Honorable Chief Guest of Today’s program Dr. V. K. Saraswat, other invited guests, revered citizens, mothers, sisters and beloved swayamsewaks:-
Today, we are gathered here to celebrate our annual festivities of the Vijayadashmi Parva. 90 years have elapsed since the sangh work was started. This year is the 125th birth anniversary of Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. He made a lifelong struggle against the injustice of social inequality and made provisions in the Constitution thereby eradicating those discriminations from the political and economic spheres of our national life. In Shri Guruji’s (second Sarsanghchalak of RSS) words, his talent was a confluence of Acharya Shankar’s Sharp Intellect and Tathagat Buddha’s unbounded compassion.
Last year was also the 125th Birth Anniversary of Parampujaniya Dr. Hedgewar (founder of Sangh). He envisioned creation of a prosperous Bharat as example for the whole world to follow, through collective efforts of an egalitarian society. The evolution of a technique to create honest and selfless workers, striving incessantly and wholeheartedly to achieve this goal was his lifetime contribution. Birth centenary of Late Shri Balasaheb Deoras, an expert in this technique and the third Sarsanghchalak of RSS, is also to commence this year. Late Pandit Deendayalji Upadhyay, who wasnurtured in this technique, had suggested an integral approach called Ekatma Manav Darshan, adopted to modern times for the nation, based on the eternal values of Bharatiya Philosophy. His birth centenary has also commenced.
By a pleasant coincidence, this is also the 1000th year of coronation of RajRajeshwar Rajendra Chola, a royal who had established a model of goodgovernance in Bharat and had promulgated in South East Asia the benevolent influence of the eternal Bharatiya culture. Rejecting all disparities based on caste and creed, and breaking all the barriers of superstitious traditions, Shri Ramanujacharya made the path of Bhakti to all the sections of the society, thus paving the way for social harmony. Preparations are going on at the social level to celebrate his 1000thbirth anniversary in the coming year. This is also the 1000th birth anniversary of greatShaiva philosopher from Jammu-Kashmir, Acharya Abhinav Gupt. The celebration of the 5151th Anniversary of our revered Bhagvad Gita, which conveys the message of doing Karma without expecting any of Phala, and the principles of “Karmasu Kaushalam” and “Samatva”, will be continued till the Gita Jayanti.
Two great souls departed us this year. Our Ex President, Dr. Abdul Kalam was one who had dedicated his life towards instilling confidence and national pride in our young generation, while constantly urging them to achieve the best for our country in all walks of life. Swami Dayanand Saraswati, by being a Vedic teacher, provided amodern view of our eternal culture and aroused pride and activism about it in our society and the world at large. Both of these eternal souls etched the message of the glory of Bharat and social unity through their work.
The reason behind remembering all these coincidence today is to draw our attention to the call of our innate duty to build up a prosperous, efficient and egalitarian Bharat, to bring peace, prosperity and progress, right from our families to the whole world. To accomplish this goal, based on the strength of an organizedsociety, is the point of contemplation today.
The resurgence of a self reliant, strong, prosperous and secure Bharat, giving benevolent and flourishing leadership to the world, is possible only when an egalitarian, organized and enlightened society with self esteem strives towards this end; not only that, the firm resolve of such a society will reflect on the policies of our democratic system and the constitutional authorities who run the system. Agile, clear, accurate policies as well as discretion of a society which is free of selfishness and divisiveness are mandatory requirements to change the destiny of nation and, therefore, it is essential that both should complement each other.
With this picture in mind, when we ponder over the present situation in the country, we get a very optimistic and soothing view. An atmosphere of disappointment and lost faith, which existed couple of years back, has evaporated. An atmosphere of expectations has come to fore, generating a sense of optimism that such expectations shall be fulfilled. It has to be made sure that these positive vibes reaches the last person in the row, by turning it into an actual experience by bringing about a real positive change in his life; his trust in the bright future of his own personal life as also of national, should grow.
