Having lost Paradise, Humanness is all we have

by | Dec 1, 2020

I am blessed with the friendship of Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya. He came to India in 2005, as part of the follow-up of President Kalam’s visit to Tanzania in 2004. An Anesthesiologist, Dr Mpoki brought with him a team of doctors, nurses and paramedics. They spent two years in India learning further in their respective fields. They left behind very warm memories and a great impression. A decade later, I met Dr Mpoki and his colleagues in Dar es Salaam at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute, a modern well-equipped hospital in Tanzania built by China and run by India-trained personnel. 

Dr Mpoki drove me to Bagamoyo, a trading port for ivory and the slave trade, with traders coming from the African interiors, from places as far as Zambia, Congo, Lake Tanganyika and Mount Usambara on their way to Zanzibar. Later, Dr Mpoki took over as the High Commissioner of Tanzania in Canada and moved to Ottawa. He posts his comments regularly in this blog and helps raise the narrative to a higher level with his soulful insights. Commenting upon my article about fame the last month, Dr Mpoki mentioned about Dr Edson Chikumba who spent his life impacting the lives of many people around him. 

When Dr. Chikumba left for his heavenly abode, Dr Mpoki said, “Dr Chikumba’s ancestral roots in the Kingdom of Monomotapa (modern day Zimbabwe), and the mourning transcended the political jurisdictions of the Republic.” The mention of the Kingdom of Monomotapa caused a hair-raising experience. It triggered my memory of meeting Padre Filipe Couto, Catholic priest and Former Chancellor of Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UED) in Maputo, Mozambique. One evening, on June 13, 2016, I sat with him in a roadside café and listened from him the story of the people of Monomotapa. 

Born in January 1939, Padre Filipe Couto completed two PhDs, in Sociology and Anthropology. He told me that the Monomotapa empire covered vast territories of what are now modern-day Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa. In fact, Monomotapa was a Portuguese transliteration of the African royal title “Mwenemutapa” derived from a combination of two words – “Mwene” meaning King or Lord, and “Mutapa” meaning land. The empire had a well-organized religion revolving around ritual consultation of spirits and royal ancestors and had a powerful priesthood. There were vast gold mines there, but they were not exploited, and people lived in harmony by doing agriculture and animal husbandry and flourished in their paradise. 

Padre Filipe Couto told me that the problems started in 1561, when a Portuguese Jesuit missionary managed to make his way into the Mwenemutapa’s court and converted him to Christianity. This did not go well with the Muslim merchants in the capital, and they persuaded the king to kill the Jesuit only a few days after the former’s baptism. This was all the excuse the Portuguese needed to penetrate the interior and take control of the gold mines and ivory routes. The Portuguese started giving guns to the different factions, which brought the downfall of the Mutapan state. Not stopping at the plunder, the Portuguese forced their way of life on the African people. They called the Africans uncivilized and self-assumed a “right” to rule over them. Following this template, other Europeans also rushed in and scrambled the continent. 

The same story was rolled out in India by the British. Spices were the primary way of preserving meat in Europe in those times. The British landed on the Indian subcontinent at the port of Surat in 1608 for trade. They quickly spread along the coastlines and reached the East coast, first in the Coromandel, the southeastern coast region of the Indian subcontinent, and later up to Bengal. 

The British constructed the St George Fort in Madras in 1639 and Fort William in Calcutta in 1699. They got involved in factional conflicts, wars of succession, and rivalries among the regional Indian powers and recruited a large number of mercenaries and gave them guns. Over the years, prosperous India was not only plundered by the British but they turned it into an economic wasteland to benefit their local industry and global trade.

Sitting that evening with Padre Filipe Couto, I realized the universality of brute power destroying peaceful and prosperous cultures and traditions. American anthropologist, Jared Mason Diamond (b. 1937) in 1997 published, “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” in 1997. He boldly declared, based on sound research, that European civilizations were not created out of superior intelligence, but out of a combination of guns, germs, and steel that enabled their imperialism. As much as 95 per cent of the people in the Americas died by smallpox and measles brought by the Europeans to their land. In Australia and South Africa, the aboriginals were decimated by smallpox, measles, influenza and other infectious diseases.

