Eastern Wisdom + Western Wealth = Heaven on Earth
By Arun Babani
Our domestic help, a 15 year old Muslim boy, Yunus wanted to go to school. He knew a few verses of Qoran as well as spoke fluent Urdu-Hindi. But in the 1st Std of convent he had to start from A for apple.
On every commercial break the Chinese TV flashes out an official message urging the Chinese to learn English, 'if the nation has to prosper'.
In order to popularize Marathi, the Shiv Sena in Mumbai has sent warning signals to all Hindi and English FM radio channels to play Marathi songs at least for fifteen minutes every day.
Local language schools in every state of the country are facing a crisis; Go English medium or close down.
Every shopping mall, from Bombay to Bangkok, from Srinagar to Singapore is playing American Pop on their premises.
East has been aping, backing and licking West for over a quarter century now. Most of the urban East which includes South-East Asia, China, the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ceylon, Malaysia, Indonesia, and a whole lot of other big and small nations have been following Western standards in dress, face, skin (fair and lovely) and manners. Yes, the indomitable Western commode is infinitely more comfortable than our humble Eastern latrine!
Are we Sindhis still worried about saving our distinct identity?
In the global scenario 5 million of us have been absorbed by local cultures. After all we pride ourselves in being known as a global community, which frequently reads as the Western community, so why do we need our Sindhiat, our Sufis, and our Sindhu nadi?
In fact, by the end of the present century a complete shifting out of the East into the West is envisaged. It is a different matter that since the 60s revolution, when the Beatles found Maharishi Mahesh Yogi the Western intelligentsia has been combing the Eastern streets for a possible answer to their riches and their emptiness: the object of our envy has been envying us for years.
Although it may take a century or two but once most of the East adopts the Western ways the world will look the same every where. Where will the West, which will includes most of the East, turn to with its questions, confusions and conflicts? Perhaps to Mars?
So far the world has always been lopsided. The Eastern civilization, with its emphasis on inner peace and harmony, has remained impoverished and hungry. The West, with its own emphasis on the outer, science and technology, has remained inwardly empty. Meeting of Eastern wisdom and Western riches might produce a new DNA. When vast wealth will meet utter austerity, when personal achievement will meet social commitment, when ambition and success will meet compassion and brotherhood, only then humanity will find a gift it has been dreaming since millinea: the garden of Eden, the Heaven on earth.
Man has been found to be the same everywhere, whether in Sindh or Germany or China, with the same questions and same answers, despite different languages and cultures. Brotherhood and equality are of immense value, more than language and culture. When the world without walls and without bombs will come onto this beautiful planet, what matters if you say hello or namaste to your beloved?
We Sindhis are already adept at being truly a global community, living and earning in over 200 countries of the world. I doubt if any other community has such a glorious global presence. Let us then leave this heritage for the coming generation and pave the way for a totally new, fresh and true vision for mother earth, which includes our mother Sindh as well. So, believe in your power of persuasion and the wealth of your wisdom. Now, how about bringing Obama and Osama together in your New York penthouse for a power breakfast?