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Terrorism can be won by winning hearts: Ravi Shankar
"Human nature is akin to an atom, where the central point is positive and the negative charged particles are only in the circumference. It's the same with human beings. Peace, serenity, a sense of caring and compassion all come from the centre of a human being." These words of wisdom were said by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in conversation with Shashi Tharoor, India's dark horse who was in the running for the position of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, some time ago.
Tharoor expressed concern at what he said was how much human behaviour had degraded. He talked of his experiences in the former Yugoslavia, where he was deeply involved in trying to sort out that "horrible situation" and it was there that he often found people who had lived next to each other for generations, who had entrusted their home keys with one another, were killing each other and raping each other's womenfolk. After witnessing such horrors, one can lose complete faith in humanity.
The reason is ofcourse, a deep identity crisis and when people start to only think of themselves as being either Hindu or Muslim or as belonging to any one race - they lose the larger picture of being human beings first, and the race/religion issue takes centrestage in their minds. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told CNBC-TV18, "People should realise that they come from one spirit and one human race."
Tharoor points out that people should also realise that they have multiple identities, apart from their religion. But it's always been a harsh truth that in moments of crisis, people fall back on their religious identities, which emphasises separatness. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar believes this occurs because "people do not cultivate a Vedantic way of thinking or spherical thinking (of asking oneself soul searching questions like 'who am I' etc) but think in a linear manner - of either belonging to this or that religion." He says, people should look beyond religious indentity.
The essence of religion is spirituality, and it needs to be brought out. Only this will help in countering terrorism - so much of which is being done in the name of either one religion or the other. So, what's the solution? As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar aptly puts it, "Terrorism can't be won with guns and by supression but by winning their hearts". And he does acknowledge that, this is going to be quite a challenge.