One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Conscience VS popular tide

I don’t know the real appetite of a bear for a honey hive but I use it as an analogy to illustrate my craving for ice creams. It is just beastly. To me, if anything is close to ice creams are biographies, especially autobiographies. I really can’t afford missing any “bear-time” (the chance to read biographies or eating ice creams). Thanks to technology and those who develop Apps, especially those Apps that allow downloading free eBooks, now I can get bear-time, every day that I use bus to go school. These days, I get almost 15 minutes of bear-time in bus (both ways) and use it to enjoy reading the “The life of Abraham Lincoln” by Henry Ketcham (You can download to read it free on Google books). Though by reading this biography, I get a feeling that the writer was a real devotee to Abe and had written the book having the picture of a saintly figure in his mind but of course, I am in a stage of life that I can imagine a human figure even out of most revered saints. Reading the book, the thought that struck me again and again was the repetition of history. Of course, the events do not repeat themselves but the forces and processes that drive the events do not change and repeat themselves. Let me illustrate this by borrowing the event of the Lincoln-Stone Protest from the book,

….“ The prophetic event of his legislative work was what is known as the Lincoln−Stone protest. This looks to−day so harmless that it is not easy to understand the situation in 1837. The pro−slavery feeling was running high, an abolitionist was looked on as a monster and a menace to national law and order. It was in that year that the Reverend Elijah P. Lovejoy was murdered martyred at Alton, Ill. The legislature had passed pro−slavery resolutions. There were many in the legislature who did not approve of these, but in the condition of public feeling, it was looked on as political suicide to express opposition openly. There was no politic reason why Lincoln should protest. His protest could do no practical good. To him it was solely a matter of conscience. Slavery was wrong, the resolutions were wrong, and to him it became necessary to enter the protest. He succeeded in getting but one man to join him, and he did so because he was about to withdraw from politics and therefore had nothing to lose. Here is the document as it was spread on the journal:

Resolutions upon the subject of domestic slavery having passed both branches of the General Assembly at its present session, the undersigned hereby protest against the passage of the same.
They believe that the institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy, but that the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than abate its evils.

They believe that the Congress of the United States has no power under the Constitution to interfere with the institution of slavery in the different States.

They believe that the Congress of the United States has the power, under the Constitution, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, but that the power ought not to be exercised, unless at the request of the people of the District.

The difference between these opinions and those contained in the above resolutions is their reason for entering this protest.



Representatives from the county of Sangamon.”……………..

What really moved me is that Abe got only one person on his side on his protest against “Pro-slavery resolutions”. It might have seemed a failure on those days but today no one sees that a failure as his stand based on his conscience has won over what were popular trends and sentiments in those days. Though, today, we don’t have physical slavery in the sense of those frontier times but the issue of “Human Rights” is an equivalent issue as to that of issue of slavery was then. The deep desires for supremacy and monopoly of values or religious beliefs have much popular appeal than to give in much for sake of “Human Rights” even if it appeals to conscience.

I agree that Human Rights have been misused as a foreign policy tools and even as a warfare tool against opponents and opponent governments. I agree that Human Rights have been used as a political tool or even economical tool by people who don’t really believe in it. It has been misused to an extent that if you talk about Human Rights, all and I really mean all try to find what you really want to conceal, using it. Some see weakness in it, some see ambitions and others see cowardice and betrayal in it. So when Abe protested against pro-slavery resolutions, he got just one supporter on his side but it didn’t stop him because his conscience was much bigger than the whole popular sentiments and judgments out there.

Although my bear-time is beastly but it gives me some humanely thoughts and let me to not wash out by current sentiments and events but see the processes that is going to repeat again and again…

No comments:

Post a Comment