The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic disaster that it has already brought must not be seen as a one-off event. Three trends are being repeated here – (1) China has reached a critical mass of prosperity where it must now become an empire (2) The Chinese have already established their presence in the African continent through infrastructure projects and (3) China has taken control of international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It is not COVID-19, it is the guns, germs, and steel that have all been rolled into one and mounted in the template of imperialism.

Let us hear what three great people of the modern times had said. Abraham Lincoln used to quote an anonymous poet who called Truth, the “daughter of Time.” Galileo Galilei said, “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” Albert Einstein declared, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” The only thing left of any worth in the world is humanness. If that is lost, everything will be lost. 

अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघु चेतसाम् | 

उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् |

The great vision of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” of ancient Indians does not match with The Ming dynasty model of Xi Jinping, the Chinese President for life, demanding that other nations become tribute states, kowtowing to Beijing. The world may not be paradise anymore, but humanity cannot be forsaken. India can’t allow the Chinese to once again turn it into an economic wasteland to benefit their local industry. Humanity is indeed facing an existential threat of dystopia by a predatory superpower on the prowl.

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24 Comments

  1. This piece is another thought-provocative one. I am amazed at the way you weaved the themes and connecting dots. You have beautifully traced the historical trajectory of the Caucasian’s treachery and compared with the Chinese’s treachery and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

    What a privilege for us to learnt about your relationship with Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya! I feel, Jared Jason Diamond’s book – “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” is reviving among the intellectual community during this pandemic. I must get one copy for myself and David soon. Thank you!

  2. Yet another jewel from the ocean of thoughts! History is an excellent teacher, but are we good student to comprehend, and move ahead? “Germs” have always reminded, how vulnerable man is. In the COVID-19, human species is the one that got badly affected, but not the other living beings. A remarkable point in the whole scenario was how quickly and effectivly we responded to the situation and probably that is where the humanness lies,

    As they say, humanness is what we experience and paradise is what we imagine. Second law of thermodynamics tends to take us to our original position and it it takes energy to keep us away from our original condition. With full faith on creator, one can imagine our original earth near to paradise with an assumption that creater will always create the best. Lets all try not to disturb the nature too much, keep it as original as we can and practice “Vasudaiv Kutumbkam”

  3. Often I used to think, “What kind of country Bharat would have been, had it not been ruled by many foreign invader for around 1000 year?” After reading and re-reading this blog, I am thinking “What kind of world or how diversified would have been, Had it not been plundered, looted and suffered heinous atrocity by greedy power seeking tyrants” To avoid India’s and world’s future suffering from another Tyrants we need to learn from our past to not make same mistake again . Young gen of India are lucky enough to have wise peoole like you ,Who are consistently alerting us in all sphere life to be cautious. As someone famously said “Those who don’t learn learn lesson from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Dear Sir, The story of Mwenemutapa (Today’s Zimbabwe) also reminds me about the horror of French’s in Congo .French soldier had to produce proof of killed person for each gun shot.

    Today Rajnath Singhji rightly said in Valedictory session of FICCI, “As far as soft power is concern India is far ahead of China” & further quoted Chinese Thinker Hu Shi, “India has culturally dominated and controlled China for more than 2000 years without sending a single soldier across the border”.

    Dear Sir reading your blog and various post/column is treat to mind and soul, Because all are consist of Modern Science and Spiritual wisdom. Being regular reader of your I can distinguish among Body,Soul and Mind. Thank you very much Sir.

  4. Well written blog Sir. I believe that in today’s India, we all need learnings and upbringing at the grassroots level to give to the society, to impact the lives of people around us, to make a difference in any way possible. That empathy (or lack of it) is missing on a broader scale, though there are hundreds of thousands working towards it as well. Lots of positives around, we just need our children and current gen to acknowledge and inspire from the ability to positively affect someone’s lives.

    We have become materialistic (though it cannot be avoided completely), if we can live and teach our kids to live with compassion and kindness, the world will be a better place. Slowly but surely, One person at a time and one family at a time. We will get there.

