one world?

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Nov 2018 12:22:41

THE centenary of the end of the first World War (WW-I) reminds -- or should remind -- the world the futility of war per se. Yet, even as the WW-I ended, the world refused to learn the right lessons. That obnoxiously obstinate refusal to learn right lessons led to World War-II within just two decades of the first version. Both the wars left more questions in their wake rather than solutions to causes of human conflict. Looking back at that moment when the WW-I ended, the only conclusion now available to us is that the WW-I created terrible divides in the global human community that the WW-I only enhanced -- so much so that French President Mr. Emmanuel Macron, the host of the Peace Conference in Paris, warned against what he termed as “nationalism”.

In the solemn atmosphere, Mr. Macron’s warning might not have strum the right strings in every heart, but it did well to insist upon a serious reconsideration of the element that seems to give rise to a narrow perception of national interest. As the world is now plagued by forced migrations of countless lakhs of people across the world due to the unholy aggression by Islamic terrorism and as many nations already are beginning to resist entry of those migrants into their respective territories, the warning of Mr. Macron against “nationalism” may sound appropriate. But the use of just that term does not specify or classify anything in particular. For, it raises a question if Mr. Macron does not like countries like Germany or the United States resist the entries of hapless people of other nationalities seeking asylum in their countries. Let us only hope that Mr. Macron does not mean such a narrow definition of the term. Let us hope, he means something much bigger -- in the light of the unlearned lessons of the two World Wars. To that extent, carrying on with Mr. Macron’s assertion, the Paris meet may serve a credible purpose.

But there is a hitch which the non-Indian world may never understand. For, it is in India that a peace mantra is available traditionally and historically in the form of the Vedic definition of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (World Is One Family). Exactly this was the crux of the message of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at the Alpine resort of Davos this year. Talking about the limited success of globalisation due to narrowed perceptions of national interests, Mr. Modi had warned against cleavaging of the global human community on politically-driven ideas of world governments. He said, in effect, that if pure commercial interests were to be at the core of globalisation, then it was a patently bad idea.

Mr. Macron seems to say the same thing in other words. At this juncture in time, no world leader, including the brazen President of the United States Mr. Donald Trump and the highly polished German Chancellor Mrs. Angela Merkel, would like to defer with Mr. Macron. There are two reasons -- one, the global leaders are now aware of the dangerous portends available in international politics; and two, none of them would like to be described as the villain of the piece. So, at least in Paris, Mr. Trump or Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin would agree not to disagree. Yet, internally and inwardly, the world knows that the Paris meet will have made only a philosophical point with little practical impact.

For, if Russia leads a military exercise (with China in tow) involving more than a fifty thousand tanks in Siberia, and NATO responds with a similar exercise in the neighbourhood, then we are certainly not looking at a world that has learned its lessons from the WW-I and WW-II and several other conflicts later.

This particular feeling, howsoever silent and sly, after Paris is quite disturbing, to say the least, no matter the verbal assertions whose real intent lies buried in political rhetoric.