An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Constructive and Destructive societies

After the two blocs finished infighting after the cold war, the Soviet Union faded away in the late 80s and that created a vacuum. So in steps China that is clearly going to take the place of the Soviet Union and I think the second one is India partly because of its size, because it’s a nuclear power, and a democracy along with its heritage and economy. All these combine into third party influences.

Then there are the other players and there are the radicals and the extremists of the Islamic world that want to bring back the golden era of Islam, with the understanding that there is a limit to resources like oil. The Bin Ladens-not the person but the phenomenon that he represents have two optionsone is join the rest of the world and work on science and technology and see the production or (two) if the ship has left the dock try to destroy it. I think that is really the bigger picture. (emphasis added) [1]

This is very well put. I can’t really say about what happened in other countries and other times, but the historical landscape of radical and militant Islam and its interaction with the “other” world is predicated on this ONE option – the option #2. Whether it was Babar’s attack on India or it was Ghori’s attack or Aurangzeb’s destruction of art and subjugation of music.. or whether it is Saudi Arabia’s claustrophobic laws and Taliban’s equally medieval laws and acts (though not as skillfully camoflaged in finery as Saudi ones are).. the pattern is very similar. Destroy what you find is better than what you can think of or what looks different!

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Looking at the evolution of Pakistan over the 60 years, one sees that it started out with a unique complex of being the “small” compared to the “other Hindu country”. That has persisted over all these years.

There are societies where the over riding goals and aspirations are Inherently Constructive and others where the over-riding goals are Inherently Destructive. And it is not that in any one society only one type of goals are pursued.. both types are. Importance is of those which are primary and pronouned at any one point in time. For example, one society can go through a phase of having a set of very pronounced Destructive character but it may get into a phase of very highly Constructive character. Germany and Japan are very good examples of those changes.

Pakistan’s character is today of a very pronounced Destructive one. Its elite and masses have been moving in a direction that rejoices destruction as opposed to constructive images. Despite the fact that it started with a tremendous advantage of having money and the most fertile land in North India, it still could not sustain it when in the 1980s and 1990s when its Destructive character was formally shaped to full bloom, it lost even that money advantage.

This is not much of a surprise as the societies which are ruled by military minds – are usually in a constantly “Destructive” phase. So, how does a society like this move into a phase where it finds “Constructive” ways to express itself? When the Military mind recedes and the normal civilian mind takes over…. in REAL TERMS!

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Reference Link:

1. “Society cannot afford to let terrorism become a part of normal living.”

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