    On a slightly related topic of farming, Recently I was in Maharashtra and was pleasantly surprised at the abundance and prosperity of farming in the eastern part. Its a hot area and water cultivation drove farming revenue. It was heartening to see sprinkler systems in the remote villages as well and lush green fields all around.

  5. Thanks Arunji for the connecting the learning from history to modern scenarios including the pandemic.. It was great to get introduced to Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya ji through this blog. The story of Monomotapa also seemed related to many other stories around the world, including India, where imperialists came, converted, conquered, plundered and destroyed local paradises across the globe.

    The culture of “guns, germs, and steel” coupled with “survival of the fittest” that enabled their imperialism vs our “vasudaiva kutumbhakam” as integral humanism show the difference between what world had and what world needs respectively.

    However, weak cannot inspire or dictate philosophy to the world. So while we may have the best of the humanness, the need of the hour is to make the nation strong. We have so many inefficiencies in the entire system that we are still few decades behind many of the world powers.

    But glad that we always have had leaders & philosophers like you to provide guiding light to the nation to meet all the challenges. And once we get back our lost glory, leading the world with concepts of Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha and Vasudaiva Kutumbakam will be the natural next step..

  6. Dear Sir, Your blog on humanness goes back in time to teach the world the importance and value of humanness in present day pandemic times. You have narrated the subject through a narration with a meeting with Padre Filipe Couto in 2016. African countries also like India were very peaceful, rich and full of natural resources about 4-5 centuries ago. The problem in these continents started when Europeans from different countries like Portugal, France and England started to travel to African countries and to India in search of green pastures. You have very beautifully brought out the similarities in invasion of African countries and the Indian subcontinent by these European travellers.

    The methodology used by the Europeans was very similar in nature. They would first try to set up some trade, exchange pleasantries with the local kings, support them with weapons and financially. The idea was the pitch one ruler against the other which came to be known as the famous, “Divide and Rule” tactics. This way the prosperous India was plundered by British and they turned it into an economic wasteland to benefit their local industry and global trade.

    The European civilizations were not created out of superior intelligence but out of a combination of Guns, Germs and Steel that enabled their imperialism. This has been boldly brought out by American anthropologist, Jared Mason Diamond who published, “Guns, Germs and Steel : the Fates of Human Societies” in 1997. The best part is that you realised the universality of brute power destroying peaceful and prosperous cultures and traditions while sitting with Padre Filipe Couto.. In addition, Europeans brought smallpox and measles to all those countries and subcontinents where ever they went including India. The aboriginals of Africa and Australia were decimated by these diseases.

    The history is repeating in 21st century again when the world is struggling with the impact of pandemic: Covid-19. One can draw many parallels between the European onslaught in 15th and 16th century and present day China. Covid – 19 is the outcome of China’s dirty mindset and wrongful efforts in last 20 years or so. It has become financially and militarily very powerful, spread its influence all over the world including African continent through infrastructure projects and providing financial assistance and having taken the control of organisations like WHO and FAO etc. If all this was not enough, China came out with the brutal attack on humanity through Covid-19.

    You have rightly said that it is now upon India to stop this onslaught of expansionist Chinese process of trying to bring neighboring nations in particular and the world in general, to subjugation and submission. Indian people and the present Govt understand the Chinese mind set very well. Therefore India is preparing itself through the process of Atmnirbharta to fight the Chinese aggression, imperialism and expansionism. It the belief and confidence of 130 Crore Indians that the New India of 21st century will fight it out successfully and the show the path of, ” VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM” to the world including China. JAI HIND.

  7. Dear sir, Thank you so much for bringing out historical connect(similarity) to the present situation. The following sentences bring out your deep concern for the existence of humanity.

    It is the guns, germs, and steel that have all been rolled into one and mounted in the template of imperialism.

    The only thing left of any worth in the world is humanness. If that is lost, everything will be lost.

    Humanity is indeed facing an existential threat of dystopia by a predatory superpower on the prowl.

