Call of Conscience

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Politicians, Sportspersons or Celebrities Must Listen to Their Conscience First and discriminate between the politics and humanity

Often we notice that the activists and Humanists take a committed stand for a cause and stick to it on principles humanity, equity, natural justice and sympathy for the underdogs. They get profuse public appreciation and overnight become blue eyed in media. But when the time comes to maintain consistency in the same stance for other deserving causes, they simply wriggle out on one excuse or the other which is often a flimsy ground; because it suits to their personal interest.

Today, a burning issue before us is the repression, genocide and killing of peaceful demonstrators in “TIBET” by the mighty China, which had illegally occupied and invaded the sovereign country of Tibet in the Himalayan Peninsula decades ago. That time the world, including India had condemned this illegal occupation of TIBET. India even had declared its full support to the “Tibetan Government in Exile” led by their spiritual head Dalai Lama and had given him a permanent asylum at Dharmsala in Himachal Pradesh. Since then Dalai Lama and the Tibetans in Tibet or outside have been peacefully fighting for their fundamental right of independence.

For last six months, when the atrocities in the occupied Tibet by China increased tenfold, the younger generation could no longer remain silent and are fighting for the cause of independence or self governance with strong vigor and determination.. Instead of opening a “peace dialogue” with Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of Tibetans, China has adopted the cruel authoritarian policy of crushing the democratic movement with mayhem and tyranny. When all human rights are trampled violently by China, it is staging the most peaceful sporting show of the World Olympic Games.

In such a grim, beastly human scenario; the conscientious democratic countries all over the world have condemned this brutal attitude of China and as a mark of protest either declined to participate in the Olympic Games scheduled in Beijing or banned the carrying of Olympic torch thru’ their country. And wherever, the torch is allowed to be carried with heavy security cordon to protect the flame from the demonstrating conscientious people; Individuals with conscience have either refused to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing, or have refused to carry the Olympic Torch while running in their country.

From the core of my heart, I appreciate and laud those countries and individual heads of the government for refusing to attend the Olympic games or opening ceremony as a mark of solidarity with the struggling Tibetans. The British Prime Minister and French President are shining examples, now also joined by the UN Secretary General. Kudos to them. Although till today, US president has not declined to attend the opening ceremony, any day in future he might follow suit under pressure.

But it’s indeed shameful that the India, which originally stood and still stands for the cause of Tibet, is a silent spectator. Besides, lodging a mere protest against the brutal atrocities of China and calling them to open dialogue with Dalai Lama, the Government, and the selfish Indian Olympic Association, have not shown any other act of protest in the name of “Weak and flimsy argument that, we should not mix Sports with Politics”.

Now for God’s sake, where is the politics involved with clear human rights violation by China? True, the Olympic games too are no politics and it is not fiefdom of China. But this year China is the host. Let consenting athletes/sportspersons participate as Indian contingent, but to get the pinch felt by China, high ups may refuse to record their personal attendance as a mark of protest. This lame excuse is nothing but the lack of scruples and conscience. And this does not mean one is mixing politics with sports. IN past when the Pakistan was playing an open game of undeclared war, militancy and terrorism against India or Indian Public, even the Indian Government had banned all sports events, including Cricket matches with Pakistan. Was that the “Mixing of Sports with Politics”? Obviously neither the Indian government nor the public thought so because that directly concerned to India and the people. Why then we don’t feel the same way while taking up the cause of Tibetans?

Let the government or the Indian Olympic Association, stick to their own selfish motives, but why the conscientious Individuals, should not hear the call of their conscience?

In this context kudos to the celebrity Indians like Ms. Kiran Bedi, Rajiv Gandhi and the ace Footballer, Indian captain and a great sportsman Bhaichung Bhutia who heard the call of their conscience and refused to carry the Olympic Torch in the Indian run. But the blaster batsman cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, ex-Olympic medal winner Milkha Singh and actors like Aamir Khan, Saif Pataudi etc. appear to be more Publicity hungry and they are still willing to carry the torch under the same weak and flimsy excuse that we should not mix Politics with sports. OK, but are they for humanity and human cause or not? So are they going to protest before the Chinese Embassy by showing their solidarity with Tibetan cause? No, they will not have guts to do so because they are too much bothered about their material stand and publicity.

However, one never expected such type of iffy and silly stand coming from the man of stature and principles Aamir Khan. He had amply displayed his call of conscience and activism for a cause, when he openly supported the “Satyagraha” of “Narmada Bachao Andolan” led by Medha Patkar for the cause of those who were displaced by the Governments of Madhypradesh and Gujarat. He even did this at the cost of his personal popularity in the State of Gujarat besides facing a business loss when all his films, including the new release “Fanaa” was boycotted by the State. But he accepted all that sportingly because, more than politics, humanity and cause of underdogs was important to him. Why the same conscience lacking on his part this time? Why this double standard Aamir Khan? As far as the other sport persons or actors are concerned, they never displayed their conscience or any activism. So let them do what their mind says. But why you Aamir?

Written by: 

Mohan Siroya



Bravo Mr. Mohan Siroya for calling a spade a spade. Your comments are candid, logical, and timely. Hope the big bums sitting in Delhi take note of your Call of Conscience.
Very well said. It appears, your article had had a change of heart on the part of actor Aamir Khan, Soha Ali Khan and the Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Such frank opinions and controversies indeed play a crucial role in conscientious decision making. Keep it up.

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