Conflict will continue and so will change – by Naveed Ali

I am part of different groups and circles, and for me most difficult aspect of keeping good relationship is increased extremism and decreased tolerance; people no more capable to accept other beliefs.

And it does not matter if they are secular or religious in political thought, if they are leftists or rightists, liberal or conservative, looks like we live in age of extreme. And worst is the ‘short span’ of media attention we are getting used to in this information age and our complete reliance on media to know what should we concentrate on.

Here everyday has a new hot story, we tend to forget what was important yesterday, I do not believe in conspiracy theories otherwise people blame this to ‘Illuminati’ kind of groups and planned conspiracies to control masses around the globe. Perhaps it is not totally wrong, but this does not answer to the real problem, why more people tend to extremes unlike in past.

As I came abroad, it was very disappointing to see people living in their created ghettos as they cannot mix in the host society, they take their prejudices with them and do not understand the fact that there are humans which live here and they have their own centuries old customs and way of life and they have progressed based on these ethos. They fail to understand that mutual respect is the key for success for everyone, and when you enter into a system (in scientific sense as well) you have to adopt to the new environment and it is not that you can destroy that system but you can act as a catalyst to give more strength to that system, and that strength is diversity and tolerance for mutual progress.

Similar is the situation in our own country, our extremism or lack of knowledge has made us extremists, we do not strive for learning and but we submit to our egos and become for violent and aggressive towards opposition (whoever is not like me is my opponent).

Dialectical theory says that it is continuous process of change, thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis which works in human societies, that is why we see hard resistance to change but change is inevitable and can not be avoided, we can see through history and our own life experiences that societies progressed, nothing around us is what it was when we were born, stories my grand mother used to tell me had bull-cart as the only mean of travelling for ladies of a noble family, is it true any more?
Lanterns from Goodman were the best to keep light in my father’s youth, my son cannot even understand what does it mean by ‘Goodman the Lalten’.

I do not think if beliefs are not impacted by these changes, how many religious TV channels we have? Modern mosques have complete automatic control systems installed to provide services to devotees. But these ‘norms’ we do not even consider, these changes too were opposed; Sir Syed was condemned to death by Ulemas when he suggested use of modern thoughts and inventions for Muslims and claimed it will not harm religion or religious beliefs.

We witness same response until now because process of change is continuous and until there is complete synthesis, conflict will continue, no matter how hard it is for us who are in middle of it, change will continue. So these are the ‘agents’ in this process of history which take different shapes, political, behavioural, religious or revolutionary; there are agents of progress and there are agents of preservation. It is all part of one big grinding machine, which is churning what is old and rusted and recycling it for future.



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