    The dictatorial and expansionist attitude of China is a matter of great concern for humanity. But there is a hope, which has been given by China intentionally or un-intentionally in the form of COVID 19. This pandemic has united the world and take note of nefarious plans of China. The world could easily see through the wicked plans of China and the world has formed its opinion against this country. Already some actions have been initiated by different countries to counter the expansionist progression of this dictator.

    I strongly believe that China and its greedy head can be brought to senses by first economically isolating it through stoppage/reduction of commercial activities with this country. For this every citizen has to make his contribution by not opting for Chinese items. By innovating and producing Chinese item equivalents. India being the second largest in the continent and being most affected party by China has to start working for isolating China politically by building the world opinion against this country by bringing the hard facts to the notice of the world at large. The silver lining here is that US, UK, France, Italy, Australia and Brazil have already got the taste of Chinese attitude. Russia also looks to have understood the game plan but we cannot make out.

    The third factor could be by keeping China busy by encouraging its neighbors like Taiwan, Tibet, Hongkong and other smaller countries to liberate themselves from Control of China.

    The unfortunate point is the neighboring countries like Pakistan, Srilanka and Nepal have already walked into the debt trap of China and have lost sense of Purpose. Of course some of the recent actions Nepal are giving us in indication that this country is trying to wriggle out of clutches of China. Srilanka has still some hope and of course Pakistan is a written off case. It hardly matters what this country can do because it is a lost state and it is at point of no return.

    Being an optimist I always feel that truth and righteousness will prevail and humanity will win and like every other greedy dictators chines King will also learn his lessons but that could be too late for that country. Thank you once again sir for a thought provoking blog

  8. Sir, Nice to read about Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya. I have very pleasant memories of him and his team working with us at the Care Foundation. They were so warm, lively and adaptative to our ways of working. What I learnt from our guests was a great lesson about culture. Whether we are aware of it or not, the society we live in has ways of daily imparting its values on people about what is good, right and acceptable. We go on in our daily lives trying to conform to acceptable ways of behaviour and conduct.

    When I lived in the USA, I observed the great blend of African culture with the European culture. African-American culture is rooted in the blend between the cultures of West and Central Africa and the Anglo-Celtic culture that has influenced and modified its development in the American South.

    Though African-American identity was established during the slavery period, producing a dynamic culture that has had and continues to have a profound impact on American culture as a whole, as well as that of the broader world. Many African Americans sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in addition to the American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”. It is a popular way for African Americans to recall past struggles and express ethnic solidarity, faith, and hope for the future.

  9. Dear Sir, the theme of humanness runs through many of your writings (including your book ‘India 3.0: The Rise of a Billion People’), and I have learnt much from all of them. Deeply grateful to you for the same!

    After having observed events unfold this year especially, most thinking-feeling people’s approach to life should have by now converged on this theme. The struggles should have made people compassionate and created a new understanding of life and Creation by now.
    More than ever, now humankind needs to develop humaneness and humanitarianism: everything is pointing to difficult times ahead!

    We may be playing our roles in life well, but beyond this, there is always scope to do more – for the less privileged. One doesn’t even need to do big charity or through institutions; just look around and get involved – a thousand ways to do good and fulfil basic needs of people would become apparent.

    The feeling of fulfilment from such acts is, of course, obvious. The side effect or bonus being that God is pleased when we serve humanity, and that ensures our own well-being – so we have heard.

    I feel, it is good to constantly be on the lookout for how to be of help, and to actively seek out and fill gaps that exist. If we can’t do that, we can at least pray for everyone.

    I remember being in the presence of a jnani once, who said – it is the attitude of charity that constitutes ‘punya’, and gives results accordingly. That constancy of attitude must be developed.

  10. Dear Arun, This time you have shared your experiences with great people like Dr Mpoki. Learnings from history were brought out beautifully in your discussion. Each blog of yours gives something to ponder. Fight between good and evil is eternal. We, Indians, believe in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. This can be followed if one gives his/her best to society. Very often, we want to do something good for the society, but do not initiate due to procrastination. One should not leave this world without giving the best he/she has inside. The goodness that is within you must be delivered, before you leave. If you have an idea, perform it; if you have knowledge, give it out; if you have a goal, achieve it. Let us begin to give. Wish you good luck!

