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Archive for अगस्त, 2011

Morning 6:30 AM. Everyone is prepared to watch the sacred ritual of a political order that changed the destiny of this ancient land of Gods, 64 years ago. Thrill among the citizens is palpable; the newspapers, electronic channels and Radio stations all chanting some mumbo-jumbo like democracy, rights, secularism, equitable development and yes even super power.
I open the door to my balcony. The Sky is cloudy and it is drizzling. The old man staying in dingy house of the alley was as usual offering Arghya to the Sun (God). In the morning breeze, his Dhoti was fluttering and so was the tricolor flag that was unfurled on adjacent roof 2 days back. His gaze was intently focused on the Sun that was not to been seen in the dark clouds and water was falling down in a thin uniform flow from shining copper Lota. His lips were tightly pressed. Must be meditating – Om, May I attain divine splendor of the adorable Sun God, May He stimulate my mind towards that (enlightenment), the Gayatri, I thought. In the temple courtyard, a woman lit an earthen lamp below Peepal tree, and placed a banana next to it. In darkness of dawn and greenery, light of that small lamp was striking and beautiful. She circumambulated the Peepal and went off quietly.
15th August, Independence Day of the republic ‘India that is Bharat’ is a baggage of mixed feelings. To me, being part of such ancient a tradition does divests some aura from such events; they appear just one-step in the cosmic journey. A journey that is very Dharmic and personal and importance of such events are temporal and superficial; what so ever relevance they enjoy are in reference to the tradition alone. Otherwise, that great leveler Kaala (Time) merges innumerable events and things into dust, Matter that gives birth again to a ‘new’ creation. Thus, relation to tradition is so crucial from individual dharmic point of view. If you know something, you own it and then of course you there is no way to forget it. If you do not know or own it, you can discover it. (Some peoples have tried to invent it. But that’s different story all together and the most ferocious of Gods Kaala stands to test such inventions on his severe scale of tests).
So why to remember the Sanatana tradition on this day? The Old Brahmin and the women are of but little consequence. No Media will ever cover them. Such insignificant creatures are not worth lampoon and ridicule. The Dharmic tradition today stands accused of all real imagined ills of society, thoroughly discredited and misrepresented . It doesnot fit in the new scheme of things in this ‘India that is Bharat’. Does this day connect to tradition in anyway except perhaps the fact the the Muhurtam for the first Independence Day ceremony and unfurling flag was drawn by a Pundit?
Thus, Independence and republic with new dispensation to me is at the best a temporary stage. It was an ‘Historic’ attempt to start anew in a tradition that has an altogether different sense of history.
The influence of the Vidharmee values was immense then. A lot of energy and efforts had gone down over past centuries to cultivate it and time was propitious for it. No wonder the Dharmic contribution to the freedom struggle stands successfully erased from the memory today. Despite knowing it so well that Dharma moves this country, this is a taboo to speak in history. Today we find the Dharmic convictions of Gandhi with askance. They appear quaint. It is natural because the demand of new polity was to study Gandhi’s Dharmic connection different from that of Sikh Gurus, or Saint Movements of North India, Southern India or Maharashtra. The influence of Gita on Tilak, Aurobindo, Gandhi and its effect on the masses appears little and of petty consequence. The path-breaking interpretation of Quran by Abdul Kalam Azad and radical experiments of Ahimsa by Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan based on Quranic teachings stands nowhere today. Pakistani honestly needs to think over this, if they at believe in a diverse and multi-religious world. Once it was clear that the British were to leave India, Jawaharlal Nehru became Icon of new India (and Jinnah to Paksitan). Nehru lacked the Dharmic convictions and here, a self-proclaimed atheist Bhagat Singh and even Savarkar appear stronger and head and shoulders ahead of him. Perhaps Rajaji and to some extent Vinoba had that Dharmic vision. The polity ensured that they, to put mildly, appear nothing more than unacceptable fringe. Dr. B .R. Ambedkar with his great learning was most able to see things from pure justice point of view. His choice of Buddhism over other religious traditions for conversion and his contemplation of converting to Sikhism are important indications that very clearly show his understanding of other religious traditions vis-à-vis Dharmic ones. His historical writing is also far more honest and clear than the mushy version that has became the major tone of leaders henceforth. However, His social experiences in India owing to caste status were anything but humane. This along with his own redemption in modern education and experiences in America deprived him of ability to acquaint with the Dharmic lore as an insider. Was there anything for him to inherit except discrimination and insult?
The world in which this ‘India that is Bharat’ grew is undergoing a moral crisis of no insignificant scale. It is driving the civilization crazy. There is enormous power and value foundations are weak. West lead civilization today is not only more irreligious today; it is on the verge of moral and ethical vacuity. Religious traditions there have failed to appreciate the universal spirituality in evolutionism owing to their own narrow vision and political agenda. To complicate the things further they entered into an unholy arrangement with science and abdicated their responsibility. Politicians, who as representatives of people speaks for values are much impressionable to myriad of other forces, so values ends-up among the last of considerations. The technological and military prowess, political stratagems and cultural-educational hegemony assisted by economic power that rides on cynicism is bound to drive people suicidal.
The modern republic of ‘India that is Bharat’, imitating institutions and structures of western polity failed to create values conducive to the local ethos. There was a great hurry then. Work on values requires long arduous efforts, spontaneous creativity, conviction and strength of character for which but a few had faith and patience.
Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption is bound to fail both ways – with Lokpal or otherwise. Answer to corruption lies deeper than these suggested measures. An honest and efficient system working for wrong (Vidharmee) values would be equally unjust if not more.
Gandhi was ‘Gandhi’ not because people saw or called him such; his moral conviction is also only one facet of the story, the real thing was the connection with Dharmic values – that made Gandhi what he was. One better outcome of this would be that people aware of eternal Dharmic values, living in a country bereft of moral universe would rightly drives me to more introspection. There are no short cuts and the journey if is to start, would be from within.
The cycles of events are yet not conducive for the Dharmic tradition; the time is yet to come. Therefore, Dharmic Values need to be preserved in seed form in personal lives; protected from external contamination and pollution. Silently work on vision like the old Brahmin or the lady, undisturbed by external chaos, this is just one stepping stone of the cosmic journey…

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