Mangaluru, Nov 7: Former Vice Chancellor of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education B M Hegde said on Thursday, Nov 6 that he was averse to the concept of patriotism as it 'reflects fake identities.'
He was delivering the keynote address at a national seminar, organised to mark the diamond jubilee year of the Bethany Educational Society here. Advocating a world without artificial borders, he said: 'This business of jingoistic patriotism will ruin the word. I want to live and die as a child of the universe.'
Stating that it was the conflict and not brotherhood that always served the needs of a country, he said: “The moment you have a country you will have an army. What does an army do apart from killing one set of people to protect another?"
Nationality was a constructed notion. The undeniable fact was that humans were all part of one race with a common ancestry. “Teach children to love everybody as that is the greatest service you can do to mankind," he said. Mankind had got its priorities wrong. The problems of the entire world could be solved if nations and people stopped fighting among themselves. “This endless race for supremacy will destroy us all," he said. The role of teachers should be like mid-wives who facilitate the birth process.
“Every child is pregnant with wisdom. Teachers should ensure that this wisdom is released," he said.
Teachers had the potential to bring about changes in society. The root of hatred was competition. “By encouraging mindless competition, you are injecting poison into the minds of children. It is this sense of competition that is killing people today," he said.