Saturday, September 25, 2010

New “eight millennium aspirations, in a Buddhist sequence”

Yes, the “former administrator, diplomat and governor” Mr. Gopalkrishna Gandhi crafted another “eight millennium aspirations” thankfully not a “goals”. The following are his “aspirations”:

With the experience of two decades of self-admitted failures behind us, we should own that more of the same would not work any longer. We need something new. Can we consider not in substitution, certainly not in competition, but in co-extensive mutuality with the eight MDGs the following eight millennium aspirations, in a Buddhist sequence, for the urgent needs of today’s world but with specific salience to India:

* Understand that the expropriating of our scarce resources will leave us nowhere;

* Think about the whys and wherefores of food insecurity to see how different the determinants of food security are today from those of the past;

* Speak to farmers, herders, fishers, who are going to face a worsening of soil degradation and sharp water scarcities, in order to learn from them about as much as to suggest to them ways of coping with those that will be ecologically intelligent;

* Act with speed to check the loss of plant and animal diversity that work as a natural bio-shield;

* Retrieve livelihoods from manipulators and monopolists, including from those trade unions and NGOs who by their creation of dependence bring trade unionism and voluntarism into disrepute;

* Set in motion efforts by those NGOs and trade unions or ‘faith groups’ to ensure that bulk users of energy and water cut waste and callous extravagance, and are not able to hide behind the ‘per capita’ principle;

* Be mindful of how rapidly villages are becoming towns, towns turning into cities and cities morphing into metropolises, see if we are not consigning ourselves to a future where we will all have to wear masks before venturing outdoors;

* Contemplate that the good intent of all those at the third summit, hope against fears that India which can stop a Vedanta in its tracks, and make the Lower Subansiri Project answer the world’s questions on its advisability, can also give us that gift of seeing, as U. Thant might have done, the practical wisdom of the Tathagata, or (adaptively) the ‘One Who Walked That Other Way’.

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