‘Enlightenment’ – Source of Power, ‘empowerment’ – Show of strength
“Knowing others, is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom.”And
“Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.”
“Life is to be lived, not controlled” Barrack Obama
Through ‘Enlightenment’, true empowerment comes. But in today’s world, ‘empowerment’ implies show of power by mastering others. Power rests in controlling the destiny of others. In simple words, it means controlling the reigns of state authority and easy access into the corridors of power.
There is over-emphasis on the word ‘empowerment’. In the world of politics, ‘Empowerment’ has become a keyword. Apart from it, different sections of society allover world are racing blindly to become more and more powerful. There is a great emphasis on the word ‘empowerment’ without understanding what ‘empowerment’ really means. True empowerment does not come by getting access/entry into the corridors of authority/power by adopting superficial measures like fixing up quotas, providing subsidies, or giving doles to poor. Once given it is difficult, it is difficult to withdraw. Also such measures create other complications in society.
Sources of power
As Toffler says there are three main sources of power – ‘knowledge, wealth, and muscle power’. In a way ‘empowerment is an inter-play of all these variables. Its meaning and the approach, one adopts differs from person to person and place to place.
Power achieved through money or force or superficial measures is short-lived. It can never lead to sustainable development of the poor and needy people. Present day’s power politics has led to a rat race between different sections of society and encourages them to become more powerful than others by hook or a crook.
‘Empowerment’ in the world of politics
Politicians talk too much about ‘empowerment’. They are not concerned so much about the welfare of common men, as about holding the reigns of state authority/power by alluring the masses. With this sole mission in their mind, they concentrate all their efforts to amass wealth/empires to buy muscle-power and conscience of common man and care for knowledge only up-to the extent, so far as it enhances their chances of entering into the corridors of ‘power’ and control the levers of authority. They desire to acquire it either by hook or crook. They desire to hold so much economic and political power in their hands that they can get away easily, whatever wrong they do.
In order to lure the masses, politicians make false promise; adopt many paternalistic policies, which encourage various pressure groups to pursue sectional interests. Almost all the political parties give assurance to various upcoming or deprived groups to ‘empower’ them somehow.
People in general desire to lead a peaceful and comfortable life-style. In modern materialistic and consumerist world with so many new gadgets coming in the market everyday, it becomes difficult for them to resist temptations. Materialism influences weak minds easily. Masses due to their ignorance become the victim.
Over-emphasis on ‘empowerment’ generates negative energy
Too much emphasis on empowerment generates negative energy in people. Generally, it has been observed that the word ‘empowerment’ agitates people’s own mind as well as minds of others. The word ‘Empowerment’ generates excessive desire in people to be one up and establish their superiority/authority/power in the society and can control the destiny of others/masses.
Power achieved through superficial means, or obtained through money and force is short-lived. No superficial measure can lead anybody – be it an individual, any group within a society, a society or a nation, to ‘sustainable development’ or ‘empowerment.’
‘Empowerment’ without knowledge ‘exclusive’ in nature
Too much emphasis on empowerment (without true knowledge) is ‘exclusive’ in nature. It separates people from one another on the basis of their multifarious identities. It starts a cut-throat competition amongst different individuals/sections of society/nations. It generates among them a feeling of ‘we’ and ‘they’.
The unhealthy competition amongst different groups to be ‘one up’ tends them to pull others down and care only for ‘I, my and me”. It develops resistance to accept ‘others’ cordially.
Positive approach for ‘empowerment’
Jyotirao Phule has said “Lack of ‘Education’ leads to lack of ‘Wisdom’, which leads to lack of ‘Morals’, which leads to lack of ‘Progress’, which leads to lack of ‘Money’, ‘which leads to ‘Oppression’ of vulnerable classes.”
Role of knowledge is very crucial for real ‘empowerment’. Real ‘empowerment’ comes through enlightenment/true wisdom, which can be achieved through acquisition of true knowledge. It is true knowledge that can make a person or a group ‘empowered’. Sound education develops in people knowledge; true knowledge inculcates in them positive attitude, which ultimately leads them towards happiness and prosperity. It is true knowledge, which inculcates/generates positive attitude towards life, self-confidence, self-reliance, self-discipline, self-control and self-respect. Developing positive attitude/thinking and other qualities associated with it, is not an easy task. For attaining it, one needs determination/will power, hard work and dedication, pursuance and tremendous perseverance.
‘Enlightenment’ inclusive by nature
Enlightenment teaches people to be respectful to others. It develops respect for truth, positive attitude, right knowledge and respect for ethical values. True knowledge teaches people to keep their ‘ego’ under control. The only way to self-control lies within each human being. Human mind has three dimensions – conscious, sub-conscious and super-conscious mind. Once the conscious mind is regulated, sub-conscious and super-conscious state of mind automatically gets controlled.
Access to knowledge through sound system of education is the basic right of every human being. It inculcates in people an attitude to work for common good, to support each other and move forward together.
Recently, focus on empowerment has created split in society. The focus of the politicians on ‘empowering’ this section or that section of society has given rise to the emergence of various pressure groups and giving more weight-age to sectional interests than interest of the nation as a whole. In the name of ‘empowerment’, they have divided the whole society into numerous uncompromising watertight compartments. ‘Empowerment’ through extraneous/artificially imposed measures does not lead to real and sustainable development and quite often generates negative energies.
One should always remember that Enlightenment is the real source of immense power. True ‘Empowerment’ comes through knowledge/‘Enlightenment’/self-introspection. ‘Enlightenment’ through right kind of knowledge and sound education makes people intelligent, generates positive energies in them and leads to their sustainable development. True knowledge makes minds of the people strong enough to resist temptations and raise their level of consciousness. Intellect automatically develops the inherent potential of individuals and keeps them away from lust and greed. Knowledge enables people’s conscience to be guided by intellect.
And also that ‘United we stand, divided we fall’
Only ‘intellect’ of enlightened leaders can make submerged sections of society so powerful that they too can contribute to make a difference for betterment and not to indulge themselves in sinful activities for their self-interest. Joint efforts of the both could bring in prosperity and transforms the whole society.
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