War and Peace

One nation must uphold and preserve the dharmic order for stability. This time-tested arrangement has proven effective for centuries and will work again
Representative image
Representative image

Every human worth his salt seeks peace and bliss. None wants misery. But we have been, since times immemorial, witness to wars between communities and countries, disrupting peace and causing the destruction of life and property. All time phases in global history have been punctuated by episodes of wars that led to a heavy toll on human life and gory tales of violence, bloodshed, torture and suffering. Wars leave hundreds dead, injured, maimed or widowed often because of greed, self-aggrandisement or heightened pride of persons in power or authority—the ruling elite. To the logical-minded layman, wars are avoidable. The underlying reason is that almost all are fought because one of the warring parties is not on the side of righteousness and is opposed to the tenets of dharma—a divinely ordained code of universal welfare.

The present world is in the throes of several wars being fought in different theatres. A war erupted between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022 which continues to this day with no visible end to it. And recently, in October 2023, another war began—between Israel and Hamas-Palestine. While this war was raging, there was another episode in the Middle East—a clear confrontation between the US/UK and Iran in the Red Sea where the involved countries commenced a naval conflict. This is not to talk of the long continuing India-Pakistan low-intensity border conflict with terrorist violence sponsored by Pakistan in India and the torrid and tense security situation at the LAC between India and China.

Can we stop these wars?

The only way to stop wars is the education of the political elite who instigate and indulge in them. But how will dharmic truths be brought to bear on members of this elite? That is the question which cries to be answered. First and foremost, political, cultural and geographical facts in the backdrop of the tenets of dharma have to be unfolded. Then, these facts, which establish in a clear light the moral culpability of warmongers, need to be communicated to the warring parties. A central global agency can be called on to do this. But that agency needs to possess a moral and politically acceptable authority, unlike the UN of today. However, most importantly, the prime tenets of universal dharma need to be defined, described, delineated and devolved to all global nations for acceptance and adherence.

In light of what is stated above, we need to go to the fundamentals of human existence on this globe. We have to go back to the understanding that Ishwar or God is the creator of the world and all humans are his subjects who are being administered by him as per a universal code called dharma. It is this code which has been expounded in the eternal primaeval scriptures called Vedas and their derivative texts. Who is right and who is wrong can be easily understood by reference to the rules of peaceful and progressive coexistence as given in these texts. These ancient scriptures provide the eternally valid rules of governance in line with dharma and we can use these precepts to decide who committed the transgression of codes of dharma and when. But most importantly, we need to have a central, most powerful global authority that can enforce dharmic codes for cessation or prevention of hostilities.

In ancient times, global empires with overwhelming power and authority existed and fulfilled their moral responsibility to enforce dharmic codes. Something similar is required today. To this end, it is, however, important that there should be one clear ideology of humanism based on universal dharma or moral order pervading the entire globe. History of the world has witnessed utopia and peace for long periods under such ideological arrangements and geopolitical structures based on that arrangement. This is the only practical solution to the problem of global wars.

Ideology is the key. The world is a family and universal dharma is the divine code of peaceful coexistence of nations. One nation or kingdom has to assume responsibility for the enforcement and preservation of the dharmic order. This is a sustainable arrangement that has worked for centuries and millennia in the distant past and will work again.

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The New Indian Express