Sunrays: Peace is not the absence of war - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Sunrays: Peace is not the absence of war

Dec 24, 2023 08:34 AM IST

Further, I happened to overhear that the child wanted to buy an Amar Chitra Katha titled, ‘Valmiki’s Ramayana’ from the book section adjacent the coffee shop. But the father wanted him to pick up ‘David Copperfield’ by Charles Dickens. That was the cause of admonishment! I was stunned!

I noticed a young father on the table next to mine, in a coffee shop, rebuking his child, using some abusive words in Hindi. The moment he realised that I was watching, he switched to English. He continued to discipline the child but he spoke now, in perfect English. Why are we ashamed to speak in our mother tongue? Why is it uncool to speak in the vernacular? English is a great unifying language and is an asset while travelling abroad. But let us not undermine the value of our mother tongue. India became Independent 76 years ago. Why then are we still overawed by the west?

The character of a society or a country is the mean of the character of people that constitute it. If each one of us realises the value of good character and builds it for ourselves and our children, the world shall benefit immensely. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The character of a society or a country is the mean of the character of people that constitute it. If each one of us realises the value of good character and builds it for ourselves and our children, the world shall benefit immensely. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Further, I happened to overhear that the child wanted to buy an Amar Chitra Katha titled, ‘Valmiki’s Ramayana’ from the book section adjacent the coffee shop. But the father wanted him to pick up ‘David Copperfield’ by Charles Dickens. That was the cause of admonishment! I was stunned!

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

While I am not against reading the classics, I wonder why we do not give due respect to the ancient Indian stories.

I wonder why it is cool to celebrate Halloween and not Dussehra. Strangely, Diwali is associated more with card parties and not with celebrating the life and learnings from the life of Lord Rama. Lord Rama was the perfect son who embodied and lived out the vow of, ‘Raghukul reet sada chali aayee, praan jaaye par vachan na jaayae!’ so that he could fulfil his Dharma/duty. There is so much to learn and imbibe, if we care to know.

When there is a holiday for Janmashtami or Ram Navami, do we take time out, to take our children to a temple or tell them about the story of Lord Krishna or Lord Rama? Somewhere down the line, we have missed telling our children about the beauty and wisdom in our history and culture. They know more about cartoon characters than they do about our ancestors and scriptures.

Why is it cool to holiday abroad and not cool to visit any of the 12 Jyotirlingas or the Devi Temples? Why do we not take pride in visiting the Meenakshi Temple of Madurai or the Balaji Temple at Tirupati? When foreigners visit our temples, they are blown away by the peaceful vibes, the charismatic deities and the ancient architecture.

Why is it hip to go clubbing and not hip to go for meditation? We are privileged to have a culture and spiritual legacy to call our own. Let us take pride in what belongs to us.

We have been enslaved long enough. Let us find our own heroes. Let us demarcate right from wrong and idolise those who have upheld the right things in life. There is enough misery, strife etc. in the world. So many countries are at war. My father often said, “In a war, the winner ends up feeling like he has lost everything, and the loser ends up feeling that he is as good as dead.” War leaves behind death, destruction, misery… nothing good comes out of it. It tears up not just the country but its people also to pieces. The world needs peace. Peace is not just the absence of war. It is the presence of well-being, stability, a sense of security and faith. And for this, each of us has to know what to prioritise in life. It’s the little things in life that become the big things. It’s the small learnings in life that lead to big learnings.

The character of a society or a country is the mean of the character of people that constitute it. If each one of us realises the value of good character and builds it for ourselves and our children, the world shall benefit immensely. Let us work on bringing peace to the world, before all that is left is pieces.

Priya S Tandon

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, April 19, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On