The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): What we are taught in conflict management is that when you are dealing with conflict, the best way is to take the other person’s perspective and then come to a resolution through a compromise. The current state of affairs doesn’t seem to encourage this though; in fact, there are economic incentives to keep the conflict going. So, how do we combat the system, especially in this time where everyone wants to accumulate money? You can’t even be in the camp of ‘ignorance is bliss’ or just fence-sitting. That’s the first thing.
Secondly, I am all about hypocrisy, in fact I believe almost every human is a hypocrite, but what I don’t understand is the entitlement which comes with hypocrisy. For example, how come a middle-class Indian switching on his air conditioner with coal-powered electricity is committing a great blasphemy against the environment, but EV cars, which are essentially made from materials which are obtained from the destruction of Amazon rainforest, are considered eco-friendly, and are also adding to the wealth of super rich?
Acharya Prashant (AP): That’s just propaganda; that’s just lack of knowledge. Once you make it known that the very battery in an EV car is actually an environmental disaster — the kind of elements that are used in it and how rare they are, and how much soil must be unearthed to just get to that — and then the fact that countries like India have mostly coal-fired plants, so even if you have to charge that battery, then you are burning coal — you make that known, and then the moral superiority, the ethical value attached with an EV car goes down.
This one is a clear case of lack of propaganda. Propaganda is a great thing; you need to publicize the right information. And the corporations selling those cars won’t do that, obviously. So, you have to do that, and you have the power of social media on your side. Post as much as you can. Ask people to share. Let people know.
All conflict starts first of all within, does it not? Wars first start in the mind. We say that when a war is already raging within, then enemies necessarily appear from all sides externally. Wars are first of all internal, and then you look for…