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A WCPA Response to the Attack on Swami Agnivesh
Glen T. Martin

We were shocked to learn that WCPA Distinguished Advisor and internationally recognized social justice leader was attacked and beaten by members of the BJP party youth wing on July 17th in Jharkhand, India. Some claim that this horrible deed was done in the name of a Hinduism and nationalism that they say Swami Agnivesh diminishes through his social activism and emphasis on the universalism at the heart of the Vedas.

WCPA deplores this horrible violence and urges the police in Jharkhand and throughout India to deal effectively with this crime and all such crimes. India is not alone in this descent of human beings into mob rule, parochial identifications, childish prejudices, and identification with fanatical belief systems.

Many places around the world today illustrate William Butler Yeats’ famous statement that “the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Yet Swami Agnivesh is one of the few best who truly acts with conviction because he sees deeply into the essence of our common humanity and the oneness of the divine ground that encompasses us all.

Perhaps the majority of people who embrace this or that religion are threatened by those of deep and authentic religious insight.  The majority of Christians are threatened by the living Christ of love, compassion, and forgiveness, the “nameless One” of Meister Eckhart. The majority of Buddhists are threatened by the Lord Buddha who repudiated their religious rituals and dogmas. The majority of Moslems are threatened by the spirit of the true Prophet and his authentic followers such as Jalaluddin Rumi. The majority of Hindus are threatened by the living truth as expressed by figures such as Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi. Human beings need to grow up and begin to live from the deeper universal Truth.

WCPA recently issued a statement decrying the political murder that takes place in many countries. In the United States, the government assumes it has the right to murder people around the world with whom it disagrees by special-ops death squads and remote-controlled drones.  In Israel, the government assumes it has the right to murder Palestinians protesting nonviolently against its horrific system of apartheid and oppression. In the Philippines, the government assumes the right to murder, without trial, those it considers as “drug dealers.”  In Mexico and Columbia, people running for democratic office are regularly assassinated by paramilitary death squads (some members of which has been trained in the U.S. at the infamous “School of the Americas).”

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth embodies the highest principles of human civilization, including truth, justice, and universal human dignity. These are the same principles at the core of all the great world religions: love, nonviolence, mutual respect, compassion, equal justice, and personal dignity. These principles were embraced by Mahatma Gandhi under the name of satyagraha, a word that literally means “clinging to truth.” These highest principles comprise the real truth of our human situation.

We worldwide members of WCPA may be Hindus, Moslems, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Bahia’s, or Humanists. But in every case we must embrace the deepest values of our respective traditions. We understand that love and justice and universal dignity are the genuine values of satyagraha and the highest values of all the world’s religions. These constitute the deeper truth of our human situation. If we see this, then we need not merely be the “best who lack all conviction,” but, like Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Agnivesh, we can speak for a truly redeemed world for all humanity.

We can speak with conviction for the ratification of the Earth Constitution that embodies our highest human ideals and constitutes the great destiny of human civilization. In the darkness of these times, when lost and ignorant people around the globe are turning more and more to violence, it is our responsibility to speak out, to act with integrity, justice, and love. The descent of our fragmented world into bigotries, irrational fundamentalisms, racism, sexism, and religious fanaticism should not deter us, but rather inspire us to speak out ever more clearly on behalf of a civilized and redeemed future for humanity under the Earth Constitution.

Like Swami Agnivesh, we must speak truth to power, we must stand for human dignity against fanaticism and bigotry. We must place the Earth Constitution ever more clearly before humankind and the court of human wisdom. We must raise it as a beacon of a redeemed, just, and truth-based world system.

We must bring out the best within ourselves, acting and speaking from the conviction that we are one world and one human family. We have only one planetary future. It has to be a united world or there will be no world at all.  WCPA through all its members must lead the way. Our human future needs to be one of peace, justice, and sustainability, for which we must all take responsibility.  Let us live from the deeper Truth of our human situation and support the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

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