Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sigh... politics.


Here I am at the Model United Nations conference, representing India. Right now a caucus is going on and my brain is fading on me. I’m losing my grasp on words and my sense of composure. I’m just tired and want to go chant my rounds in the templeroom and the winding sandy road on temple property.

All these politics are starting to seep into my skin. In a way it’s so superficial. Countries of the world can have nice intentions to help others in a restricted sense, but really, it’s all meaningless. “Philosophy has no meaning without good character” Srila Prabhupad said once. My guru maharaj, Radhanath Swami, says in his book Welcome Home that as long as the hearts of men are dirty, there will be wars and pollution and corruption.

I know everyone in this Committee by country. I know no one’s name, including Cambodia - who I've been working with hand-in-hand for the past two days!

I wrote the above during a recess at the Model United Nations conference I attended this weekend. I was starting to get fried. When you attend an MUN conference, you ARE your country. Your personal beliefs do not exist. This means you refer to yourself as your country and you refer to others as their country.

I think what tipped me into not caring a SHOELACE happened right after I wrote the above italicized comments, a guy walked up to my table and approached one of my partners with a grin on his face, "The Republic of the Sudan would like to ask the Republic of Cambodia if this is her gum," he asked. I laughed hysterically... and decided I was going to laser everyone with my OWN beliefs the next time The Republic of India gave a speech.

Fast forward one hour with formal debate back in session. "Thank you, Islamic Republic of Pakistan for your speech. Republic of India?"

I walked to the podium slowly, quietly. "Thank you honorable Chair." I turned to the thirty countries represented in front of me. "Good afternoon, delegates. A great saint from India, Srila Prabhupad, once said, 'Philosophy without good character has no meaning'. This means we may work as hard as we can to implement programs or funding, but when other countries take advantage of the poverty-stricken, we only exacerbate poverty. This... corruption fuels poverty. Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest proprietors of non-violence, believed that fighting a war with violence only yielded more and more violence. We must begin with ourselves.

"The Republic of India urges all countries to participate and contribute to the World Summit to take place in Mumbai, India, 2009. We must stop poverty at its root, and not feed the problem by exploiting those less fortunate.

"Thank you."

Countries (people?) were taken aback, I could tell (ha, especially United States). But I was disappointed with myself somewhat. I would have rather said, "cut through this crap, people, we need to set an example as OURSELVES! Stop trying to solve all the world's problems when we're feeding the problem, right now, me, you, John and Mandy!" But this diplomatic stuff was seeping into my skin. I did it without second thought, but I connected it with the Resolution we had been drafting for two days for a World Summit on Fair Trade.

But hey, at the nerve wracking voting session, our Resolution passed with the most outstanding voting record.

And I won an award for "Distinguished Delegation: India".

Sigh... politics. My name is Bhakti, by the way.


1 comment:

Vineet Chander said...

Hey Bhakti-lata... great post. Were (or are) you in New York?


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