Freedom and the rights of the individual are not subject to dissection and analysis by intellectuals and scholars. Such concepts as gradualism and pragmatism are often misused when disputing our proposal. In such cases these concepts are merely variations on the theme of compromise. There can be no compromise when peoples basic rights are at stake. Intellectuals who sit back and pontificate that cultural changes take place gradually, and youth today are pragmatic, not revolutionary, while people suffer in the organization and injustices remain unresolved, are people who are reluctant to throw down the gauntlet to fight the battle for change. They are merely making justifications for their own submissiveness, but in a high handed and sanctimonious way. When freedom is concerned, people have to be watchful and fight for it incessantly. Did Rosa Parks refuse to sit in the back of the bus, do so because she believed in gradualism? Did Martin Luther King say to his people let's stop protesting, because the powers that be said eventually you'll get your rights, it takes time? No! Did the people of Serbia meekly say that things will gradually change for the better from the corrupt, despotic regime of Milosevic? No! They rallied in the streets until they won their rights! If human rights are suppressed, even in the organization representing True Buddhism, people have to stand up and fight immediately, to protect the Law. Gradualism is a concept that President Ikeda uses when talking about international diplomacy but not for the violation of basic human rights.
Where basic human rights are violated President Ikeda speaks out powerfully and eloquently:
"When stones are cast at good people, when the rights of honest,
hardworking people are trampled, we should be angry! When anyone anywhere
in the world discriminates against another, we should burn with
indignation! All good people must rage against injustice! Raise your
voices! Drown out the loudspeaker lies of the oppressors with a resounding
no! Nothing suits the authorities better than the people's apathy, than
their feeling of powerlessness and their acceptance of human rights
violations." (WT 8/14/98)
Note to readers: please see the current and subsequent articles on the Alert page for the continuation.
December 22, 2000