Monday, August 30, 2010

SCOURGE OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

The Ground Zero Mosque controversy raging in the US has to all intents and purposes exposed the myth of American secularism. The American public could be just as petty, intolerant and even fundamentalist as others around the world.

A recent poll survey indicating a majority of the New York state voters opposing the mosque is a slap in the face of their notions of free speech and the freedom to practice one’s religion. The Muslim community, which wanted to build a mosque near the site of Sep 11 attacks was just trying to express itself peacefully and quietly and by constructing a mosque they actually intended to convey to the hardline Christian public in the USA that Islam symbolised peace and love, contrary to what the average American has been misled into believing.

Islamophobic tendencies are also reflected in President Obama’s contradictory stand in which he first declared support for the Ground Zero mosque, but the very next day showed his true colours and went back on his word, greatly embarrassing all those who had thought he was different from the veno
m-spitting Bush. He has been rightly called by a writer as United States ‘Islamophile-in-chief’, because rather than living up to his expectations, his government has outrun even the previous regime in terms of hatred and persecution of the Muslims. Owing to a smear campaign spanning decades, the common mindset in the US unfortunately, is prone to mistaking Islam with terrorism.
The US mainstream politicians especially the Neo-Cons feel no qualms in indulging in vitriolic attacks against Islam, targeting not just th
e world of Islam but also the Muslim Diaspora living in the US. Most damaging to the credibility of the American empire is the fierce brazenness on the part of an extremist Church in Florida to indulge in blasphemous activities on September 11 and, despite the warning by the authorities not to take such a step, the Church remains adamant. This of course would create a storm of protests all over the world.

Intellectuals and politically conscious people are already pointing out that the US imperial hubris is now rocking the foundations of the American empire. Will Durant’s comment that a great civilisation is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within is an apt description of the USA today and its descent into moral and political degeneration. This time again, a golden opportunity of building bridges aimed at creating interfaith harmony has been missed solely because of the vicious anti-Islam propaganda that has literally brainwashed a considerable section of the American public.
THE NATION, Aug 28

Sunday, August 29, 2010

THE DARK FACE OF JUSTICE

By Mahtab Bashir
Islamabad

The lynching of two brothers in Sialkot invoked the sentiments of the entire nation against its perpetrators and police personnel who allowed it to happen. No civilised society can condone such behaviour. Unfortunately, although the media played an important role in bringing this story to the attention of the public, most of the reporting lacked depth, fairness and adequate and accurate information about the incident. It is now becoming evident that most of the media analyses were based on rumour and hearsay, which is obfuscating the true picture, hence compromising our ability to draw correct inferences.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that it is quite possible that the lynched boys Hafiz Mughees and Munib were indeed involved in a roadside robbery attempt early morning on August 15 and had intercepted Bilal Javed, 22, on the Sialkot-Gujranwala Road. Incidentally, they did not get a chance to mug him because just then a pickup van loaded with several men and children and a motorcycle rode by and the brother and servant of Bilal appeared on the scene. Encouraged by the expected succour, Bilal overpowered Munib. Reports are that in panic, Hafiz Mughees started firing from a pistol, whose bullets hit Bilal, his brother, servant, and a 10-year old boy Zeeshan who was in the pick-up van. Later, people present overpowered Mughees and Munib and detained them in the office of Rescue 1122 located nearby. The news of Bilal’s death and Zeeshan’s paralysis due to bullet wounds enraged the people and what followed is known to all. Zeeshan also died later.

What is most disturbing in this entire episode is that the police encouraged the crowd to go ahead with this frenzy. It is well known that the chief minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, supported extra-judicial killings of perceived criminals by the police in his previous tenure. It seems that the current Punjab set-up is perpetuating the same policy, since all the police officers involved in the Sialkot case are closely linked to the PML-N. However, the repetition of this policy this time round is not going to do any good to the chief minister or his party. If this government does not set an example of adherence to the rule of law, then anarchy is just round the corner.

Regrettably, this is not an exclusively Punjab phenomenon. It is a culture and attitude that is creeping incrementally into the entire Pakistani society. Such incidents have been reported from Karachi in the recent past. Just yesterday, a news channel reported another such incident of public torture and killing of a man in Karachi. Underlying this phenomenon is the loss of faith in the judicial system. However, that in no way justifies taking the law into one’s own hands and law enforcement agencies becoming a party to it. Impartial investigations and justice must follow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

WHEN EGOS COLLIDE .......

