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(Following is an excerpt from an interview conducted by a Brazilian Journalist just before the last round of voting of Brazil’s Presidential Elections, from here onwards the interviewer is being addressed as Marcos, his first name)
Marcos: So, Brazil will be voting for who will be the President, on Sunday.
Acharya Prashant: On the 28th, Yes. And that would be the final round.
Marcos: Yes, the second round. We have, on the one hand, a candidate from the worker party. The left party of Brazil. And on the other hand, we have an extreme rightist guy, who is very aggressive and who is using the ancient tactics of causing fear to give a solution. And as the leftists have been making some mistakes in Brazil – they are accused of corruption etc – a lot of people are voting for this rightist guy. So, there is a very aggressive scenario and people are beating each other on the streets. Some people have died unfortunately. And I would like to give a message, or be the translator of the message from you, of consciousness, of peace, of better understanding, of the importance of this moment for Brazil, because there is a lot of anger, a lot of chaos and a very hazy consciousness and analysis of what’s really happening.
AP: You see, rightist tendencies are gaining prominence in all parts of the world. It’s not merely Brazil, we have seen that happen in the Americas, in Europe, in West Asia, in India. And, we must go into the reasons behind this surge. When the center, or the left of the center, promises a great deal, but that great deal does not include a true sense of identification, a deep peace of mind, then there is disenchantment from the left. To understand what is happening, we must go into the mind of the human being, for the human being is the voter.
What does the human being want? Does the human being want merely bread-butter, sustenance, houses, cars? Yes, obviously we need all these things, but we also need something beyond all this. So, beyond the material, does the human being want the grand concepts of equal opportunity, liberty, fraternity, secularism, justice, and other great concepts? Yes, these principles are all needed, but even these principles are not sufficient.
The human being in his totality obviously needs food for the stomach, and shelter and education. And going ahead, human being obviously also needs a secure society. Secure, in terms of providing employment, taking care of old-age, providing medical facilities and such things. Now, obviously we all want to live in societies where there is justice, where there is no oppression, where there is no racism or misogyny. So, these are definitely needed, but, let me ask again, do they suffice? That is one question that leaders, politicians, thinkers, well-wishers, the world over, must ponder upon.
The material alone does not suffice, and what do I mean by the material? By material, I mean houses, cars, air-conditioners, jets, and bread and butter, obviously. So, not only does the material not suffice, even great intellectual and social concepts and their realisation do not prove to be the final fulfillment.