November 28, 2005

Federation of the Earth

Crossroads Of Religions: Quantum Resolution of Truth
Dr. Chitta R. Goswami
Sri Aurobindo, a preeminent leader of Indian struggle for freedom during the first decade of the last century, was engaged in envisioning the future of mankind during the second decade of the century. He came to the idea, while observing the progress of World War I, that unless war was prevented human progress would be seriously hampered. He advocated the formation of a world government for making war a thing of the past. He speculated by what process world government could be a reality and what form the anticipated government could reasonably take.
After the end of the War a number of concerned thinkers of Europe, who were shocked by the colossal destruction brought about by the war, began to device a mechanism as would prevent another carnage. Establishment of an international body called The League of Nations was proposed under the earnest leadership of American President Woodrow Wilson, an idealist and a man of great learning. The League of Nations became a reality in 1919. But Mr. Wilson failed to persuade the Congress to become a member of this organization. America chose to remain an insular nation. League of Nation did quite a few good things; but it could not prevent another war breaking out within twenty years.
World War II broke out in 1939. It ended in 1945 with far greater devastation covering the entire world. In the earlier war the death toll was terrible; aerial bombing as well as chemical weapons were used. The second war ended with the dropping of two Atomic bombs killing one hundred thousand Japanese. With initiative taken by F D Roosevelt United Nations Charter was prepared; in 1945 U N O was inaugurated with a handful of free nations as members. Membership has now grown to one hundred and ninety one. With the production of Atomic bombs in 1949 by Soviet Union, Cold War started in right earnest. Third World War has been averted, but so many proxy wars have actually been fought; the process is still continuing; so is the draining of natural resources.
Two Harvard jurists came up with protracted deliberations with a book entitled Complete Disarmament with Full Inspection. The book was circulated widely in original and in numerous translations. There was a chance for a breakthrough as Khrushchev, the Soviet leader was in a favorable disposition, but eventually nothing happened. That was in 1959. In early seventies a few followers of Sri Aurobindo, in collaboration with a number of pacifist organizations in Europe, met in several sessions and produced a document entitled Constitution for the Federation of the Earth. This group met in Europe and North America to press the urgency of a broad-based world government. Unfortunately, attendance at these meetings was negligible.
The great sage and philosopher of modern India, Sri Aurobindo who has written with a strong conviction the inevitability of man’s evolution into a higher type of existence, has nonetheless characterized the present state of our existence as ‘civilized barbarism’. Just think of what is going on right now: wars, race riots, ethnic cleansing, terrorism, starvation and malnutrition for many; on the other hand a small number of people are wallowing in wealth. half the people of the world are living under some sort of autocratic rule; even democracies getting compromised by corruption; environment of the entire world getting polluted rapidly so on and so forth. How then do we expect a turn around to take place? How can all values be transformed? Grim facts noted above form but one side of the coin. If we consider the other side we may not yet lose hope. Let us think of the enormous strides taken toward progress during the twentieth century ended just a few years ago.
After the First World War some colonial powers, namely, Germany lost their colonial holdings. After World War II most colonial powers had to give up their rule over colonies gradually; the process came to completion by the end of the twentieth century. I grew up under British rule; India became free the year I graduated from High School. What an exhilaration myself and most others around me felt is beyond expression. Just try to contemplate what a marvelous transformation it was for hundreds of millions of people in many countries in Asia and Africa. Let us focus on some of the social issues: The apartheid in South Africa, the system of untouchability in India. Apartheid has been removed just a decade ago. It boggles my mind to think how a small white minority could continue to repress, torture and deprive millions of native African people of their basic human rights. It is so gratifying to think that the black leaders made a noble gesture of reconciliation with the white oppressors who are now an integral part of the South African citizenry. In India a small segment of the population was treated as untouchables. These are the people who were doing all kinds of dirty work, namely, carrying nightsoil from latrines, for the society. Instead of rewarding them for their services, Hindu society was treating them as though they were worse than animals.
The great Indian leader, Mohandas Gandhi, agitated against maltreatment of these people whom he designated as Harijans, meaning people of God. In the constitution framed and given effect to, three years after India became free in 1947, a new chapter opened for the Harijans. They have been given equal rights with all other citizens; to make it possible for them to take advantage of their legal rights. Seats have been reserved for them in schools, colleges, in legislatures and in the bureaucracy. Many other things are being done for them, like, removal of all barriers for them in the sphere of private life, namely, entrance into temples. As a noble gesture one qualified member of the community was elected as the President of India for five years. These measures suggest that general public have started to participate, at least mentally, in the life and feelings of neglected and oppressed people. This is how we get to truth. A few other remarkable features of the twentieth century are socialism, the human Rights Movement, and progress in science and technology leading to new consciousness.

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