By Mahtab Bashir
Islamabad

We cannot be successful in either the external world or the internal world while we are tossed about by a powerful ego. What is required is a strong will.

The difference between ego and will is that the ego is blind but the will has vision. Will has its source in the pure Self. Ego springs from a false sense of identification with the external world, and is usually concerned with preserving self-image and self-identity. Ego is characterised by stubbornness, selfishness, and unwillingness to compromise.

The ego is like a little pool. An egotistical person is like a frog crouching in that little pool – his world is small, his borders insecure. He has only a vague awareness of the trees encircling his pool, and he cannot begin to imagine the frog-filled marshes just beyond. From his perspective, only his own feelings and his own voice are meaningful.

Wo Ana Parast Sahi Us Ki Baaton Main Iqraar Bhi Tha
Us Kay Chubtay Howay Lehjey Mein Laikin Pyaar Bhi Tha
Wo Likhta Hai Keh Muntazir Na Raho Lakin
Us Ki Tehreer Mein Sadyon Ka Intazar Bhi Tha

The power of will, by contrast, is like a spring whose source is the Pure Being. It infuses mind and body with enthusiasm, courage, curiosity, and energy to act. In spiritual literature this force – the intrinsic power of the soul – is called ichcha shakti, and it is from this force that all aspects of our personality, including the ego, derive energy to carry out their activities.

Becoming successful in the world requires a strong will, and that strong will needs to be properly guided so we develop a strong personality. A strong personality exhibits tolerance and endurance. It has the power to vanquish and punish an opponent, but chooses to forgive and forget instead. When we are egotistical, on the other hand, we demonstrate our weakness by answering a pebble with cannon. We lose our composure the moment our feelings are even slightly bruised. We have a hard time forgetting the injuries we have received from others, but an even harder time remembering how much we have injured others.

All problems – at home, work, in politics, everywhere – are caused by colliding egos. These problems are not overcome by one ego dominating others, but by a person of strong will and clear vision coming forward and overshadowing the trivial egos of those who are quarrelling.

A strong ego is as much of an obstacle in spiritual practice as it is in worldly matters. The stronger the ego, the bigger the hurdle it will create. However, the solution is not to kill or weaken the ego but to do our best to purify, transform, and guide it properly. We can do this by employing both our intelligence and power of discrimination. When we meditate, practise contemplation, pray, study the scriptures, serve others, and seek the company of the wise we make our ego pure and less confined, and this in turn inspires us to move one step forward. As we do, the purified ego, accompanied by a sharpened intellect, gets a glimpse of the next level of awareness, and naturally aspires to reach it. Thus the ego becomes the tool for purifying and expanding itself, and in this way the petty ego is gradually transformed into an expanded, more purified ego.

This transformation must end with the ego dissolving and becoming one with the pure Self and experiencing its union with Universal Consciousness. As the ego of a dedicated seeker merges with the Infinite, all confusion disappears, the veil of duality lifts, and the purified ego sees the whole universe in itself and itself in the whole universe.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MARCHING TOWARDS TYRANNY, AGAIN?

BY MAHTAB BASHIR
Correspondent
DAILY TIMES
ISLAMABAD

Altaf Hussain, chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), has appealed for a “martial law-like” intervention by “patriotic generals” against corrupt feudals and landlord politicians”. Coming from so meone whose party is
known for its ethnic exclusivism — despite pretending otherwise of late– and various other crimes like land grabbing, bhatta (protection money), torturing and/or
murdering dissenters, Mr Hussain’s statement could have been laughed at for its sheer absurdity. The only problem is, this is no laughing matter.

When General Musharraf was in power, we witnessed a militarisation of the state and society. Because of this, the people lost respect for the army. Ever since General Kayani became the chief of army staff (COAS), he has tried to portray himself as a professional soldier with no interest in politics. Under General Kayani, the army has refurbished its image by protecting our territorial integrity and internal security, which is its primary task. Apart from fighting the Taliban, the military has been at the forefront of rescue and relief efforts during the floods. This has done the army’s image much good. On the other hand, the incompetence of the incumbe
nt civilian democratic government is no secret; allegations of massive corruption against the government and its track record have not helped matters either. After the recent floods, despondency can be felt all over the country. It seems that the public has lost faith in the incumbents. An anti-government lobby is now trying to exploit this situation to its advantage. Thus, the MQM chief’s ‘call’ for a not-so-divine intervention by the army at this point in time may be a reflection of not just that anti-democratic lobby but some signals from the powers-that-be may also have something to do with it.

