to “ban” the entry of Muslims to America (in the first phase of his campaign, which is now lowered to the level of ‘making the scrutiny of every Muslim intending to enter America’).

Just see the folly of this vision and strategy. Today our world is an interconnected one unit thanks to technology. The strategy of Trump is like a person who has his house in the burning woods and shuts its door in the hope that the fire would not touch it this way! You don’t want to come out of your house to see what is happening in the woods and what can be done of it. Thanks to this vision and this strategy and thanks to Donald Trump for his “ingenuity” in making America great again!

This presidential hopeful is as naïve in his understanding of the militant Islam as in his strategy to deal with it. He doesn’t even have an idea that what he is faced with is not a religion but a military ideology disguised as religion – a military ideology more potent in planning, strategy and goal than the military ideologies of Nazism and Communism, which the world had to deal in recent past.

It is a military doctrine that has all the required elements of “recruitment, strategy, motivation, deterrent and goal” of such an enterprise. These elements – recruitment, strategy, motivation, deterrent and goal – superbly ensure a perennial source of an inflow of soldiers into the army and put this army into an impregnable iron-walled cage. How the army is recruited and put in a cage?

This is how it is done: “Here is a message. Though it is uttered by a human being but it is a word of God because it is spoken to him by God himself; being a word of God, no human has a right to challenge this word; being the word of God, it is eternal for all times to come and unalterable with the passage of time, and it is the supreme duty of adherents to obey this word; an attempt to question or challenge this word of God is a crime of the highest degree and the penalty for this crime is death; this word commands (and this word being the word of God, God commands) the adherents to make everyone on Earth to adhere to this word, by persuasion if possible and by force if need be; one has the freedom to become this word’s adherent but forbidden thereafter to leave the ranks of adherents and the penalty for attempting to leave is death; it is a war between us and the rest of the world, and in the war command is to practice all forms of deceit – make aggression, when strong; lie low, when weak; tell lie, when necessary; pretend, when needed – till this war is won; in this word God assures that if a faithful succeeds in his efforts to bring others to his ranks, he is rewarded here in this world plentifully with women and loot but if he dies then he is rewarded in the next world more plentifully with women and pleasures.”

There are a number of ways one can find himself or herself in but once he or she is in there is no way to get out. It is a clever trap and a perfect cage for ordinary humans, innocent billions!

In this cage you can go in but once (gone) in you cannot come out – a cage where if you accept once, you cannot question ever again; a cage where you have enough worldly and heavenly enticements to go in but once (gone) in, you are made to face mortal deterrence against coming out; a cage where you may be forced to enter to save your life but you will lose your life if you try to come out.

It is the perfect way to raise an army – an army of duped innocents; an army of zealots; an army of humans who are motivated to make the supreme sacrifice by happily laying down their lives; an army of humans who have nothing to lose by their missionary acts in this world or in the next world (to which they may be dispatched) but only to gain both in this world and in that next world! In psychological make-up this standing army is unparalleled in human history and in comparison thereof Nazism or Communism are not even its pale shadow.

Unfortunately, we are living in an era of atomic weapons and this military doctrine has acquired now additional capacity to bring this world into an atomic confrontation. While the rest of the humanity shudders at the thought of such confrontation, this standing army is psychologically ready to kill or die in an assured hope of a life in the next world better than they lead now in this world.

Genetics is occupied with the foundation of building blocks of organic body of living beings and neuroscience is similarly concerned with (human) brain’s functioning as mind. We know very well today that it is possible a human body may be afflicted with a kind of genetic defect and also a brain may have some neurological disorder. In a person these disorders of body and/or brain can be identified and detected, though may not yet be cured fully. Is it possible that the mental cage of this standing army could be diagnosed as some kind of disorder? Is it possible for science to cure this ailment? The time will tell.

Is there any solution to the problem, till then?

Let us be objective. The people in this cage need all the sympathy and help of humanity. They are the victims, victims of circumstances. It is the moral duty of humanity to give them a helping hand to come out of this cage. But, how one can help them?

Give them the way – the way to come out! The way to come out to those who want to come out – the way of liberalism, Sufism, Baha’ism, the way of atheists, of agnostics, the way of ex-Muslims – anything under the sun but the cage. Encourage the groups in them to identify with their local ethnicity, culture, nation, tribe, language, anything but the cage. They key is to encourage the units – units of people, units of lands, units of language, units of culture – to assert their identities; the key is to give these units a helping hand – a helping hand in all manners and by all means. A collective action of humanity has eradicated polio – the collective action has the efficacy and can save this part of humanity from the plight they are in.

Dear Donald Trump, if you ever become the President, please don’t bar the entry of all Muslims to your country – don’t shut the door for it is no strategy to make America great again!

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