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As you know I am not going to be an active debator for the next few
months. However, I do glance thro' the debates once in a while.
I just glanced thro' some of the debates of the last 2 days. I was a bit
concerned that temperatures have risen again. I was in particular very
concerned with the apparent failure to distinguish between use of
physical force and the use of economic temptation. This is with
reference to Ash's comments, who I thought had helped me out on the Free
citizen piece and therefore understood the answer himself.
Please believe me, Ashwin, this is one thing which should be VERY easy
to draw a line on: that is why we have government in the first place.
The non-use of force by a citizen against another.
If an economic crime is committed, its penalty is ALWAYS much milder
than if a physical assault is committed. In all societies, and based on
Remember we said in the free citizen piece:
"I had powers of existence defined unto me the moment I was born, and my
parents through the society had protected this power through a contract,
restraining those who would diminish this power in any way."
If nothing else is kept of that piece, this is the crux, the essence.
The basic compact.
Life and its protection, i.e., the protection of limb, dignity of body,
is THE KEY TASK of government. Everything else is far lower on any
scale. If someone has failed to protect this then all democracy is
nullified, all debate is nullified. The basic contract of nationhood is
nullified. Nothing else counts. We are back to being crude animals, we
retreat from the godliness and human-ness that saints and philosophers
have tried to give into this species, over thousands of years.
You will note that proselytization is NOT usually practiced by force.
Nor often by economic temptation, though I do not rule out the use of
such means in some cases. But even if economic means are used, at worst,
some kind of a 'corruption' is going on. Somebody is being tempted into
changing their opinion due to money.
But wait for a minute and think. If this is bad as far as religion is
concerned, is it not bad while a political election is going on? I can
guarantee you that monetary temptation IS used in each election. So, we
agree that both are bad. So we must devise systems to prevent that from
happening, or at least minimize it.
But do also remember that at the end of it, the voter completely
outfoxes the election pundits. Money does count, but people often make a
fool of the person with money. Money cannot support unpopular
governments. People also have what is known as a mind. So do not think
that all proselytization is because of money. Some people might convert
because of their own choice. Nothing to be bothered about, I do think.
How does it matter what religion a person is so long as he or she is an
Even if it does happen that money is influential in a particular case of
proselytization, there is NO COMPARISON of that with any other kind of
activity where physical force is used. At that point, I draw a line.
No cause, unless sanctioned by the Parliament of a nation as being
critical for its survival, needs the use of force. That is why we are
against "terrorism" - because those people use force to persuade us to
their political goals. We don't mind debate and discussion. That is
rational and democratic. But use force, and the government HAS to step
in. That is its PRIMARY function.
Let us provide a clear signal from IPI on all matters: On this
particular mattter, based on the Free citizen piece, NO ONE is entitled
to diminish my power (as a citizen) of EXISTENCE, which means my limbs,
my eyes, my body, my life, MUST be protected and kept away from all
disputes. We can debate, talk, discuss, go to court, if need be. But
never use force to prove a point.
If you feel that I have made a mistake in this interpretation, please
revert to the Free citizen piece for guidance, and if you dislike a
particular line, please change that first.
Note carefully that I am not condemning anyone or any group or any act.
I couldn't care less. What has happened is gone and past. As far as I am
concerned, I can't do anything about what has already happened. It is
completely dead. I can't bring back to life anyone, nor give back their
eyes to people who were blinded by the Police or anyone else. Hence the
matter is closed. One can only move on.
For the future I care a LOT: so we should set out principles SO CLEAR on
such issues that we all know what is acceptable and what is not.
Economic temptation is still that: a temptation to the human mind. It is
for that mind to decide whether to give in or not. It is NOT the same as
depriving the person of his life or limb just because that person does
not agree with you.
Let us send a very strong message: we want to make India SAFE first of
all; safe for the children of ALL Indians, no matter what their belief,
size, or shape. I couldn't care less about your beliefs. I care for YOU.
Period. That is why I am against all and any witch hunts. Go toward the
future. Not toward the past. Let us take India toward the land which
Rabindra Nath dreamt of:
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason
Has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father,
let my country awake
Please let us always pray together for the country to see reason and to
work together to prevent any hatred. Let us lower temperatures, and help
provide protection and a good future for EACH child of India. I do not
want this dead target of a 'crossover' of USA. In fact, now that I look
at it, I do feel we must add a human touch to the 3 targets, by adding
"To make it the land where each child is SAFE, each life is treasured."
IPI is not a money or gold medal hungry machine. We are people who LOVE
India, above all. Else we would not be here. Let us reflect that love in
our statement, by GUARANTEEING safety and dignity to each and every
child - and remember each of us are children of India; so that covers
all of us.
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