The MQM came into being with the support of the intelligence agencies to counter Sindhi nationalism. Since then it accumulated more and more power and eventually got out of hand, a la the Taliban. After a few ups and downs in its relationship with its mentors, the MQM is back in the game and wants to return to the fold of the establishment. Altaf Hussain’s statement has been criticised by almost every political party. Some have even gone so far as to suggest the ultimate penalty for him since this is a clear violation of Article 6(1) of the constitution: “Any person who abrogates or attempts or conspires to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.” This may only be wishful thinking because Mr Hussain has only ‘suggested’ a military intervention while no military dictator has ever been tried under this Article even though they directly subverted the constitution. Dr Farooq Sattar has denied that his party chief has asked for a martial law; he claims that Mr Hussain has taken a bold stance and has his finger on the pulse of the public. Now this is going a bit too far because despite the public’s reservations about the incumbents, no sane person wants a return of military rule. Those who oppose democracy argue that we would be electing the same faces even if the present government completes its tenure since there is a dearth of alternatives. This is true, but if one were to rationally think about it, the only way to find new leadership is to continue with the democratic process.

It would be wise if Mr Hussain could think with a cool mind instead of giving an open call to the military to seize power. Pakistan has already suffered greatly in its history by not adhering to democratic norms. Military interventions have brought nothing but pain to us and a fresh one will not bring anything new. Democracy on the other hand is a painfully slow process but to develop our institutions, there is no other alternative in sight. We should let it take its normal course instead of delving into tried and failed interventionist territory.

Monday, August 23, 2010

LIVING IN SADISTIC TIMES

By Muhammad MAHTAB Bashir
Corespondent
Daily Times
ISLAMABAD

There are times when our being even vaguely human comes into serious question. The barbarity on display in a shocking video doing the rounds on television screens across the country is one such example. Showing two brothers, Hafiz Mughees, 15, and Hafiz Muneeb, 19, being brutally tortured, beaten with sticks and iron rods, dragged half-naked through the streets and then hung upside down where they draw their last breaths, the video is a morbid reminder of how we have lost all traces of our humanity. However, more shocking still is the fact that some 14 police officers stood guard whilst the torture and lynching took place and instead of stopping the madness, they facilitated it as silent spectators and in keeping back the gathering crowds.


It is said that the perpetrators dispensed with their own brand of vigilante justice against alleged dacoits but it has since been discovered that it was nothing more than an old grudge that was being settled by those accused of this horrendous crime. The fact that a complacent police force stood watch makes them key instruments in this most deplorable of brutal extra-judicial killings. The Supreme Court has taken suo motu notice of this heinous act and has sternly cautioned Sialkot District Police Officer Waqar Chauhan that he deserved to be suspended and sent to jail for nowhere in civilised society do such actions take place. It has also ordered Anti-Corruption Director General (retd) Kazim Malik to investigate the incident. While it is appreciated that the courts have taken immediate notice and have instructed an urgent response, mere dismissals and suspensions will simply not suffice.

The callousness and depravity on display seemed like something from the middle ages. Is our society this barbaric and animalistic? Are we so uncivilised that, as individuals, we are dispensing Taliban-style murders in public? And for all those who witnessed the incident without trying to stop the crime, shame on them.

Shame too on a police force so cold and callous that it stands by silently while two young boys get beaten to death, so inhumane that it beats people up with laathis at a whim, and so cruel that peaceful demonstrations such as the one by the students of Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur are baton-charged and the protestors, including young girl students, are beaten black and blue.

We have proved again and again that we have degenerated into a vile culture when left to our own devices. Pray that the punishment for these offenders fits the crime.

DEAR ANCHERPERSONS

This was actually a time when the anchorpersons should have shown some forbearance, encouraged the administration to get its act together, and should have helped them by pointing out the results of their observations. This is the time to build up the heroes who are rising to the occasion.

I feel like talking to our ‘anchorpersons’ of the electronic media, unless some of them feel that they already know it all! In any case, some of these distinguished personalities may find matters worth thinking about. So it is worth a friendly try.

Most of our anchorpersons seem to have been inspired by the anchor of BBC’s programme ‘Hard Talk’. This anchor is aggressive and, occasionally, embarrasses the person being interviewed. Most of our anchorpersons take pride in being aggressive. They try to browbeat those being interviewed. They test their patience and consider it a great measure of success if some reach the limit of their patience and prefer to walk out. Is this the only role of the responsible anchorperson-journalist?

