At 75, let’s take Bharat to the pinnacle of its glory - Hindustan Times
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At 75, let’s take Bharat to the pinnacle of its glory

Aug 13, 2022 11:44 PM IST

What is the content of Swa (selfhood) that will fulfill the purpose of our Independence? What will be the nature of our power on the global stage? How can we prepare society for our global role?

On August 15, Bharat will complete 75 years of Independence. Amrit Mahotsav programmes are already being organised to commemorate the occasion.

Only an egalitarian and exploitation-free society can possess the strength to protect its freedom. (Shutterstock) PREMIUM
Only an egalitarian and exploitation-free society can possess the strength to protect its freedom. (Shutterstock)

We are in a festive mood; but this does not mean we have resolved all our problems. Some old issues are pending and a few new ones are emerging. Despite this, the joy of Amrit Mahotsav celebration is natural and justified.

After many centuries, on August 15, 1947, we regained the right to self-governance. The period of colonisation was long and so was the battle for Swaraj. Bharatiya society fought against foreign rule in a comprehensive, all-pervasive fashion. All sections of society contributed to the cause in keeping with their ability.

Along with various armed and unarmed movements, there was also the beginning of social awakening about the evils that turned out to be obstacles in the path of attaining our freedom.

Due to these comprehensive efforts, we attained a position to self-govern on August 15, 1947. After sending the British rulers off, we took the reins of the country’s administration to run it according to our will and choice, and using our very own people. Given this, the enthusiastic celebratory mood around Amrit Mahotsav is obvious and appropriate.

This is also an opportunity to revisit known and lesser-known stories of struggles and sacrifices made by people from various sections of society. (Many such events are mentioned in history and folklore). The character, devotion and inspiration of our freedom fighters who sacrificed everything to protect the interests of fellow nationals can and should be the guiding force for us.

At the same time, we should remember our objectives and responsibilities and equip ourselves to fulfill them by quickly getting into action.

Why does a country need Swarajya or self-rule? Can good governance under foreign rule ever allow us to realise our national objectives? The answer is ‘NO’. The expression of Swa (selfhood) is the natural aspiration of each individual and nation; this becomes the inspiration for Independence. Thus, human beings can experience Su-Rajya (good governance) only where there is Swa-Rajya.

As Swami Vivekananda said, each nation evolves and exists to make a certain contribution to the world. This can be done only by an independent country. Therefore, being independent and capable is a precondition for a country to fulfill its destined role.

Several great leaders have also explained the purpose of Bharat’s Independence. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, through his famous poem, “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high”, described his expectations of an independent Bharat.

Mahatma Gandhi, through Hind-Swaraj, elaborated on his ideas of free Bharat. Veer Savarkar in his epic poem dedicated to Swatantrya Devi, the Goddess of Independence, envisioned that she would bring excellence, nobility and progress. BR Ambedkar, while presenting the draft Constitution to the Constituent Assembly articulated the purpose of Independence and our duties to realise the same.

Along with the Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, we should introspect on a few questions: What is the content of Swa (selfhood) that will fulfill the purpose of our national Independence? What will be the nature of our power on the global stage? How can we prepare society for our global role? We need a churning and absolute clarity on the eternal ideals of Bharat and its contemporary manifestation. This was the driving force behind our freedom struggle till 1947.

Bharat has a distinctive message to the world based on experiments, experience and truth, reflected in eternal vision, thinking, culture and action, which is comprehensive, integral and inclusive. Here, diversity is not seen as differences but as the expression of the same unity. For being one, one need not be the same. The mindset of painting everyone in the same colour leads to uprooting and discord. An unconditional affection, standing firm on our fundamentals and still respecting the uniqueness of others is the only way to organise our society in one thread.

Our motherland is the common factor that binds us. Our eternal culture gives us the wisdom of being erudite, benevolent and compassionate towards each other. It also teaches us how to purify both our minds and the environment around us. Since time immemorial, our common, brave and ethical forefathers guided us to adopt the right path. We should utilise this treasure, with its own peculiarities, but minus narrow selfish and divisive interests. We need to consider national interest as the sole foundation of all our actions. We have no option but to organise the entire society on these lines.

Besides social awakening, each of us needs to display exemplary conduct to get rid of the evils that have infected our society over time – whether they be discrimination based on caste, region, language and sect or petty selfish interests arising out of material or social aspirations. Only an egalitarian and exploitation-free society can possess the strength to protect its freedom.

Some forces, internal and external, are indulging in instigation and division through confusion created in society for their petty interests. An alert, organised and powerful society does not give space or shelter to such elements.

There are certain essential preconditions for the success of a democratic system. One, the existence of synergy between national interest, political ideologies, and the merit of individual candidates. Two, the basic knowledge and natural habit of following laws, obeying the Constitution, and civic discipline. We can see the erosion caused in these fundamental values due to political factors.

People are losing control over their tongue to score brownie points in a debate. On social media, such incontinence has become the norm — and it is also a reason for disharmony. Every one of us, including leaders, has to create an atmosphere where civic discipline and restrictions imposed by the law are respected and followed.

No change is possible without both individuals and society being competent. We need to follow four principles for the necessary systemic modifications based on the idea of Swa: Clarity about Swa (our selfhood), unconditional patriotism, individual and collective discipline and unity. Factors such as material knowledge, skills, qualifications and a favourable administrative and political atmosphere can work in the desired direction.

This Amrit Mahotsav of our national Independence is an occasion for us to resolve to take Bharat to the pinnacle of its glory. It is a juncture to ponder over the relentless hardship behind this Independence. We need to make similar efforts to adjust the present system as per our Swa.

While continuing with the celebratory enthusiasm, let us accelerate on this path of perseverance, clarity, and determination.

Mohan Bhagwat is Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

The views expressed are personal

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