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An eternal contest

The contest between right and wrong began even before the dawn of humans on earth and it will last even after the dusk of everything in the universe.
12:00 AM May 24, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
an eternal contest

When we are clear about the ideas of good and bad, their importance and ramifications, then it becomes incumbent upon us to take a stand for what is good. Since the battle between good and evil, truth and falsehood is eternal and we are mortals, thus the battle neither starts with us, nor does it end with us. It outlives the longest possible life span of individuals, nations and civilisations.


The contest between right and wrong began even before the dawn of humans on earth and it will last even after the dusk of everything in the universe. Hence we are nothing, but soldiers, with no choice but to stand for either truth, beauty and goodness or to oppress for the supremacy of falsehood, malice and evil.


The choice is certainly ours. However, on this path, we can choose only the roads and not the destinations where former road leads to God, which is the endless peace and tranquillity while the later leads to Satan, which is indeed, the endless chaos and confusion. Those who seek God, hence, must resist the Satanic forces of hatred and abhorrence for the salvation of mankind and nature.


Resistance implies refusal to accept or comply or conform with injustice within, and without. Therefore we ought to resist on two fronts all the time. Resistance within means the refusal to bow down to our animal instincts and carnal desires, whereas resistance without refers to not kneeling before imperialism, colonialism, communalism, regionalism, casteism, xenophobia, authoritarianism, despotism and all such false ideals and systems that subjugate and tyrannize man in any form.


Ali Ibne Talib, the cousin of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once said that “never be a slave of others when God has created you free” and following his principle his son Hussain, often referred to as the prince of freedom fighters, valiantly stood his ground in the battle of Karbala which has led him to eternal glory. Resistance, indeed has led men and women not only to the perpetual glory, but to redemption and eternal peace as well. Resistance, hence, is a must for success within and without.


Resistance, although a very ordinarily used term, may carry different connotations for different people, cornered by different circumstances across the world. For instance, for a servant, a refusal to accept overload is resistance. For a shepherd the concept of resistance is equivalent to the effort to feed his sheep, being a transhumant.


Similarly, for a medico, it may be simply the capacity of a human body to fight back diseases, injuries and infections. Whereas for a clinical psychologist, resistance is the self defence mechanism developed by human mind, wherein a patient discards and denies or otherwise be pitted against the therapeutic cure from a psychotherapist. In a similar fashion, for a militant group fighting a state and its turncoats, with gun is resistance – Bhagat Singh and his comrades constitute fine example of such resistance while Gandhi came up with quite different set of ideas to resist.


Correspondingly a saint may limit resistance to fighting Nafs and a bio-scientist may define resistance as the ability of various species to survive when exposed to a toxic and harmful physical environment. So resistance may have as many definitions, as there are surviving minds in the world. However, it would be inappropriate to categorise resistance into good and bad resistance, as the bad resistance is nothing but injustice and oppression masquerading as resistance.

For instance, theft may seem like resistance to a thief because it feeds, clothes and shelters his family and imposing war on innocents may seem like resistance to those who spread corruption in the land but the question begs, is it? What about the actions of a man or woman, who in the name of good stops you from flying in different skies?  Indeed, all such ideals are only different shades of tyranny camouflaged as resistance.

Conversely, resistance, a naked sword, always sides with truth and justice. It encompasses the complex and wearisome battles a mother fights against all odds, all through her life, for the ultimate happiness and success of her children. It is the struggle a teacher does to reach out to his students in need. It is the humbleness with which a powerful public servant, listens to the unheard, in an inherently arrogant bureaucratic set up.

And it must fill one with hope that there are many such characters, which resist tooth and nail for their families, countrymen and nature. A leader, a soldier, a doctor, an engineer, a saint, a scientist, a lawyer, a philosopher, or any other human being who attempts at building a better world, and a just society, is following the path of resistance, for which patience is a prerequisite.

And those who are martyred in this process, are the soldiers of truth, beauty and goodness who are bound to experience the satori moment, which is inexpressible in words and which cannot be realised through hate, subjugation, and tyranny.

It is important to know that resistance can be exercised in multiple ways, at each juncture of our emotional, spiritual, social, political and economic lives. It has many colours, shades and textures, which makes it indispensable for achieving success through countless means and modes. However, all means and modes of resistance, in all situations, are equally sacrosanct - because they constitute diverse but necessary ingredients for the preparation of revolution within and without.

For instance, smiling in the face of a difficult situation is as sacred as fighting an armed battle against a state which has become a monster. That means, revolutionaries come from all walks of life, in different styles and attires. And all those men and women, who stand up to dismantle the unjust and evil structures and superstructures, at any scale, made to exploit the worthy, the innocent, the poor and the marginalised contribute to the ultimate revolution, which aims at establishing truth and justice in the world.

Resistance, albeit astonishingly, also embraces the surrender of a peace loving worshipper, who is being persecuted for professing a different faith. Sometimes, merely saving our life constitutes the finest form of resistance as one soul shall be saved for another day, when the idea of good needs only one soldier to survive.

The battle of a single artist, or a lone scientist or a solitary philosopher, against an oppressive present for an affluent and peaceful future, or the efforts of a genuine student to learn and unlearn in tough circumstances, or the fight of an educated unemployed youth against the system, or the journey of man who seeks justice in the court of laws is resistance, regardless of the impact they create. As we know that the idea of equality against racism, communalism, regionalism, casteism and xenophobia and all such other evils need just one pure soul to survive, till eternity.

Resistance henceforth encompasses both, the patience with which the Battle of Trench was dealt by the Prophet Muhammad  (SAW), to their display of strength during the battles of Badar and Uhad, which culminated in the manifestation of ultimate mercy during victory over Makkah wherein enemies seeking or even not seeking forgiveness were forgiven. Among such people was a woman named Hinda,  who had eaten the flesh of the Prophet’s uncle.

The victory over Makkah, undoubtedly, marks the zenith of the Prophet's resistance which was achieved through exercising patience, in all situations, under all circumstances, especially during the peace treaty at Hudaibiya. Jesus, in the similar fashion, resisted ‘patiently’ against the people who persecuted and tortured him. Noah also spent a lifetime inviting people to the way of truth, with patience. Nanak’s methods of fighting corruption in the land were not much different.

If we dig at a deeper level, we will find that resistance is not only a means to some end but an end in itself. That means, fighting a just battle, within and without is an end in itself, like painting a sketch or singing a song or writing a poem, as they are all the ambassadors of truth, and justice.

Both, the scriptures and the science evidence the idea that if the soldiers of good against evil, exercise patience while resisting, they bring great revolutions. French revolution, Russian revolution, American revolution, Iranian revolution are all the products of a patient resistance. That is the reason, they have been successful in bringing greater and better changes in an oppressive and unjust environs across the globe.

BY Dr Mujahid Mughal, Assistant Professor of Geography at Govt PG College Rajouri, J&K.