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Avoid Meltdown

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The focus is on the goings-on in Sudan these days, mostly because Indians and people of many other countries are trapped there due to the sudden intensification in fighting that has been underway for donkey’s years. There are many countries around the world enduring low-intensity civil wars that have denied any kind of civilised existence for their populations. All attempts of the UN and concerned nations have failed to bring back any kind of normality. As a result, they have perforce become ‘invisible’ to the global community, attracting notice only when a Sudan like situation emerges.

Sadly, the number of such countries is increasing. This is because, for a variety of reasons, they have failed to evolve as functional societies with some form of effective governance in place. The people there have been barely surviving, mostly on aid provided to them by outside agencies for decades. If nothing else, any attempt by a neighbouring country to take over and fix things, is thwarted by some rival country, further intensifying the conflict.

At the heart of these conflicts is the inability of tribes, races, religions, etc., to rise above ancient animosities. They have failed to forge a modern identity simply because the civil society institutions like a uniform education system, universities, economic interdependence, political arrangements, etc., could never grow enough to integrate the people. The ability to survive on almost nothing has become a curse for them. Some territories have natural resources that others covet and fight over; in others criminality such as smuggling, production of drugs, piracy, etc., have become mainstream professions.

It is difficult for such countries to come out of these black holes, but it is very easy to fall into them. Sadly, the very values that are instrumental in building modern systems of governance are the ones that are the easiest to discard. This is why, in functional democracies like India, it is all the more important to appreciate the civilisational principles that have forged unity out of enormous diversity. Even here, there is no shortage of belief systems that propagate hate, promote violence and differentiate on the basis of class, caste, community, race and personal rivalry. There is also the failure to fully appreciate what has been achieved since Independence. As such, it is necessary to become more aware of the hell that so many nations around the world have created for themselves, so that the mistakes are not repeated here.