You have been frequently hearing stories and tales about the brave kings and great reformers since your childhood. Allow me to tell you one more. This is the story of two reformers who were each other’s great enemies too. One was Gul Bahadur and the other was John Stephen. Both were self-declared intellectuals, educationists, and reformers. Both had some sets of values which to them were universally applicable and were essential if the world truly wanted peace and prosperity. Anyone, who disagreed either with Gul Bahadur or with John Stephen, was liable to be humiliated, dragged and butchered.  The principle they had to follow was very clear: If you do not agree with our protocols we will not agree with your existence.

They claimed to work for the wellbeing and betterment of humanity. To serve humanity was their ultimate objective.

Let me present here one of the most interesting dialogues between Gul Bahadur and John Stephen to showcase some of their views which they hold about their systems.

Gul Bahadur: I am Gul Bahadur, the great reformer. I represent the most civilized nation on the planet. Listen uncivilized people! We have a system for you all, which is based upon the ideas of equality, respect and mutual cooperation. It’s a universally applicable system. If the world truly wants peace it needs to follow our system.

John Stephen: Hey, I am John. I am from among those who teach you all morality and civility. We believe we are the best people on earth. Well, Gul Bahadur, I am sorry but I do not consider your system capable of bringing order, happiness and liberty into the society. It is the old rotten system. Isn’t it?  We do have a universally applicable system which is based upon the modern concepts of freedom and liberty. If the world truly wants peace it needs to follow our system. Mr. Bahadur remember one thing anyone who disagrees with our values will be considered a criminal or a terrorist.

Gul Bahadur: What are you talking about? We will follow your values? Your system? We will obey you? John, you… you are such a foolhardy individual who is living in fools’ paradise. Listen to me, listen to me carefully, we are fighters and we fight for God. If you do not follow what we are talking about, we will make you follow us. We have muscle power to force you to do so.  We do not need to argue with you. If the world truly wants peace it needs to follow our system.

John Stephen: Well, Gul Bahadur we too fight. We fight against all those who try to question or deviate. We just kill the deviants. We fight against those who do not follow what we tell them. We fight for the poor. We have been fighting since the last two decades to defend our system and values because we believe if the world truly wants peace it needs to follow our system.

Gul Bahadur: Okay, then come. Come. And fight with us. If you are such brave people.

John Stephen: Haha! Well, bring it on.

Gul Bahadur and John Stephen, along with their followers, are still fighting and killing innocent men, women and children.  This fight has divided and polarized the global society. One faction of this society now represents Gul Bahadur and the other follows what John Stephen says. People have stopped thinking, questioning and disagreeing.

I am sure, extremism is never good or bad, it is just extremism. Gul Bahadur and John Stephen are battling over their own interests and have tactically made our people extremists.

The common thing in the arguments of Gul Bahadur and John Stephen is “power” and the “attainment of power”. Shouldn’t we be thinking about it?

Disclaimer: Both characters are fictitious