Google Translate

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

…Gahe taba jaya gatha

India, a country that is a “mere geographical expression”, which is “no more a united nation than the Equator” for Winston Churchill of the 1940s, has just celebrated its 60th independence day.

For the colonialists, India, with the kind of ethnic, religious, linguistic, and developmental diversities, cannot dream of having a self-government. They even predicted that if the British left, it would “fall back quite rapidly through the centuries into the barbarism and privations of the Middle Ages.”

Similar trepidations—“forecasts of imminent dissolution, or of its descent into anarchy or authoritarian rule”—continued to haunt the country even after it  commenced its independent journey towards its chosen ‘tryst with destiny’.

Not surprisingly and despite these predictions, we have remained together —both in our fight against internal and external threats and in progress. We have proved to ourselves that ‘democracy’ is a cherished value to us.

The progress that we have achieved during the last 60 years is phenomenal. Today’s India is more vibrant, confident and more enterprising. Its economy that once almost stagnated under the colonial rule for more than a century, is today growing at 8% plus. It has improved its literacy rate, banished famines, drastically reduced poverty, achieved global competitiveness in information technology, become a de facto member of the nuclear club, and its democratic government’s commitment to secularism that has taken the nation forward with all its inherent diversities, has become its hallmark.

Talking of India’s accomplishment in managing its inherited diversities much against the speculation of many sceptics, one is reminded of the strong foundation laid by its maharshis of yore for nurturing the spirit of accommodating diverse languages and lifestyles—all under a unifying umbrella of dharmic principles  enshrined in the Vedas and Upanishads.

Interestingly, for these maharshis India is: Jambudweepe, Bharatvarshe, Bharatakhande…For them India is a khand of chappanna-desh. Each of them—Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Khambhoja, Sourashtra, etc.—is encouraged to live with its own language, its own customs and practices, almost as an independent state. But the use of local languages is just limited to material world. When it came to their adhyatamic pursuits, right from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, everyone has to resort to Sanskrit—the God’s language in which their dharma had been enshrined. They had no alternative and that holds good even today.

In the same vein, their epics are in Sanskrit. Nobody knows in what language Sri Rama spoke to Sita. Yet, everyone knows him through Sanskrit. And so only he has become the soulmate of everybody.

The concept of Bharatvarsh and chappanna-desh is like light and darkness. When light is there, darkness remains away. And in darkness light becomes invisible. Similarly, when an individual is a Gujarati, the Indian in him stays away. In the same way, when Gujarati becomes Indian, then Gujarati disappears. And as light cannot be perceived without darkness, Indian cannot be perceived without there being a Gujarati, Malayali, etc., and vice versa. The maharshis of yore have thus ingrained the concept of ‘unity in diversity’ at the dawn of civilization.

It is through such yoking together of diverse lingua franca by subordinating their material living to the unifying dharma expressed in Sanskrit, that the maharshis could succeed in creating and sustaining Bharatvarsha.

And so long as India abides by these inherited values nothing can wean it away from its chosen path of being a free and progressive and progressing nation.
- GRK Murty


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget