Chapter 12 - Beyond the Light of India
There was a message waiting for me in Indira's e-mail. It had arrived while we were away on our lunchtime festival, strolling through the streets of Old Delhi. The message was from Fred; a short message. "Funds approved! Stay for as long as is needed and help Indira works things out."
Fred was never a man of many words, but he was a man with a beautiful soul.
As it turned out, the extra time was needed, because with the official U.S. government funding came also a certain prestige that paved the way past many doors that would normally have remained closed to us. It seemed wise not to let the opportunity that thereby presented itself become lost. It provided access to both some government offices and some of the houses of the Thevars. A few of the Thevars that we talked to could understand the economic-development potential that comes with improved health among the workers. Several of the Thevars even realized that the project we proposed to them could increase their earnings and might be beneficial to their own health at the same time. Two even offered to pay for the expenses themselves.
In this manner, our three weeks together quickly became a whirlwind tour of kaleidoscopic bewilderment. We had far-reaching discussions with people in high places that seemed to be too far-gone to understand anything including the value of money. From those that pretended to be intelligent, but were far from it, we received threats, got into clashes with them, and in a few rare cases we even scored a victory or two. The victories, of course, made the tough parts worthwhile. Indira suggested at the end that we had made many strides forward that seemed miraculous, even though we had barely scratched the surface.
"India is a large country with a long history that includes the best and the noblest rolled together with the worst and the ugliest," I said to her one day as we assessed our victories over breakfast on the balcony. "The few successes gives me hope," I added, "because as the ugly elements are dealt with, that the beautiful elements have 'space' to unfold. It would be hopeless if things were the other way around, if the beautiful elements were not native to our common humanity as a strength that no one is excluded from, with which to develop ourselves. This strength is our foundation for raising ourselves up."
"What are you trying to tell me?" Indira interrupted.
"I am trying to tell you that we can win this battle, but it won't be an easy fight. The Dalits' problem is their abject poverty. Our project doesn't come close to addressing this, unless we see it as a seed kernel. We can help a few people to make the best out of a rotten situation and change some people's perception of one-another to some degree we will have made a start. If that start takes on a life of its own, it has the potential to set a wave into motion that can lift the 200 million Dalits of India out of the quagmire of poverty that ensnares them. It's possible for this to happen, but we need to do more to get it started."
"How can we uplift the whole of India?" Indira interrupted and began to laugh. "It's a nice dream, but it won't happen."
"It has to happen, and therefore it will happen," I replied firmly. "The question that concerns us is whether we want to be a part of this happening and spearhead it. For the protection of civilization society needs to uplift India and Africa, and humanity as a whole. This larger goal must be reached for all of our sakes. We need to fight to globalize civilization, thereby shutting down the globalization of looting, slavery, and poverty, and also the terror and wars that are unleashed for the globalization of empires. The Principle of Universal Love demands that this goal be reached. If it isn't reached the globalization of looting, slavery, poverty, terror, and war will overcome the strength of mankind. This doesn't mean that the government of India must redistribute whatever bit of wealth there is at hand to help the Dalits to get a greater share of it. That wouldn't be enough by a long way. In order to irradiate poverty, we need to create vastly more wealth for society than is presently being produced, and this must be done globally with advanced energy-intensive technological processes. What prevents this from happening here in India is a global disease that cannot be cured with a local Band-Aid. But India can contribute, even lead, the global solution. Poverty anywhere in the world, flies directly against the flow of the Principle of Universal Love. No one if free until all are free."
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