The field of international relations is a tricky one. Politics, diplomacy and self-interests determine the role and positioning of nations at international level. It is like a screenplay in which each and every country tries to self-maximize its interests through different acts. Of course this goes without saying that they vie out for strong regional influence, along with cultural, economic and technological exchange.
States have divided themselves into different groups and have thus positioned themselves in an “us versus them logic” which has created rift in the common human understanding. In an oversimplifying manner, to strengthen political relations between states draft a win–win situation for a bilateral cooperation. However in this win-win game, there would be (almost always) a third state somewhere in the world that would be spying on the ties, or perhaps might not be that contented with the good going between those initial two states.
In the Cabinets War to acquire regional influence, states are acting more as conflict builders than as peace providers. Every single time a state entangles in action with another state in a question in which there is a third state enrolled the end results turns badly. History show us that thing usually get a lot worst, whenever two states that have their own sociopolitical and historical issues to solve see a third state, usually alien to the contentious states, entering in the dilemma parade to support one of the local states. Armenia – Azerbaijan territorial dispute; Greek – Macedonian name dispute; Argentina – United Kingdom lands dispute; India – Pakistan borders dispute; Israel – Palestine geopolitical dispute are some of many other examples we could give to prove this point. As a matter of fact, can someone explain us what would be the main self-interest by imposing sanction on such states? Those third alien states want to win the hearts of minority? Or it is simply a motive to extend regional influence? Whatever it may be, it is thoroughly a peace shattering process, and not through constructive, inclusive and truthfully meaning dialogue. As educated fellows, in a growingly educated planet, we realize that peaceful interstate relations should be the essence of international relations.
Usually we have our set of preconceived nations and dreams to establish when we start our education, later on we are brainwashed by the system and are trained in more political and diplomatic way. Is this justified? Martin Luther King Jr. rightly said "Intelligence plus character - That is the goal of true education”. We have done well in going beyond the intelligence levels but we have thoroughly failed in determining our character levels. Now one might think on this as a very idealistic statement. If this is so, are we really pleased with the political and economic scenario of world today? One proof that the character needs to be worked out, is that the sanctioning game is not showing any signs of slowing down; quite on the opposite, actually. The key responsibility of the political leaders is to establish permanent peace not just through treaties but also through the hearts of the people. Treaties without social and cultural values performing accordingly are just dead letters in a fancy paper, signed after a luxurious meal. Without working their people’s heart, politicians would be unable to end the divides, no matter how much young people say they are all the same. Usually socialization of the “us against them logic” tends to impose.
In 1947 the British were responsible for India and Pakistan partition; perhaps it could have been the idea of an individual which had this great impact. It was an agonizing episode in history, now that has passed but at present so what can one do? Should India and Pakistan impose sanctions on each other? Should the forthcoming generations of India and Pakistan keep on abusing the British generation which had no direct link with what happened in 1947? Or do they want to live free of hate and of all this unpleasant rifts? The sanctioning game always precludes a lose – lose situation. So why not try to stop this trend? Just for a change, that might surprise us (civil society and political elites).
The whole world exemplifies Mahatma Gandhi as one of the greatest political personalities of the last century, I wonder if this same world really follows his principles. Gandhi rightly said that the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. If we practice and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless. How many of us really practice forgiveness since, we are all very good practicing the blame game? What this new century needs is a political elite willing to practice the art of forgiving. This small and subtle change on interstates relations might be able to redefine international relations and will definitively launch us in a character building era. In order to make this clear, allows us to explain ourselves through another perspective. All of us talk about sustainable development and green economy. We share those same concerns; but we also think that Politics needs to be deeply rooted in the principles of sustainable development.The collective impact of overall education and research results in innovation,defines new trend in technology, business and politics. This in turn influences the policies both at domestic, regional and international levels. Due to globalization, education is crossing borders with intensive exchange programs and with a growing number of international experts.
However our view is that education should equally impart wisdom, ethics and societal consciousness among the people; this is reflected in very few disciplines. Disciplines have ignored the importance of developing soft skills and developing the soft aspects of character.Even Martin Luther King echoes Gandhi “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.” Scholars and history prove that religious differences resulted into conflicts.
Some were mere victims of these influences whereas some capitalized their self-interest by creating such difference. If we justify religious means of not to forgive, all the religions stand on principles of forgiveness.
Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism are all thoroughly based on forgiveness. Shown below are the few quotes on forgiveness from different religions which really questions on what basis do nations justify their national character when they don’t even follow the basic principles of religion.
The Holy Quran: "Turn to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from the ignorant (7:199)
The holy Bible: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, you’re heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ”From the Epic of Mahabharata, based on Hinduism, “Addressing Dhritarashtra, Vidura said: “There is one only defect in forgiving persons and not another; that defect is that people take a forgiving person to be weak. That defect, however, should not be taken into consideration, for forgiveness is a great power. Forgiveness is a virtue of the weak, and an ornament of the strong.
Forgiveness subdues (all) in this world; what is there that forgiveness cannot achieve? What can a wicked person do unto him who carries the sabre of forgiveness in his hand? Fire falling on the grassless ground is extinguished of itself. And unforgiving individual defiles himself with many enormities. Righteousness is the one highest good; and forgiveness is the one supreme peace; knowledge is one supreme contentment; and benevolence, one sole happiness.
”Buddhism “To understand everything is to forgive everything” Prince Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.
So are we running away from our collective responsibilities? Gone are the days where we were just responsible for our family, our life and work. In response to present crisis although we must have figured out problems and their solutions, somewhere inside us we do realize it is not just about power and money, it is and it was about making responsible decisions in interest of all. We can’t afford to deny that whatever crisis world is facing is due to lack of ethical decisions taken somewhere by few dominant people who despite being at high positions act in an illiterate way. May be for leaders taking responsible decisions and being responsible leader is just encircled towards their personal lives, whereas the world demands sensible and selfless leaders to take the stage. The world has gone much ahead beyond our expectations; similarly the lines of responsibility have been stretched beyond our lives and national borders. It’s high time for us to dwell again into our original character and self-introspect, because only those who know themselves really well can bring welfare to all.