Extinction of Peace and Constant Presence of Conflict
Peace and conflict have always been joined at the hip since the beginning of mankind. The first peaceful era of human beings can be traced to Adam and Eve, and their stay at the garden of Eden. However, peace cannot go on unchecked for long. Hence, conflict soon rears its ugly head. Be it an intrapersonal conflict i.e. eating the forbidden fruit or an interpersonal one, i.e. killing one’s own brother, the story of Cain and Able. Historically, of the 3400 years of recorded human history, only 268 years have been conflict free. In other words, only 8% of collective human life has been free of conflict and war. Therefore, conflict is an inalienable part of human life. Deep within the recesses of the human mind lies an insatiable thirst for conflict.
One of the most pervasive types of conflict revolve around ethnicities. These conflicts are very dangerous in part due to the fact that neither opposing group is completely exterminated and the ones that remain never forget the atrocities meted out by the other. These revenge feelings pass on from father to son and never diminish. Most of the ethnic conflicts revolve around a feeling of unfair treatment at the hand of the opposite group. This treatment may or may not be true. It could be an exaggeration or a downright lie. But as with human nature, human nature is quite gullible, and it is easy to convince uncritically thinking masses into anything which shifts the blame of their own misery from them to others. Doing so not only decreases the burden of responsibility from one’s shoulder but also finds a ready excuse to sublimate one’s anger onto others. This has been demonstrated by the ongoing rivalry between two ethnic populations in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan, for many years i.e. the pushtoons and the mahajirs. Over the decade’s thousands of people of either ethnicity have fallen victim to ethnic violence. The deaths of members of one ethnicity fuels the rage in the community against the other group. This perpetuates endlessly. Certain elements too, for their own vested interest, promote conflict between people. However, if you ask any one pusthoon the reason for disliking a mahajir or vice versa, or ask them why do they dislike the other, they might not present you with cogent arguments. If you ask them have you ever personally been victim to fruits of conflict by the member of the other group, more than most, the answer would be no. but for reasons unknown to many, the ethnic conflicts around the world still do not end. Even the technologically advanced country such as USA, ethnic conflict between whites and blacks has not completed ended. Though the 200 years of slavery has ended, but the carryover effects of times past can still be observed directly and indirectly. Black boys and men are three times more likely to be suspected of crimes, be more brutally treated by police, and have the system against them from a young age. It was not long ago when blacks were not even allowed to use bars and toilets in use of white people. Segregation was a very real thing. The segregation still remains; it is just a bit subtler.
The quest for being closer to God has slit millions of throats of men in the process. Whether God was found by men, is yet to be seen. However, millions upon millions of deaths in the name of God stand testament to the fact that humans are very myopic when it comes to their value system. If I believe my god to be the one true god, it is likely that I will not give up my claim for someone else’s belief in their god to be the one true god. Inherently we are all childlike when it comes to god. We believe, just as toddlers do, that their mother is the bestest mother in the world and no other mother can either be compared, nor is equal or better than their mother. Even thinking otherwise would bring upon wrath upon the non-believer. Also important is the promise of paradise associated with it. Call it Jannah, Eden, or Valhalla, the concept is that only the believers will enter and the rest will be cast into everlasting hell fire. This dogma is persistent throughout different theologies. Obviously, it is believed that only the righteous may enter paradise. And anyone not believing in my god is deemed not to enter and is hereby declared unclean, heretic, and inhuman. The belief of one’s superiority and the inferiority of the other is the core reason of religious conflict. It could be between religions i.e. Hindu-Muslim, Jew-Christian, or within religions i.e. Shia-Sunni sects of Islam, and Catholic-Protestants in Christianity, to name a few. Whatever be the case, the fact remains that religion causes conflict and even war. Consider the case of Jerusalem. It is holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Despite being sacred, is has seen carnage and massacre in the name of holiness more than any other religious site on the world. Religious conflict gives rise to intolerance and hatred towards others. Unless one is of a sound mental faculty, it is easy to fall prey to the slanders of one religion over the other. In the end, all men must go to the ground.
Most of the conflict in the world is due to conflicts of interest among people. One person may want what is within the possession of the other. The other person might not want to part with it for some reason. Or the buyer might not be able to afford it. In any case, the conflict of interest between two or more parties often leads to altercations. These altercations can take many different forms. These can range from subterfuge to outright hostility. Consider the example of Kashmir. Both Pakistan and India want to acquire and add Kashmir valley into their dominion. India wants to project its Akhand Baharat image i.e. unbroken India, whilst Pakistan fears that India will cut Pakistan’s water by annexing Kashmir into her domain. India would also like to see Pakistan starve for the want of water. The interest of one side is to ensure its water resource while the other sides interest is to ensure water for its own people. This conflict of interest, among other factors, including territorial and resource acquisition, strategic influence and military vantage point, entices conflict of interest among two neighbors.
‘Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.’ Mahatma Gandhi.
The above quotation illuminates that peace highly doesn’t mean that it is the absence of conflict, but it means presence of harmony. Differences will always be there; peace means solving these differences through peaceful means. You should be capable enough to cope up with different situation in every aspect of your life. The more challenging the conflict is it will be more enjoyable to combat it. War is something that is continuously happening each and every day let’s scenario the culture of war between India and Pakistan is likely to plunge the entire region into a chaos. The recent blame game played by both sides is testament to the frenzy of aggression is only going to fuel anger and bigotry in the future generations. Having war or conflict is always a bad decision, it always leads to more destruction it never calms or cools down. Conflict is a part of life and we should combat it in a positive manner. Conflict rises through many reasons through one’s perspective, religion, etc. However, conflict was always a focal issue in all aspects of life. Conflicts are taking place since the Earth was created, today where we are being is just because of the conflicts. There have many religious conflicts between different religions. One of the most tragic incident that has ever happened in the history was the battle of Karbala it was indeed a very big loss for the Muslim community. If that conflict wasn’t successful than we might not exist in this world.
That battle was fought bravely and Islam fell into the hand of Muslims and we succeeded. Although there were many destructions but the Muslims they fought with full patience and discipline, they maintained peace and in this way they became an example for whole humanity. They conveyed this message further that you should fight each and every battle of your life with patience and bravery. Today no one is conveying this message anymore and this is the reason peace has been gone extinct. If one understands this incident deeply then for sure peace will rise again in this world.
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