12/06/2007, 00.00
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Spe Salvi asserts human dignity, says Indian human rights activist

by Nirmala Carvalho
Lenin Raghuvansi, this year’s winner of the prestigious Gwangju Prize for human rights, says that hope in a better future cannot rely on scientific and technological progress if it does not include developing mankind’s consciousness.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Hope in a better future cannot be entrusted in scientific and technological progress without developing people’s consciousness about building a world that is respectful of human dignity. This is the conclusion that Lenin Raghuvansi, director of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) and winner of the prestigious Gwangju Prize for human rights, draws from Spe Salvi, the Pope’s latest encyclical.

Our committee “supports the Pope’s views on the hunger, human rights violation and disease. For the PVCHR, without a change in conscience, these problems cannot be solved,” he said.

“A change in thinking and conscience is required to change the world and create an enabling environment where the dignity of the human person is of primary importance.”

Indeed “for us the hope expressed by the Pope entails an end to mankind's ideological evolution which raises hope in a new world order where the spiritual world entwined with progress in science creates a world where the human rights of the most marginalised are defended and the world is free from starvation.”

Science and technology are in the realm of the material world and changes in the material world do not necessarily imply a corresponding change in thinking and consciousness. This is certainly true because the limitations and impact of unchecked progress have rarely had any bearing on the consciousness of ordinary people.”

“His Holiness Pope Benedict has rightly stated in Spe Salvi that science and the material world have their limits and that if nothing is done at the consciousness level, little can be done to reduce the sufferings of the majority of the humankind.”

The Pope is right when he states that there is a disconnection between the results of science and people’s consciousness. Racism, Fascism and other problems in the world are results of this dichotomy.”

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