Conflict and War-Prone Mindset Unchanged Over Centuries

Present world events are largely influenced by lower basic instincts such as prejudice and greed among those ruling different countries. While exceptions may exist, they are rare.

1 min read
Jerusalem, Israel [ Dave Herring/ Unsplash]

The great Indian epics, Ramayana and Mahabharatha, written several centuries ago, discuss various events and describe the behavior patterns of kings, queens, and rulers, reflecting attributes such as love, compassion, anger, prejudice, jealousy, frustration, and war, along with moral and ethical values to some extent.

Similar to the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha, several epics and stories from different regions of the world, written centuries ago, vividly portray the prejudices and different thought trends of the rulers of that time.

When one compares the behavior of present or recent leaders with the thought processes and behavior patterns described in the ancient epics, it becomes evident that there is little difference in mindset between those living now and those mentioned in the epics’ period.

Violence and wars have persisted unabated in the world for centuries, driven by greed, ambition, and the vicarious thought processes of those governing various regions. Such conflicts continue to occur today, as the mindset of contemporary and recent individuals has not exhibited any significant elevation compared to the past, despite numerous achievements and advancements in science and technology.

Present world events are largely influenced by lower basic instincts such as prejudice and greed among those ruling different countries. While exceptions may exist, they are rare.

Over the last several centuries, there were several “peace preachers” who propagated noble thoughts and emphasized the importance of a value system. However, they could not effectively halt the negative trends in the mindset of people and rulers or prevent violence, wars, and conflicts. Recent times have also seen peace advocates such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela, yet their efforts have made little practical difference in reducing conflicts and wars.

Several ongoing instances, such as the China-Tibet conflict, the Russia-Ukraine war, and the Israel-Gaza conflict, exemplify aggression, greed, and revenge driving conflicts rather than peaceful resolutions. These conflicts demonstrate that the mindset of people and leaders has remained largely unchanged over centuries.

The continued failure of initiatives like the United Nations Organization (UNO) to prevent wars indicates that achieving a peaceful world remains an elusive goal. For peace to prevail, there must be a fundamental shift in the mindset of individuals worldwide, with an emphasis on ethical and moral values. However, historical evidence suggests that past efforts by “peace preachers” have had limited success, raising doubts about the feasibility of achieving lasting peace in the future.

The ongoing plight of Tibet and Tibetans serves as a stark reminder that acts of violence and war often go unchallenged and perpetuate suffering.

N.S.Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause and to promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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