  11. It is China today, Britain, USA and Spain yesterday!

    This plane is equally light and shade. Evil as we call it, and goodness as we know it, in about equal measure.

    Through China, I feel, the West will find it’s come uppence.

    As it happened to Britain, the most suave but no less evil, empire, just a while ago. Would we then call Hitler a saviour or an evil monster?!

    In all this, there comes a time in a persons lifetime, when the world as we see it provides no succour, but he has to look within and search for an answer-From the very Source of all pain and suffering, and get redemption.

    Keep thinking deep and writing lucidly for folks to see the light.

  12. Sir, what a pleasure to read about Dr Mpoki and his team.! I had recently joined Care Foundation as a fresher out of engineering college and became more of a part of their team. I even learnt a wonderful “Masafa Marefu” song. At one point, I even considered going back with them and helping establish the hospital computer network there. You were very supportive, but my parents did not allow it. No regrets but the love for them remains. Maybe I will have another chance and move there with my wife and kid.

  13. Thank you Sir for sharing this article. You have explained the history and return of historical events very well. Like you rightly said,  “The only thing left of any worth in the world is humanness. If that is lost, everything will be lost. “We definitely lack empathy and humanity right now. History has taught us some lessons and it was sad to see the same mistakes being repeated. One of them was the racism against blacks which is still prevalent in the world.
      
    I had the opportunity to live in New York and meet some very nice people of color. Their energy, aura, knowledge had always attracted me. I had some doctors of color in my Institute who were always ready to share their wisdom and excelled in the field. I also have an experience with a lady of color who was kind enough to lead me to a bus station when I was all lost in New York.
    Thank you for sharing the stories of Dr. Mpoki and Dr. Chikumba. We have a lot to learn from such people.

  14. Sir I am indeed very pleased to read your beautifully written blog and thankful to find the mention of my city in the right perspective: “The British landed on the Indian subcontinent at the port of Surat in 1608 for trade.” In fact, before the British moved to Bombay, Surat Presidency of the East India Company which existed from 1612 to 1687. At its height, Surat Presidency included all factories on the west coast of India. From 1655 to 1684, the president of the Surat factory also exercised his authority over Madras. Surat continued to be a wealthy and populous city, much bigger than Bombay for a long period.

    I am deeply touched by your description of what British did in India. “They got involved in factional conflicts, wars of succession, and rivalries among the regional Indian powers and recruited a large number of mercenaries and gave them guns. Over the years, prosperous India was not only plundered by the British, but they turned it into an economic wasteland to benefit their local industry and global trade.” It is a sad fact that Gujarat has become the epicenter of Chinese investment in India. The threat of Chinese trade expansionism drowning domestic traders is indeed real.

  15. History is what opens the eyes. Eyes are the one which create the vision and vision is what moves the World. (Your historical African sojourn Arun ji set the ball rolling….Let me continue….) The movement could be positive or negative but a movement it would be as directed by the human brain. The human brain box is a wonder. One can discover and open a Black box of an aircraft to know the reasons and the cause of disaster. To study and analyze what happened, what created and lead to the crash so as to take cognizance for future but not the human brain box. It’s also not a Pandora’s box where things will start tumbling out and reveal and solve the puzzle. Medical world has made lot of inroads, solved lot of neurological problems but the deadly combination of The Cerebrum (front of brain) Brainstem (middle of brain) and Cerebellum (back of the brain) working in tandem with inputs from all the senses of human body is what directs and moves a person. Good or bad, positive or negative as I mentioned above… but a movement there definitely would be.

