Be strong to maintain peace

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Dear Editor,
In 1999 during the rule of Atal Bihari Vajpayee NDA Government when the nuclear test was conducted there were many, belonging to Communist parties being on forefront, who criticised the step in name of ‘India being peaceful country’, the so-called repository of Gandhian principle. But meanwhile, in what is called sheer unprecedented way, the man who emerged to welcome the move of nuclear test was none other than Nobel peace prize winner, Dalai Lama, the top Buddhists’ monk. It seems that he had realised the importance of power after having helplessly seen the miseries of his followers living in Tibet under autocratic Chinese misrule then. And now in face of our stand-off with China on the border has made everybody know how the step taken then was strategically extremely pragmatic. However, much paraded exclusivist notion of ‘Non-violence’ has actually made us overlook the true tradition of our all-inclusive approach to the way of life. And one instance of Mahabharat given ahead may expound the way of life enshrined in our scripture:
This was the time when the great war of Mahabharat was all set to begin. Yet, as a last effort to avert this impending disaster, Shri Krishna decided to approach Duryodhana to work out some compromise. But Yudhishthira, fearing that evil-natured Duryodhana seeing Krishna alone might harm him, grew concerned about his [Krishna] safety. He expressed his emotions to Krishna and advised him to take force along with him. To this what Krishna replied is very instructive. He said, ‘You needn’t worry Yudhishthira. Duryodhana would not dare do that. Even if so happens you would get entire kingdom without a war. As I myself alone would destroy Duryodhana and his host of allies along with their armies.’Obviously, even to live peacefully or to work out compromise with the adversaries we need to be strong enough or else our overtures for the peace will be mistaken for weakness and cowardice. This is exactly what we learn from the character of Krishna as exhibited in the above episode. It is in the view of this crucial worldly ways of life that our seers and sages in order to infuse the virtues of strength among the people laid the tradition of celebrating the ‘Vijayadashmi’- the festival of worshipping the weapons, the symbol of strength. All our gods and goddesses carry the weapon in one hand, and scripture in other. More notably, Bhagwan Ganesha is the god of knowledge and Devi Saraswati the Goddess of intellect and wisdom. Even they are seen holding the weapons, giving the message that without strength the Dharma and society can’t be secured. So also from the life of great personalities we find that to be strong enough socially we have to be organised indispensably. This is what exactly happened in Rama’s time. Men and women, Harijan and Girijan [all those living in forests and mountains], winning the love and confidence of all, Rama organised and took with him and succeeded in fulfilling the mission of eliminating Ravana.
E. Rajesh Pathak,
Surabhi, Gomati colony,
Nehru Nagar, Bhopal.

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