Constructive Destruction

By Rakesh K Mittal IAS on 13-12-2014

In September 1995, as Development Commission of Steel I accompanied by boss the Secretary (Steel) on has visit to Gujarat. It was a four-day visit covering a number of places. The visit was a combination of official work and a pilgrimage which made our schedule very hectic, and we had to travel long distances every day, starting early in the morning. This put pressure on our drivers also but fortunately they were very patient. One driver in particular was pious and seemed to have acquired wisdom as a result of his long faithful service. While travelling from Alang to Somnath, we were discussing several matters in which the driver also participated. During the course of the journey, he gave us a very interesting definition of GOD. The three letters of the word GOD, he said, show the three qualities or Gunas of the Almighty, ’G’ representing ’Generation’, ‘O’ representing ‘Operation’ and ‘D’ representing ‘Destruction’. This way they symbolised three in one name, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The function of Lord Brahma is to Generate, Lord Vishnu Operates while Lord Mahesh’s function is to Destroy. If any of these activities is ever stopped, the cycle of life will come to a standstill. Thus, all the three activities are Godly and have equal importance. This sounded very interesting as well as logical.
It is easier to accept Generation and Operation as Godly activities but it is not so when we think of Destruction. When I reflected on this, it became clear to me that even Destruction is a dynamic activity and a necessary link in the chain of life. It also took my mind to Alang, the place we had visited that morning. Alang is a small port in the state of Gujarat which is known for its’ ship-breaking industry. The special features of the beach make this place suitable for ship-breaking, an activity which has grown at a very fast rate during the past few years and has contributed greatly to the country’s economy. The industry is also a major supplier of raw material to certain industries in the steel sector. The scale of activity at Alang is enormous and one can appreciate this only after visiting the place. While taking us around, the representatives of the industry showed a sense of pride in their contribution to the growth of the steel sector and rightly so.
If we look at the ship-breaking industry from a different viewpoint, it is only a destructive activity. The ships which are built with great effort are cut down to pieces and recycled. How can we call it a developmental or constructive activity? This doubt can be removed if we compare it with the destructive role of God. In this world or universe, whatever has been created has to be destroyed after a certain period. Then only is the flow of life possible. Thus, destruction is an essential part of the lifecycle. While this is true of God’s creation, it is equally true of man’s creation also. Whatever has been created has to be destroyed one day. And if the phenomenon is a natural one, it becomes a constructive activity. Thus, when a human life comes to an end after it has been lived fully, it is a happy phenomenon. Similarly, if a ship is broken after it has served its purpose, it becomes a developmental or constructive activity. In this way, the ship-breaking industry plays the role of ‘Shiv’ in the world of steel. Nature destroys and her destructions are always constructive.

About The Author

Rakesh K Mittal IAS

Sri Rakesh Kumar Mittal IAS (Retd.) had been an administrative officer in Uttar Pradesh state cadre for about 35 years. He is a spiritual man with high moral values and a selfless heart. He has founded 'Kabir Peace Mission'. He has also written several books on positive thinking.