    Unfortunately History reveals, the movement has generally been negative. The feel good hormones have always been overpowered by greed, lust, and one’s ego. Be it the happy and cheerful Monomotapa empire loaded with gold and riches as you mentioned or the rich and happening erstwhile India, again termed as ‘The Golden Bird’. The greed and lust of the ones like the Portuguese who took control of the gold mines and the ivory, provided guns to the locals and brought downfall of the Mutapan state, followed by taking over African people and ruling over them or the British starting off from the East coast and establishing The East India Company.(1757-1858) Creating fissures amongst different princely states, providing guns and ammunition and slowly and steadily spreading its tentacles through its length and breadth, the motive and the modus operandi was the same. No wonders the British ruled over India for close to 200 years, withdrawing in 1947. They plundered and made it hollow through their nefarious activities, for their own greed lust and power. The once Golden bird was left in tatters. The movement in both the cases created History – for us a bad history but for some maybe good – it’s debatable.

    Human intelligence or Artificial intelligence… whatever, in my personal opinion plus the ‘Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies,’ are now passe’, they in future are not only going to be the recipe for creating the right ammunition to win a war. It may not be the guns or a nuclear armoury even if resorted to creating much larger and much bigger destruction than Hiroshima and Nagasaki, winning the war, but a war fought with The Biological, The Agricultural, The Water and the like warfare. Slowly but steadily it would spell disaster for mankind. The human civilization could be wiped out from this continent as The World at War would spell doom in capital words.

    As rightly pointed out by you, ‘the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic disaster that it has already brought must not be seen as a one-off event.’ Destroying a country economically, may it be by Biological warfare like letting loose a virus, destroying its Agriculture produce by creating disease or something like a swarm of thousands of Locusts eating away the produce or AI creating a drought like situation or maybe the neighbours stopping or diverting the flow of rivers in their own interest… anything and everything can create a country go week, a slow poison which would destroy and finish even without firing a single bullet. Yes! It won’t be out of place to say that ‘all has been mounted into one template of imperialism.’

    History can get repeated, China could be the next Portuguese or the next British ready to quench its thirst. After all greed lust and power is that negative nervous tangle of ‘The brain box’ which creates the movement spelling disaster. Humanness is lost. I fully agree with you, ‘the great vision of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” of ancient Indians does not match with The Ming dynasty model of Xi Jinping, the Chinese President for life.’ Need of the hour is not to let history repeat itself. Not to fall prey to the superpower on prowl. Beware India!

  16. Acharya Vinoba Bhave popularized ” Jai Jagat” (Victory for the whole world) as a suitable phrase for us to greet each other. His point was that we should not limit our thoughts and endeavors to narrow divisions of caste, region, state, or even national boundaries. He drew his inspiration from the ideal of ” Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” as you have emphasized in your blog. I think we should stretch our minds to embrace humanity.

    Let us hope and pray that there is peace, cooperation. and progress in the world. The existing tension at Indo-China and India Pakistan borders are a cause for concern. Hopefully, these issues will be resolved peacefully.

  17. Sir, I have my fondest memories from Africa. National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) where I worked a large part of my career gave a lot of importance to providing access to Indian technical expertise to African people. We have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Corporation (TIRDO) in October 2018.

    You were a pioneer in the Pan-Africa e-Network Project and had things would have happened as planned we would have the entire African continent connected with satellite. However China entered the scene, and we were sidelined.

    There is such a contrast the way African people receive Indians and Chinese people. We are considered their own people, whereas Chinese are considered “other” people. There is so much informal trade and exchange between East African countries and Gujarat. There are so many temples there, especially Swaminarayan Mandirs. I am indeed very happy to read this blog and request you to write about Africa more and regularly.

  18. Am humbled by the tribute paid to the minuscule role I played in leading the Cardiac Surgery founding Team from Tanzania. Prof Tiwari during our training at the CARE Institute of Medical Sciences, its CARE Foundation that created an environment that enabled us to live and learn and put our fledgling skills to practices under the ever watchful eyes of the likes of Dr Soma Raju, Prof Krishnam Raju, Dr Gopichand Mannam, Dr Sriramullu Sompali, Dr Ravindra Bala Raju to cite a few, before were confident enough to run cases with good outcomes.