The flood situation is indeed devastating and each individual in the nation is touched and disturbed by the havoc and misery meted out to the affected people. So are our anchorpersons. The electronic media has done well in reporting and informing the populace about the extent of the damage and the consequences. What they have also done, almost unanimously, is erode confidence in the civil administration in toto! At each and every location they have made it a point to register the absence of civil administrators and politicians. They have done it with force and passion. Yes, they have complimented the role of the army very correctly. The armed forces are responsible for providing rescue and relief. Indeed, they have done a tremendous job, even beyond the call of duty. Some have acknowledged the role played by 1122, which is fair. But these institutions are also part of the government, of the administration and the political set up. These have performed well because they are equipped with quick response facilities.

The primary role of the civil administration and institutions is to rehabilitate and reconstruct. This is basically a follow up of rescue and relief. What one feels is that there has hardly been any consideration given to the constraints of the civil administration. Every individual and all administrations are not geared for immediate response anywhere in the world. We have seen disasters in the US, Indonesia, Africa and many other places. Natural disasters, in their early stages, take a huge toll. If anchors focus entirely on the foreign visit of the president and conclude that the administration is not doing anything, then it is an immature act. Have all of you not been crying hoarse that powers be shifted to the prime minister? Have these not been shifted? Do you prefer to believe that it is only a hoax? Or do you feel that the PM is incapable of responding? What is it? How can the whole administration respond within hours and show its effectiveness at each and every spot that the media anchor visits? This was actually a time when the anchorpersons should have shown some forbearance, encouraged the administration to get its act together, and should have helped them by pointing out the results of their observations. This is the time to build up the heroes who are rising to the occasion. Despite political differences and personal reservations, it was time to applaud the Sharifs for contributing Rs 10 million, it was time to acknowledge Musharraf for contributing Rs 10 million, it was time to acknowledge the Hindu community in Sindh who have taken the responsibility to feed 2,000 families of the affected without any consideration of religion, caste or creed. It was time to appreciate a politician in Sindh, Islamuddin Sheikh, who is raising Rs 4.5 million a day for food and then distributing it. How about Edhi’s efforts and those of so many others?

I think it is time to acknowledge good work and appreciate the role models who are emerging from this disaster. It was funny that, while the information minister was giving details of the help sent by the federation to the provinces including thousands of tents, he was cut off for a commercial! And why do we not appreciate the valiant information minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who has shown exceptional courage and dedication even after the devastating personal tragedy of the loss of his only son?

I think what needs to be done is a careful presentation of the facts in a balanced way. Stop being so aggressive and interrupting everyone on the show. When you shout and speak more than the guest, you are projecting your prejudices and blocking the other point of view. If you believe that someone is hiding or misrepresenting the facts, then your calm and pointed questions will indeed expose him or her and the viewers will understand. Your aggression puts the viewer off. An anchor’s calm creates the benchmark for the tone of discussion. Please realise that viewers have already been educated, thanks to your efforts. Now they expect more. They look for an analysis of the situation. They want a dispassionate, thought provoking appraisal and a way forward. They expect public opinion to be motivated for short-term and long-term solutions. One anchor interviewed a Sindh ‘nationalist’ leader and probed his reservations about the present scheme of water management. Some positive thinking emerged. This was an example. While the nation has experienced this colossal natural tragedy and is prepared to avoid a recurrence, we need to focus on acceptable planning. If the civil government fails to rehabilitate, reconstruct and plan for the future, the media must take it to task.

Anchors have the power of communication beyond the reach of anyone else. It is the nature of your job that it is burdened with social responsibility. If you appreciate the good work of the armed forces, highlighting it is the right thing to do, but also encourage those who are sincerely mobilising. Build role models. Look at the causes and hold responsible those who have neglected the proper need for water management. Focus on developing a consensus on future strategy. Of course, expose corruption, mismanagement, apathy and incompetence. But be a role model yourself — of character, knowledge, investigation and decency.
Courtesy NEEM TAHIR

WHY DOESN'T THE WORLD CARE ABOUT PAKISTANIS?

The United Nations has characterized the destruction caused by the floods in Pakistan as greater than the damage from the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake combined. Yet nearly three weeks since the floods began, aid is trickling in slowly and reluctantly to the United Nations, NGOs, and the Pakistani government.

