Friday, March 19, 2010

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

National Spirit - The Change We Need
Sharad Mistry

Nations thrive, prosper and even become invincible with the individual and collective spirit of unity of its nationals while others remain poor, weak and vulnerable because of the lack of this spirit. Within six decades of independence India has emerged as the world's largest functioning democracy with its economy a whopping $1 trillion plus and such that it is now increasingly seen as the strong economic anchor (along with China) as also spiritual destination for the global economy that gropes for solutions to survive beyond 21st century.

In the world of dualities, the political India's sovereignty is being challenged both from within and across the borders with instances of terrorist and separatist activities rising by the day. These are glaring pointers to what needs to be done to see India in the first category - a thriving, prosperous and invincible nation.

Is India's situation the result of the willfully ignoring by its politicians and the peoples the country's very vital core, its soul? If a human being cannot survive without the soul, how can a nation whose soul - vibrant, pulsating, enlivening Spirituality - is grossly debunked and ignored by the increasingly materialist West loving country?

Individuals make the society they live in and politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists, businessmen, media persons, lawyers, economists, scholars, thinkers, saints, teachers, parents, students, heads and workers of innumerable private and public institutions, et all coming from this myriad mix of individuals with the spirit of unity and purpose contribute individually and collectively to make a political mass of land into a prosperous, thriving and invincible Nation.

If political India is to really attain its hidden potentialities, it is important to accept, digest and then unleash the power of a unique combination of reviving and strengthening its weakened soul and to reignite the National Spirit. It is this Change We Need if we as a Nation are to emerge effectively in a world that is sold to the scientific outlook and market economy - both of which have contributed to push the Mankind to the brink of annihilation.

Even as the world gropes in the dark for solutions of survival, it is ironic and pitiable both that it has little options but to be led by the paupered USA and its fast weakening allies. At this critical juncture, the world is also terrorized increasingly by the religious fanatics forcing the silent majority to seriously think and work individually and collectively on the following points:

National Spirit: The concept of a Nation State may have begun to change with the non-state actors turning more aggressive and wielding more clout than the State actors, in many a countries including India. This situation calls for increased awareness and collective efforts to effectively counter this menace by recognizing and strengthening the ethnic and original peoples on the country. The great nations of the world - Germany, France, USA, Israel, Singapore, China, Japan and many more - have all respected the identity of the peoples and their ethnicity, their cultures and tradition that they have loved and lived for decades and centuries. India, both before and after independence, has always been a land of diverse cultures which has brought out such pulsating vibrancy in its unity in diversity. Bowing down to political compulsions, playing vote-bank politics, appeasing of minority the members of which want to maintain their own status separate from this country's Constitution, Law and the Civil Society … all this must change for the good of this wonderful country and its countrymen.

People from diverse cultures and faiths have agreed to stay, grow and benefit together from this loving country of ours. While people may want to enjoy the benefits, it is expected also that they join hands together to build up a strong, prosperous and an invincible nation - this calls for devotion and loyalty to one's own nation - patriotism.

Cultural Nationalism: The pseudo-secular and vastly funded by their political masters and moneybags from the paupered West, the Indian media takes pride in asking "Does India have a Culture?" Yes, it does more so when it is this country that taught the world to be civilized. Blinded by the colonialist mindset the so-called Indians - politicians, media, pseudo- and armchair intellectuals - all need to shake up their pseudo-secularism and cultivate the spirit of unity among peoples divided - willingly or otherwise - on the lines of faith, religions and Dharma… for Bharat, if not India, still has the capacity to show the world the way beyond materialism and terrorism.

For various known and unknown reasons, the two-pronged policies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government are (1) blatantly ignoring and demeaning the 75% of the country's population, dividing them on the lines of minority while appeasing the aggressive, largely separatists and not-so-minority community and (2) though economically profiting the policies are morally debasing, corrupting across the societal spectrum and spiritually killing. The UPA Government continuing with the divisive policies of the British Raj that has left the country for six decades ago has divided and weakened the fledgling nation and has almost killed the much-required National Spirit.

The Mission Statement of Ministry of Culture is worth studying. It spends annually over Rs 1200 crore (2009-10; Rs 950 cr in 2007-08), devotes handsome amount for Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, developing museums, gallery of modern art, music and dance etc but has simply no mention of or support for promotion of Hindu or Sanatana Culture; the government through various schemes and policies doles out large amounts of money for the study of Urdu, setting up Madarsas to promote the study of Quran and also to go for Haj by the members of the Muslim community. However, the Hindus in their own country have simply no support from the government to promote the study of their Bhagavad Gita or any other sacred books that teach unity and love for all.

ARISE, ARJUNA! - This is the title of a book by David Frawley, author of many a books on Hinduism and promoter director of American Institute of Vedic Studies. He concludes his book by saying: The message of my encounter with the Vedas to modern Hindus is this: 'Your spiritual tradition is perhaps the greatest treasure of all humanity. Please cherish it, sustain it, practice it and share it with all… Let us not forget our Vedic heritage and those who have access to Vedic knowledge, please study it and strive to preserve it.'

David Frawley, aka Vamadeva Shastri, is one among others like Stephen Knapp, Frank Morales, Koenraad Elst (of Germany) and many more intellectuals across the world have converted themselves as neo-Hindus and are increasingly voicing their ire against the dormant Hindus for silently bearing the ill-treatment from their politicians, government and intellectuals. We need to be proud of our own culture, our sacred books that have enlightened mankind for centuries. In this direction, let it be known publicly that the world and its scholars are busy researching and discovering newer truths and facets from the various fundamental and scientific ways of life of Sanatana Dharma

It is time that we, the people of Bharat and of India wake up, be watchful and increase our efforts to strengthen our rich and diverse culture the Hindu culture, or better still the culture of Sanatana Dharma that has been large-hearted enough to lovingly take under its vast fold members of different faiths and culture.

In order to rekindle the lost National Spirit or the Cultural Nationalism let us once again remember the stalwarts of Nationalism like Sri Aurobindo, Veer Savarkar, Chhattrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosale, Swami Vivekananda and the many more Revolutionary Freedom Fighters who have been relegated on the sidelines by the West-loving Congress led UPA government.

Lastly we request you all out there to send us your feedback and relevant information from watching TV programs, reading dailies and periodicals and rummaging through maze of policy papers and strengthen our collective efforts on to this pious journey. Challenging as it is, we at NATIONAL SPIRIT would strive to offer you each week enough food for thought that would bring us all together to work towards once again making this benevolent land of enlightened seers and selfless millions into a prosperous and invincible nation.