The Mirage of Dignity on the Highways of Human ‘Progress’: - the Bystanders’ Perspective -

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AuthorHouse, Jan 16, 2012 - Social Science - 780 pages
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The Modern Man is hypocritically boasting of unprecedented material progress in a world , where ,inter-alia millions daily go to bed hungry, die or get killed through unwanted wars and preventable causes, live in inhumane conditions , vulnerable being exploited , with ever widening inequality , and might still ruling over right in international relations, even in the post UDHR era! an indictment on the collective conscience of mankind. Besides, the flame of materialism has been devouring time tested moral values, causing chaos within the basic unit in society- the family and relegating Man and his dignity to the level of animals and even manipulating his identity. Therefore questions arise: Is Moral law fading ; are political/economic systems and institutions like UN failing in realizing the lofty goal of affording due dignity , basic rights and social justice humanity deserves? Can the bystanders be mere onlookers anymore? This book seeks to dispassionately survey the yawning gap between the rhetoric and the ground reality in bringing about dignity and social justice for humanity from bystanders perspective in the light of these questions and underlines the imperative need for moral progress to go hand in hand to make Man assume his due role as the trustee on earth. It also exhorts bystanders to close ranks as human- dignity champions, rights defenders, identity protectors- against onslaughts from power hungry politicians, mighty powers and vested interests. This is the need of the times and what our future progeny demands.

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A gem of a book with a strong message to everybody irrespective of color, creed, race or position. The author's attempt to remind the masses of their lost dignity and his appeal to preserve the remaining dignity is highly remarkable. The flow of the language with carefully selected words tempt the reader to continue reading incessantly though it is a book of 750 odd pages, there is a punch to those who deserve with no venom as the reviewer described it at the launch. the readers would see themselves in the Author as most of the issues raised are ones that one would face in day to day life. His endeavor to instill concern for the dignity in to the minds of the masses should be commended. Its a reference book that every human being with dignity should find in his book rack. I rate it five star. 

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Reviewed by Robert R. for Readers Favorite
In “The Mirage of Dignity on the Highways of Human ‘Progress,” Lukman Harees uses 748 pages to give very specific (and carefully researched) examples from
every human organization and institution on how it has and is destroying human dignity. Throughout the book he has quotes from informed sources that vividly portray how those in power in each institution control the lives of those that they say they are helping It shows how they are making them dependent, helpless, and disempowered. “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrong looks like right in their eyes,” said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Even in the USA where the belief in individual freedom has been the greatest, the concept of 'entitlement' keeps the poor in poverty, and regards the middle class as robots by convincing them that they need things that they pursue in an effort to ease a negative self image created by even those they elect to make their lives better.
Most of the book accurately explains how the “leaders” develop in those they lead the “bystander” mentality. Bystanders play a far more critical role in society than people realize. Bystanders, people who witness but are not directly affected by the actions of the perpetrators, help shape the society by their reactions - or inaction. Bystanders can exert powerful influences. They can define the meaning of events and move others toward empathy or indifference. They can promote values and norms of caring, or by their passivity of participation in the system, they can affirm the perpetrators. “Although a bystander’s power is grossly underestimated, metaphorically, he is as important to the decision making process as an axis is to a carter’s wheel and the impact on a bystander can be enormous,” says Ludwig von Mises. Bystanders are victimizers and victims. The book is a call to personal awareness, which should lead to conscious actions that will free each reader to end being a bystander and achieve enough human dignity and identity.



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About the author (2012)

Lukman Harees obtained his LLB degree in 1996 and MBA in 1998. He was the Head of HRD in a leading bank in Sri Lanka, and reading for a doctoral degree in HRM, when he moved to the UK with his family in 2004. His HRD initiatives including EI , employment of disabled persons, and signing up MOUs with leading training institutions in Asia pacific region significantly helped the Bank to be awarded the ‘Best HRM Practices’ Trophy in 2002 . He is presently an Administrator in a leading hospital in Berkshire , UK and also undertakes part time HRM Consultancy assignments. During the last three decades , he has been actively involved in a multitude of roles –social activist, trade unionist ,charity fund raiser, HRM professional and a lecturer . Presently ,he is in the Executive Committee of SAKOMA, a network of Black and Minority Ethnic organizations in Berkshire area. He presently lives in Reading , UK with his wife and three sons.

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