After the Haiti earthquake, about 3.1 million Americans using mobile phones donated $10 each to the Red Cross, raising about $31 million. A similar campaign to raise contributions for Pakistan produced only about $10,000. The amount of funding donated per person affected by the 2004 tsunami was $1249.80, and for the 2010 Haiti earthquake, $1087.33. Even for the Pakistan earthquake of 2005, funding per affected person was $388.33. Thus far, for those affected by the 2010 floods, it is $16.36 per person.


Why has the most devastating natural disaster in recent memory generated such a tepid response from the international community? Something of a cottage industry is emerging to try to answer this latest and most sober of international mysteries.

There is no shortage of theories. It's donor fatigue. It's Pakistan fatigue. It's because the Pakistani government is corrupt and can't be trusted. It's because the victims are Muslim. It's because people think a nuclear power should be able to fend for itself. It's because floods -- particularly these floods -- spread their destruction slowly, over a period of time, rather than instantaneously. It's because of the tighter budgets of Western governments. It's because of the lingering effects of the financial crisis.

There's a degree of truth to all these explanations. But the main reason that Pakistan isn't receiving attention or aid proportionate to the devastation caused by these floods is because, well, it's Pakistan. Given a catastrophe of such epic proportions in any normal country, the world would look first through a humanitarian lens. But Pakistan, of course, is not a normal country. When the victims are Haitian or Sri Lankan -- hardly citizens of stable, well-government countries, themselves -- Americans and Europeans are quick to open their hearts and wallets. But in this case, the humanity of Pakistan's victims takes a backseat to the preconceived image that Westerners have of Pakistan as a country.

Pakistan is a country that no one quite gets completely, but apparently everybody knows enough about to be an expert. If you're a nuclear proliferation expert, suddenly you're an expert on Pakistan. If you're terrorism expert, ditto: expert on Pakistan. India expert? Pakistan, too then. Of South Asian origin of any kind at a think-tank, university, or newspaper? Expert on Pakistan. Angry that your parents sent you to the wrong madrassa when you were young? Expert on Pakistan.

This unique stock of global expertise on Pakistan naturally generates a scary picture. Between our fear of terrorism, nervousness about a Muslim country with a nuclear weapon, and global discomfort with an intelligence service that seems to do whatever it wants (rather than what we want it to do), Pakistan makes the world, and Americans in particular, extremely uncomfortable. In a 2008 Gallup poll of Americans, only Afghanistan, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, North Korea, and Iran were less popular than Pakistan.

The net result of Pakistan's own sins, and a global media that is gaga over India, is that Pakistan is always the bad guy. You'd be hard pressed to find a news story anywhere that celebrates the country's incredible scenery, diversity, food, unique brand of Islam, evolving and exciting musical tradition, or even its arresting array of sporting talent, though all those things are present in abundance.

How bad is it? Well, in 2007, when the Pakistani cricket team's national coach, an Englishman named Bob Woolmer, was found dead in his hotel room, the first instinct of the international press was that a Pakistani team member must have killed him. This is the story of modern day Pakistan.

Contrary to what many Pakistani conspiracy theorists believe, the suspicion and contempt with which the country is seen with is not deliberate or carefully calculated. It's just how things pan out when you are the perennial bad boy in a neighborhood that everyone wishes could be transformed into Scandinavia -- because after 9/11, the world cannot afford a dysfunctional ghetto in South and Central Asia anymore. Or so goes the paternalist doctrine.

It is bad enough that the Pakistani elite don't seem eager to cooperate with this agenda of transformation; now, nature also seems to be set against it. The floods in Pakistan are the third major humanitarian crisis to afflict the country in recent years. The 2005 earthquake and the massive internal displacement of Pakistanis from Swat and the FATA region in 2009 were well-managed disasters, according to many international aid workers. While international support was valuable in mitigating the effects of those disasters, most experts agree that it was Pakistanis, both in government and civil society, that did the heavy lifting.

The 2010 floods, however, are a game-changer. The country will not and cannot ever be the same. The loss of life, disease, poverty, and human misery themselves are going to take years to overcome. But the costs of desilting, cleaning up, and reconstructing Pakistan's most fertile and potent highways, canals, and waterworks will be exhausting just to calculate. The actual task of building back this critical infrastructure is a challenge of unprecedented proportions.

Last week, I visited a relatively well-to-do village called Pashtun Ghari in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Pashtun Ghari is right off the historic Grand Trunk Road, and less than two miles from the river. Flood victims there did not feel abandoned by authorities, indeed they were quite satisfied with how they had been taken care of. Still, there was inconsolable despair among residents. Why? The town's entire livestock population, some 2,300 cows, had perished beneath waters that stood more than 10 feet high in the first wave of flooding. Those cattle are both assets and income generators for Pakistani villagers along the Indus River. There is no recovering from losing that quantum of livestock.

