Love, patience, perseverance, and non-violence will win battles of the heart for true reforms for a just society.
All through human history, all fundamental changes are brought about by people themselves, never by any politician. This is precisely why I keep reminding everyone on my blog that politicians are irrelevant unless they evolve into Raperas.
There have always been persons, though few, who have been pointing out the oppression and injustices that are taking place in society. However, people seem to “wake up” only when the oppression becomes widespread and to the point of recurrent humiliation. It is only then when people begin to stand up with courage.
However, at every single moment in our life, there are selfless ‘brave’ rare persons who are fighting against the unjust system in their own way. We just do not know them because they do not really have a need to be known. However, we unknowingly reap the benefits of their struggle. I believe the last thing such persons want is to be a hero or seek recognition.
While the young have energy and a few among them have the sincere intention to improve things, the desire and struggle for a “just society” is free of age factors. There are old and young scums who cannot see further than their noses. I know many idealistic young ones who only grow older to become the worst capitalists and selfish animals.
Trust me on this. One of the greatest challenges in life is to hold on to your ideals as you grow older because almost everyone and everything around you will try to make you “matured and practical”, that is, to give up your ideals. The biography of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi as he came to be known had a tremendous impact on my life. The “experiments” (as he called it) that he conducted with his life was truly an inspiring example of a man who stuck to his ideals to his death.
Gandhi was after all a lawyer who had made a big name in South Africa and was given a hero’s welcome on his return to India by the then largest party, the Congress. Had he been ambitious, the most pragmatic thing for him to do was to enter mainstream politics though the Congress Party. He would probably have “the party machinery, the funds, the pomp and the power” of politicians.
However, he did the “foolish” thing of turning it down and deciding to “get to know India” where he adorned his famous half naked clothes dhoti and went around the country mixing with the masses. His entire life was one of selfless sacrifice for the purpose of achieving independence for India both politically, socially and economically. In the process, he spoke, wrote and urged the Indians to transcend their ethnicity and to accept each other as God’s children. As history recorded, at the end, he was murdered by one of his “own”.
Nevertheless, Gandhi left behind a legacy for humankind; that we can with love, patience, perseverance, and non-violence win battles of the heart. It is in the hearts of humankind that battles should be fought so that true reforms for a just society may come forth.
Struggle for a just society is forever continuous and it goes beyond our deaths. Anyone who is keen to be part of this struggle must be prepared to sacrifice and be ready to receive ingratitude from the very recipients of his struggle. There is no glory in such a task, only the process of living as an honourable human being answerable to your conscience.
All the best to those who want to make this world a bit better than we found it. If we do not make it worse, we have succeeded.
Dato’ Jahaberdeen Mohd Yunoos is a senior lawyer practicing at Messrs Jahaberdeen & Co., exco member of JUST International, blogs at http://jahaberdeen.blogspot.com and http://jahamy.blogspot.com. He has authored two much sought after books titled “Islam: Antara Isi dan Kulit” and “Urgently wanted!: Rapera”. Goes around the country with SABM delivering talks on equality from the perspective of the Constitution and the Quran. Deep interest in comparative religion and a host of other things.