I reproduce below an article 'Conflict necessary for Creativity' by Sh. Raj Kachroo from today's TOI (Times of India dt 4/8/11). A perfectly written piece of wisdom. It is also relevant to my recent posts. I would request 'good' Indians to appreciate this article.
"When M K Gandhi was thrown out of a train in South Africa he had a choice to make - either to ignore the event and live in peace or enter into a conflict and face harassment, hardship and the possibility of getting physically hurt. He chose the latter. Why? Did he not have a guru who had taught him that living in peace and tranquillity was the ultimate objective of life and the best way to achieve this objective was to avoid situations of conflict? Why did he not walk away?
The Dalai Lama chose to live in exile rather than live in peace in Tibet. He is a spiritual master himself. He preaches peace around the world. Does he not know that living in peace requires avoiding situations of conflict?
Aung San Suu Kyi did not have to stay in jail. Winston Churchill did not have to join the World War. Nelson Mandela did not have to suffer in solitary confinement. Julius Nyerere did not have to fight a war with Idi Amin. There is a long list of people who have embraced conflict despite standing for peace, otherwise. They had the courage to stand up against repression rather than submit to it.
Both the Ramayana and Mahabharata, revered Indic epics, are stories of war, not peace. Krishna did not tell the Pandavas to ignore the incident of Draupadi's humiliation in court (the Draupadi vastraharan). He encouraged them to go to war. The Gita says engaging in war to uphold truth is not a matter of choice for a warrior; it is his duty. Islam says participation in jihad is the duty of a Muslim when the fight is to uphold justice when challenged by oppression, as a way of self-defence.
Most of us are confused between conflict and the method of resolving a conflict. We assume, incorrectly, that Gandhi, as a peace-loving person, must have avoided situations of conflict. On the other hand, he faced conflict head-on. Bhagat Singh and Gandhi were both gearing themselves to deal with conflict, except that Gandhi tried to employ peaceful means while Bhagat Singh chose aggression.
The duty of a scientist, artist or professor is also to engage in conflict against repressive regimes of knowledge. Any kind of limited knowledge is a form of bondage. Albert Einstein advanced the boundaries of scienti-fic knowledge. James Joyce did the same in the world of literature. He flouted rules of writing as he saw them as restrictions on creativity. Picasso and M F Husain, for example, explored realms beyond accepted rules in visual art. Mother Teresa redefined the concept of caring. Every one of them faced criticism and controversy, yet they remained convinced of the nature of their work and the methods they used to fulfil their vision. They remained engaged.
One can only conclude from this that the people we admire and even those we worship have all rejected the existing as being adequate and have chosen to engage in conflict to expand the existing. They have redefined the purpose of our life.
The purpose of our life is not to live in passive acceptance but to engage with conflict in order to be creative. Creativity is the purpose of life. The purpose is to advance an individual soul and the collective Consciousness. The only word of caution here is that we must first settle ourselves spiritually so that we know whether a conflict is justified or not. "