SP Kachru

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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Visualising Individual

by S.P. Kachru

Oblivious to the consequences, man continues in his endeavour to change the world Ė each in his own way and to conform to his own individual perception, be it to the advantage or detriment of the community at large. By way of a reminder; as a product of nature just like any other form of earthly life, man began his existence in a community of fellow humans. Anyone could use anything. Later on, community of hunters and gatherers began to emerge Ė the menfolk took care of the hunting and women the gathering. The spoils were then divided among all for consumption accordingly to each oneís need. Mankind had just formed a society.

But it was not to stay that way. The individualís main concern was concentrated on his own tribe ,then on his immediate family and finally upon himself. That became the basis for tribal conflict, then family conflict, finally developing into personal conflicts. The change-over from community to individual thinking was then accelerated by the advent of religious beliefs, which always called upon the devout to keep fellow humansí needs above individualís desires. In contrast to other living beings, man attempts to assign his own life a meaning which will transcend his actual bodily existence.

He, therefore, sets his heart on ideals under which he counts such values as religious orthodoxy, liberty, independence, patriotism, family or his personal property. And the more these values mean to him, the more he will be willing to sacrifice in their interest The age of enlightenment, globalization etc. have isolated society even further. Whereas discriminating citizens had previously been few and far between, they were now to be found in droves. Their competitive spirit was seen to sanction the right to the survival of the fittest and thereby demand that there be victors and losers, classes and hierarchies. Manís endeavour for self determination now circles around the individual, no longer as a member of the community but as a competitor within it. With that he concedes that individual interests rank higher than those of the community. This becomes even easier to accept as his own death is assured, so the continued welfare of the human race pales into insignificance. In itís final consequence, the fate of all could therefore fall into the hands of a single individual, for what temptation could be greater than that of becoming victor over all others as the vanquished ?

Having said so, who would debate our genetic exclusivity of claiming to know all, the subject, nuances or numbers notwithstanding. Throughout the history, the communities have produced institutions in order to respond to social needs, needs for protection, needs for mutual defense, needs for religious and spiritual expression, needs for knowledge and learning which eventually led to prosperity of several kinds. If we were to exercise our nostalgic recall, we would have our hallmark heritage, high-minded humility, humble beginnings, hymns, hill-tops etc. etc. springing forth and indeed that may help check the decline setting in our midst and hence merit reconsideration of our present day thinking. Till then, it may be a self indulgent pleasure to believe that since God helps those who help themselves, serving an individualís self interest is divine !

Source: Milchar

  

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