    Sadly, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam the master mind of all this is not with us to celebrate the success we have achieved this far by God’s grace, many patients who could have referred abroad for cardiac surgeries or interventions are currently being managed at the Institute leave alone the untold number of lives saved in the process. We thank God for all that He graciously provided us with then, now and continues to provide in the future

    Selfishness is at the root of all exploitation, doesn’t matter which format is employed in the process. We spend so much time earning what we waste yet all we need is a few morsels of bread on the table, water to drink, roof over our heads and covering against the weather elements, these needs are standard irrespective of the modifications we put to them.

    Sadly by diverting from the original plan of the inventor of the human machinery (Almighty God), bad health is the consequence, most if not all non communicable diseases are as a result. The Pandemics the world is grappling with now as it did in the past are all as so well elaborated in your article have their source with a blotched thinking reflected by irresponsible actions by some people some where.

    I have often reminded the readers of this blog that unless we are ready to consider others as ourselves save for location (Ubuntu spirit) consequently, we shall have ourselves to blame for all the insecurities and restlessness around us every day. Our Lord Jesus Christ even instructed us ‘to do to others what we would wish done to us’ (paraphrased) Matthew 7:12, this is true at an individual, household, community, national or global level. How I wish we all embraced the Ubuntu: I am because you are (Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu in siZulu), implying that a person is only a person through other people….

  19. Good evening Sir, its my pleasure to read your post. You have clearly explained the history from the past to present. India has a great history and values and we have been proving what we are to the world. Infact we contributed to the world in many fields and presented many thoughts including the concept of “Kutumbakam”.

    Sir, I agree with you on “the world may not be paradise anymore, but humanity cannot be forsaken”. I belive if no humanity, no humans at all. Humanity wins over Colonialism, Imperialism and whatever the “ism” in the long time. Thank you Sir.

  20. Given the way the pandemic spread and is being handled (2020 is no way different from 1920) , it is clear that we as a human race is weak and vulnerable. It is time we shed the ‘complex of superiority’ – which is transient and its only business is to belittle and be a nuisance value to the rest of humanity. If by now, the humans (be it the European or the Chinese or of any origin), we do not learn….. it will a mistake that we will be committing.

    I hope the blog of yours and the similar sentiments echoed be heard by the powers that be so that we do not reach the point of no return. We are far ahead of our earlier generations in terms of wisdom gathered over the years, the exposure to technology and much more …let us put it to good use and spread humaneness amongst us..

  21. Thank you for the historical insights. Let us learn the lessons of history. George Santayana said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. So it is wise to compare current Chinese imperialism with the precedents that you have mentioned. The remedy is not less multilateralism but more. Like-minded countries should cooperate to counter the threats from China.

    In our book, India Wakes: Post Coronavirus New World Order (Sakal, 2020), we suggest the creation of a D-10, the G-7 plus India, South Korea, and Australia, to create a coalition of democratic countries designed to counter anti-democratic tyrannies such as China. We have learned from the coronavirus pandemic that China is not a responsible stakeholder in the international system.

  22. Expansionist predatism has been the fact today.. Indian ethos of spiritual leadership for a peaceful world is the need of the hour. The time for India has come to thwart the aggression of predation.. to establish a new world order

  23. Sir, I am very happy to read about Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya. I met him in New Delhi in 2011 with you and he was full of warmth and kindness. Later when I went to Ghana, I found people there very nice and easy to work with. In contrast, White people are full of ego and even here in Delhi look down upon us whenever they find an opportunity.

    Most of the problems the world has been facing today are due to reckless development. Most worrisome is climate change. The way rain comes these days – most unexpectedly and as heavy showers – is very bad for agriculture. The air of my village in Raebareli is much healthier than what I breathe in New Delhi.

    The coronavirus has brought out the bogus superiority of people in Europe and America. They had no idea how to handle the pandemic. The poor world, Asians, Africans and South Americans handled the crises much better and helped each other. These people may not be living great lives and enjoying Paradise, but they are much superior humans and there is so much to learn from them.

  24. Sir, By not joining the latest free-trade deal, I believe the Government of India has taken the right decision, this will help the local industry to grow and will stop Chinese products to flood Indian market.

    China is really a threat to world at this point and India only has the great potential to give China a tough fight. Modi government is doing good and need some time to plan intelligently.

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