National discourse on ‘the role of religion and politics in the context of human values in present era’ was organized by the ‘Ultimate Educational Vocational and Social Welfare Association’ on 28th December 2019 at the Constitution Club of India, Delhi with the aim of raising human values across the country.
Below is the excerpt from the speech delivered on occasion by Dr Birbal Jha, the Managing Director of British Lingua, and an institute of communication skills of international repute and the Chairman of Mithilalok Foundation working for socio-cultural and economic development in the country.
There is worth of every being in this world. Efforts of co-existing in society, sharing love, giving respect, developing an understanding for the protection of every being are our human values. They need strengthening owing to the changing nature of existence itself.
Practising these very principles is our dharma. And our dharma is our way of life. How we think, how we conduct ourselves, and what we practice, all these are parts of our dharma. Hence, Our Dharma should seek to live a significant life and add values to the society we are born in.
Politics is to frame policies of ensuring the co-existence, governance, discipline and helping realize the aims, objectives and philosophy of human values. It has both preventive and punitive aspects while running a family, society, nation, or the world itself.
We need to bear in mind all the time that we can give life to somebody but we can’t take anyone’s life. Giving life to someone is our privilege to protect the process of God’s creation, while taking it back is against Godly principles.
Protecting human life is saving human values. Taking someone’s life is not only against nature, but also a heinous and unpardonable crime that everybody would agree to pooh-pooh. However, there are some people around the world who appear to be blood thirsty of each other. They often elbow down each other to take advantage.
To raise the human values is to create a congenial environment of living together with a bonding, not only to survive and sustain, but to evolve to a higher possibility. Being inclusive and giving a better place to our future generations to live, while driving out malice both from the self and society must be supreme. Thus, thanks to our dharma of humanity, we all can connect to God.
Ensuring the existence of human life is creating a society of living together. Creating an infrastructure for the same and ensuring good governance and justice to all should be the aim and objective of politics.
However, the politics of the day is in poor shape. The meaning of politics has been distorted to suit a particular class of people that wants to rule but shy away from taking on their responsibilities.
It is a big concern. How a new definition of politics has sneaked into our system! Gaining power by hook or by crook has become the new definition of politics. The basic essence of framing policies for the betterment of the nation and society has taken a back seat. Befooling others, hoodwinking, telling lies and spreading rumors seem to characterize politics practised these days. However, politics should mean that the national interest is above personal gains and vested interest. Probity should be an essential part of political affairs.
It is an open secret how mercenaries, scandals, deceit, disruption, etc. are used to wipe out a person for a personal gain. Those in power are so intoxicated that they forget that nothing is permanent in this world. They neglect the real objectives of politics for their personal gains. The blame game has become the order of the day. Misleading, not leading, has become the practice of shrewd politicians. We hardly find statesmen and visionaries in today’s political circle.
Thus, human values are at stake. We need to acknowledge the fact that everyone and everything in this universe is different and have their own value for existence. It means each of us is unique. We are expected to do something unique. Each of us needs to ask what values we are going to add to this world while acknowledging the value of others.
I believe if we begin to ask ourselves we can find the answer to the question on our own. We will begin to understand human values. We would learn to appreciate everything and everyone around us. Being human means being able to observe and act consciously. We need to seek the ideal balance between diversity and unity of our thoughts, understandings and actions. There must be a reconciliation between our actions and thoughts
Our Dharma is not only to perform our duties but to ensure that we stand out against the evil forces that try to bring disharmony and work against the well-being of society and nation with malice in their minds.
Recognition of uniqueness of everyone will strengthen our view. Whether it is the Ramayana, the Gita, the Quran or the Bible, the spirit is the same- do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Hence, our education policy needs revisiting. It is the education that transforms us into valuable beings. Our direction towards setting things right should begin from home, educational institutions and public life. That would be the first step towards instilling human values, clean politics and upholding one's dharma. Charity begins at home. Let’s clean our home first and the surroundings.
Dr Birbal Jha is a noted author and the youngest Living Legend of Mithila.