Polarity or Polarization

Dr. Francis D’Sa, SJ while chatting with us uttered an important statement of Dr. Raimon Panikkar. I am paraphrasing it, Polarity is required for human existence, polarization destroys. I found this a profound insight, an insight Indian traditions appreciated and this has resulted in high intellectual and spiritual acumen of the early Indians.

Water wont flow from one tank to the other via pipe unless there is a level difference. For wind to happen, air needs to follow and this happens only if there is pressure difference. Current flows if there is a potential difference. Our inhalation and exhalation happens also in the same way. Thus a polarity (difference in some parameters) is required for a flow (dynamism) to exist. Definitely nobody will be ready to kill the polarity in scientific fields, but what about our cultural, religious and intellectual fields? Or whether those fields stop seeing polarities as agents of dynamism?

People of any religion could be divided into people belonging to different cultures or traditions. There are Tribal Christians, Mangolorean Christians, and various other types. As Christians, they have similarities. But there could exist major differences. Do we need to level down all differences. Can the differences (polarities) be agents of new innovations in theology, liturgy etc which are Christian.

The same is applicable for people belonging to different cultures/languages. It is good that we have a common language for certain purposes in our country (English fits the bill). Do we need to impose one common language/tradition at the cost of local traditions. Can’t we see the pluralities as agents of development and enrichment?

A common debate that happens in India these days are Gandhi vs Ambedkar, Nehru vs Patel. Surely they were all tall leaders of our countries with their own limitations. Are the teachings of Ambedkar and Gandhi with the many contradictions and dynamic tensions, a better option than ignoring one completely? Such attempts of polarization between Nehru and Patel, Gandhi and Ambedkar, can only help some fringe elements and not the development of our nation.

When the colours like violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red are mixed in the appropriate proportions, it produce white. But a rainbow is more beautiful and enriching that the white colour. If we create boundaries between each colour, it is no longer a rainbow.

Polarities (variations/differences) can be harmoniously blended. Bridges between the polarities transport the dynamism and creativity. Boundaries helps to create dead sea in all sides.

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