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Selected Writings - Sara Ananthan
Contemporary International Affairs
2 October 2006
In the age of empire, Hugo Chavez Chavez, President of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is one of the few courageous contemporary world leaders who can dare tell the emperor to his face that he has no moral clothes. His speech is a testimony to the state of affairs in current international relations. Not many contemporary head of states can muster enough courage and conviction to present a global vision of equality without attaching any hidden strings, transcending across the various divisions of cultures and civilizations of humanity like President Chavez.
We are deeply indebted to Tamil Nation for promoting this noble cause of trans-national cross pollination of thoughts and ideas in order to create a just global society without fear or favour as it’s an urgent need of humanity for its own survival in these challenging times.
It was said that Descartes changed the world when he said, “I think, therefore I am.” One has to reflect deeply on important issues in the true sprit of the meaning of philosophy which means “love of wisdom” - the ancient Greek word of Philos (love) and Sophia (wisdom) in order to contemplate and comprehend simultaneously in all three tenses (Muk-Kalam) to understand issues in the correct perspectives, as all things have a past, present and future.
In his speech, President Chavez also mentioned about the failed coup against him. I had the opportunity to watch a well researched TV documentary regarding this sordid episode in an Australian National TV program. It was reported that the coup was orchestrated by the cohorts of the emperor and big businesses who were after the spoils of the Venezuelan oil industry that was nationalized by President Chavez's government.
Recently there was another report in the media about the unlawful detention and harassment of the foreign minister of Venezuela in contravention of established international diplomatic protocols in a US airport which was said to have been in response to the earlier presidential address in the UN.
These episodes clearly show the current state of international affairs and the arrogance of powers that be who wish to stifle dissenting views of even heads of states but profess to uphold free speech and democracy in the so called free world.
Dissenting views are inevitable as humanity is made up of diverse cultures that think differently as the historical imprints have left them where they are. Nature itself destined diversity otherwise there would not have been any diversity in the first place.
On another point, it’s most amoral to expect that all people can be herded like sheep to confirm to a set of rules as it defeats the very nature of humanity. In fact, people do think asymmetrically too. Especially when confronted with an extreme adversity which can evoke in them their primordial fears. This is nothing to be afraid of but must be preserved as that itself is the very survival instinct that saved humanity from total annihilation for eons and makes us what we are. In fact, that asymmetrical thinking alone will save humanity for eons to come by and keep it in good stead for posterity.
If elected heads of states and official ministers of nation states are meted out such treatment for airing dissenting views what hope is there for the ordinary mortals belonging to nations without a state to have their voices heard in the rarefied ears of upper echelons couched comfortably within their power centers who are oblivious to the daily torment these poor souls have endured for so many years as in the case of the struggle for survival of the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka.
But one need not despair as we can always find solace in history as it is said that everything old becomes new age again or history repeats and there are many examples.
Jesus Christ who was and is the king of the poor, is history’s well known rebel of rebels. His life was an an embodiment of simplicity and humbleness - the reflection of very nature itself in its own glorious immortality. That is why he chose his crib as a humble cow shed.
One’s heart bleeds when one see the thorn of crown worn by Christ, hanging on the doors like just another piece of Christmas tinsel, without realizing its significance – or for that matter even what it was - an excruciating torture weapon in the hands of the cruel Roman soldiers who tormented Lord Jesus for his steadfastness in his conviction of freeing the poor from bondage before crucifying him on the orders of a bygone, arrogant Roman emperor. Lord Jesus sweated true blood for the salvation of humanity - only 2006 years ago, a tiny speck of time compared with the span of modern humanity which is said to have originated on this wonderful planet at least about 130,000 years ago.
However, as a sign of times that we live in, it appears that even hypocritical leaders go to battle in his name, and claim his allegiance. But what one can say about societies that have completely immersed themselves in materialism and lost their ability to comprehend even the basic significance of any religion but are content to carry on with symbolic ritualism. That is why religion itself has become a marketing tool for big businesses and an easy herding tool for unscrupulous politicians intent on hoodwinking the ordinary masses. This may have prompted Marx to proclaim that religion is the opiate of masses. As blind faith masks masses from seeing the reality so that humble historical divisions between religions and even superficial schisms between them become a handy tool to incite anarchy and end up as test beds of scheming geopolitical manoeuvres.
Our self appointed World Sheriff, in a typical Wild West tradition appears to adopt a cow boy attitude of “shoot first and talk later” in respect of even simple bilateral issues which need an open and honest dialogue across different cultures and civilizations to sort out difference of opinions. And tragedy comes in its wake - to leave behind anarchy and untold miseries to a section of humanity who are proud heirs to an ancient civilization that is said to be the cradle of the entire human civilization itself. This is a monumental tragedy and the repercussions have to be borne by humanity for generations to come.
This is an excerpt of what the world renowned intellectual giant Stephen Hawking has to say about the unjust war in Iraq as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on November 3, 2004 under the heading “Iraq war a crime: Hawking”.
We need to come to our senses quickly and resolve these squabbles soon as global warming warn us that humanity is now on a collision course with the world's ecosystems - and this is exacerbated by the unprecedented demand placed on dwindling natural resources by rapidly expanding economies such as China and India who are said to contain 40% or more of the entire human population.
In the coming decades, we have to implement sustainable development based on new technologies for meeting human needs with radical policies based on new cultural values, or the global economy and the opulently materialistic world that we have become so accustomed to will begin to collapse around us.