The fact that people in other countries don't like Pakistan very much doesn't change the humanity of those affected by the floods or their suffering. It is right and proper to take a critical view of Pakistani politicians, of their myopia and greed. It is understandable to be worried about the far-reaching capabilities of the Pakistani intelligence community and reports that they continue to support the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is even excusable that some indulge in the fantasy that a few hundred al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are capable of taking over a country guarded by more than 750,000 men and women of the Pakistani military, and the 180 million folks that pay their salaries.

But are the farmers of Pashtun Ghari, of Muzzafararh and Dera Ghazi Khan, of Shikarpur and Sukkur, really obligated to allay these fears before they can get help in replacing their lost livelihoods? Twenty million people are now struggling to find a dry place to sleep, a morsel of food to eat, a sip of clean water to drink -- and the questions we are asking have to do with politics and international security. The problem is not in Pakistan. It is where those questions are coming from.

Pakistan has suffered from desperately poor moral leadership, but punishing the helpless and homeless millions of the 2010 floods is the worst possible way to express our rejection of the Pakistani elite and their duplicity and corruption. The poor, hungry, and homeless are not an ISI conspiracy to bilk you of your cash. They are a test of your humanity. Do not follow in the footsteps of the Pakistani elite by failing them. That would be immoral and inhumane. This is a time to ask only one question. And that question is: "How can I help?"
Courtesy Mosharraf Zaidi

Saturday, August 21, 2010

WINNING HEARTS & MINDS

Some people have inherent special qualities that enable them to master all situations. Such individuals can, when they come to a gathering, win the hearts and minds of people simply by making an appearance there. It is said of them: “They came, they saw, they conquered.”

This kind of ability to win love is not the monopoly of extraordinary people. Any ordinary person also can win the hearts and minds of people, provided he knows the law of nature and can avail of it by the power known as the power of spirituality.

According to the Creation Plan of God, all human beings have two different qualities: ego and conscience. The ego symbolises arrogance, and the conscience, modesty. For instance, there could be a difference of opinion between two individuals, A and B. A might enter into a heated exchange, refusing to give B due respect and honour. This kind of behaviour is bound to provoke B, who might try to teach A a lesson. A psychologist offers this analysis: “When one’s ego is touched, it turns into super ego and the result is breakdown.”

In this case A presented a challenge to B and B’s ego gained the upper hand due to arrogance. On the other hand, if, instead of getting provoked and acting out of ego, had B had opted for a compromise, or if A had restrained himself from provoking B in the first place, there would be no conflict. In all likelihood, greater understanding would enable better relations between A and B; they would no longer be rivals bent on outdoing the other. There is scope for friendship now where earlier, there was only ill feeling. When one’s conscience is touched, it turns into super conscience and the result is complete surrender.

This formula is within our reach, and can be used quite successfully. However there are certain risks involved.

There is every possibility that in a sensitive situation where the ego is involved, the other person becomes even more arrogant. He will react more aggressively. He will be more dangerous than before. But that is only if you allow the ego to become your master. The ego is a bad master but a good servant. Fear of a situation arising in which one is completely directed by the ego is unfounded, because when the ego gains predominance it is because of ignorance of the power of nature, or more precisely, the power of spirituality. So all one needs to do is to try and be less ignorant; to learn how to think positive and keep one’s ego under control.

According to nature if you challenge someone’s ego, your success is doubtful but when you challenge someone’s conscience, then your success is guaranteed by nature.

People generally know the power of fighting but a wise man will tell you that the power of spirituality is greater than the power of either ego or conscience. At the time of a controversy, if you choose to fight, you will need arms but when you opt for the spiritual method, you don’t need any arms. The power of positive behaviour can triumph over the power of negativity, while the power of negativity cannot win anything -- it can only lead to destruction.

MANA KY ISS ZAMEEN KO GULZAAR NA KAR SAKAY
KUCH KHAAR KAM ZAROOR KIAY- GUZRAY JIDHAR SY HUM

The choice is ours: To opt for positive, peaceful methods to create better understanding and oneness, thereby contributing to universal togetherness with compassion and surrender or to take a combative stand, giving the ego a free hand, causing unhappiness all around.
Courtesy TOI