Message to Siyasat, Students’ annual journal of the dept. of Political Science, Hindu College (DU)
To rebel is to create
Ish N. Mishra
To rebel is to create
To conform is to stagnate
To question is to know
To follow is support to status-quo
To doubt is to be radical
To assent is to be ‘practical’
To self-criticize is to grow
To self-eulogize is just to blow with the flow
So dare to think
As Emanuel Kant said
Dare to question anything and everything
To be radical is to grasp the roots
For a humans, they themselves are the roots
Thinking is not an abstract act in the world of abstract ideas
But an intellectual practice in the particular circumstance
Not in the self-chosen but transmitted from the past
From the traditions of the dead generations
That endeavors to refute the historic maxim
‘Every next generation is smarter’
In the long journey from stone to cyber age
Breaking the cages with natural rage
Have courage to apply knowledge
Irrespective of precedence
Creating precedence is more pleasant
Than submitting to customary practices
Rebel to create not to hate.
The composition of the universe and the reality is dialectical and the tensions and conflicts of this dialectical unity are moving forces of the history. So this unconventional prelude to the message to students exhorting them to rebel and create is not out of place. The above poem did not form the part of original scheme; it did not exist except the title, which spontaneously expanded. The words have self-expanding force in latent form that gets actualized with appropriate exposure and intellectual ambience, in the same way as human species-specific attributes are latent, unawaken in Rousseau’s natural, innocent beings that get actualized ‘in and through society’. Self-invention, i.e., discovery of one’s new potentialities, is a continuous process. To rebel is to create but the rebellion in itself is not revolution, the rebellion in itself is not revolutionary, it can be counterrevolutionary or socially counterproductive. Rebellion must be equipped with knowledge and key to any knowledge is questioning. Knowledge comes from not what is taught but from questioning that.
I take great pleasure and honour in writing my first and most probably last massage to my students and colleagues through SIYASAT, the annual magazine of the POLSO, the departmental society. Writing a message for the young friends, in the midst of lifelong personality building process for themselves and the society, is not easy. But eveyone can do the easy things. Bhagat Singh wrote, “The revolutionaries fought for the oppressed, because they had to”. This sentence of that young revolutionary has always been inspirational in such situation. I pass on the message. As freedom lies not in what one wishes to do, but in what one has to. ‘Every next generation is always smarter’. But like the rebellion, this smartness too has two faceted implications. It could yield progressive results if used wisely and humanly and regressive or conservative if used cunningly in the self or group interest. The reason tells what is good and bad but does not move one to do good or bad. It is the conscience that moves one to do good or bad but does know by itself about good and bad. Hence the personality is created by the dialectical unity of reason and conscience. To create a new, rational critical personality, one need to unlearn the attributes acquired independent conscious will, i.e., the socially acquired values need to be replaced by rational ones.
Another difficulty in beginning this piece was the pressure of the self-expectation of quality. As I keep repeatedly telling that the life does not have any extra-living end, living a quality life is an end in itself rest follow as inadvertent consequences. And at times the inadvertent become more substantial. The quality life for me, means continuous endeavor at deriving unity between theory and practice and also at improving and refining the theory with newer knowledge and exposures. Similarly the quality of the art of writing is dialectical unity of comprehensions and precision. At times, precision becomes difficult but one ‘has to’. Once Sociology students organized a debate on “Don’t just think, act” and I was one of the judges. On being asked to say “two words”, I had said, “By virtue of the fact, we are living; we are acting any way. Think before you act.” All the human actions are not praxis, only well-thought, creatively productive actions are.
I congratulate the editorial team in general and the chief editors, Ria Yadav and Aditi Gupta in particular, for their meticulous effort to plan and incisively design the issue and most importantly to write the editorial and extract write-ups from fellow students, not the easy task. I conclude this message with few sermons:
· Principled life is always superior and beneficial on the basis of the rational calculation of the self-interest.
· Agreeing with Rousseau’s view of happiness that those who give priority to “self’s sense justice” over the “self’s sense of self-interest” are happier than those who do the otherwise.
· Greatest happiness in human relations is the pleasure of parity, sense of power in hierarchy is the illusion of pleasure.
· One arrives at fairer decision by juxtaposing.
· While discharging a responsibility, if you act – 1. Honestly; 2. Democratically; 3. Transparently, eventually you shall get vindicated. And finally,
· Aim for the ‘impossible’, impossibility is just a theoretical concept.
Wish you all to be adorably good, rational and critical human beings with emphasis on ‘self’s sense of right’ and fly as high as if even the sky is not the limit, in your life and the carrier, without losing the sight of the ground.