It is becoming evident to all that Bharat’s esteem in the world has gone up many-fold in the last couple of years. In view of Bharat’s national interest, many pro active steps have been taken to improve bi lateral relationship with the neighboring countries, with successful results. It seems that the world is being introduced to a new modern Bharat. The World is experiencing a Bharat, which is full of self-respect and self confidence, maintaining the traditional view of goodwill towards all but, at the same time, unhesitatingly taking stand in very clear terms, in international diplomacy whenever national interests are involved, and giving a helping hand to nations in distress anywhere in the world. Bharat is reincarnating itself into an all together new manifestation and the world is enchanted to see Bharat’s new Avatar with utmost optimism. Bharat’s Gita, Yoga and Tathagat have a universal acceptance like never before. Keeping in view the need to develop goodwill for Bhartiya psyche and tradition and to protect and enhance its prestige, Policies are being formulated at the administrative level. All the developing nations of the world are looking forward to Bharat’s leadership to emancipate them from the undesirable influence of the so called world powers. Throughout its chequered history of rise and fall, Bharat has always treated the whole world as its own family. On account of its agility and strength, Bharat has always followed the tradition of finding the balance between national interests and world interests, with utmost integrity towards both, and today we are gradually experiencing the glimpse of same age-old diplomatic approach. It is necessary that this effulgent picture of Bharat is imprinted in the mind of the World as well as in the mind of every individual of the land. Hence, it is vital that we should make all walks of our national life vibrant with a new thought and new valiant efforts. So, creating a new picture of the society capable of adopting policies and systems in keeping with modern times and, at the same time, based on the foundations of the eternal truth, which forms the substratum of our immortal national life, is the need of the hour.
We must come out of “Saheb is always Right” (“Saheb Wakyam Pramanam”) mentality. Making Bharatiya mind and soul as the basis, we should adopt whatever is good, truthful and fair from the rest of the world and create an independent modern road-map for our nation. The thoughts and actions of intelligentsia, administration and policies of government should be transformed accordingly. In the absence of this synergy, it will not be possible to present a Bharat that is self reliant, egalitarian, strong and prosperous. Deficiencies of the thought processes and philosophies, which prevailed for centuries in the world, are being scientifically proved. The ill-effects of such deficient thought process and philosophies are even more compelling to ponder over the very same thought processes and philosophies have made review of them all the more compelling.
In 1951, Social and economic department of United Nations, supporting these deficient philosophies had made following proclamation:
“There is a sense in which rapid economic progress is impossible without painful adjustments. Ancient philosophies have to be scrapped; old social institutions have to disintegrate. Bonds of caste, creed and race have to burst and large numbers of persons who cannot keep up with the progress have to have their expectations of a comfortable life frustrated. Very few communities are willing to pay the full price of economic progress.”
It was an extremely materialistic, self-centered and insensitive philosophy that was forced upon the world. When the ill-effects of the very same philosophy started affecting the proponents of this philosophy, they made a sudden U turn. In October 2005, the conclave of the Governors of Central Banks of the G20 countries declared:
“We note development approaches are evolving over time and thus need to be updated as economic challenges unfold. —— We recognize there is no uniform development approach that fits all the countries. Each country should be able to choose the development approaches and policies that best suit its specific characteristics while benefitting from there accumulated experience in policy making over last decades, including the importance of strong macroeconomic policies for sustained growth.”
Bringing more clarity to the statement above, News Bulletin of World Bank in 2008, said:
“In our work across the world we have learnt the hard way that there is no one model that fits all. Development is all about transformation. It means taking the best ideas, testing them in new situations and throwing away what doesn’t work. It means, above all, having the ability to recognize when we have failed. This is never an easy thing to do. It is ever more difficult for an organization to do so, be it the government or the World Bank, which constantly need to adapt to the changing nature of developmental challenge.”
After this self realization, phrases like ‘Holistic’ and ‘Sustainable development’ started appearing in the world discourse over development talks. Environmental concerns also could find made some place in this discourse. So, it will be prudent to free ourselves from the tendency to accept this deficient philosophy as the ultimate truth, since it in itself is going through the cycle of experiment- experience- change. It would be better if we stick to our time tested philosophy. This philosophy is based on cooperation and coordination. According to this philosophy, Dharma and Sanskar are at the forefront of Life and not Arth–Kaam. For sustainable development, this philosophy encourages least use of energy, maximum employment, sensitivity towards environment, ethics, and the wholesome approach to agriculture. It suggests a decentralized and self reliant economic and industrial order. There is a major emphasis on skill development and increased productivity. As per this philosophy, success of the system is judged on the fact whether the last person in the land is getting justice, education and basic needs of life. Hence the major emphasis has to be on farmers and agriculture, small and medium scale industries, small traders and craftsmen. All organizations, intellectuals, policy makers, political class and administrators working in the socio-economic field have to take a note of this.
It is pleasurable to note that the manifesto of Niti Ayog is giving clear indications in the same direction. It is obvious that this metamorphosis will not take place all of a sudden. It would be a challenge to bring inherited economy back to normal state, balance political compulsions, and straighten administrative machinery. We ought to keep whole lot of patience to see the fruition of our efforts to take the benefits of development to the lowest strata of society and enlist their participation in the nation-building. We would like to see steady increase in their confidence towards nation building exercise. Mudra Bank, Jan Dhan Yojna, voluntary surrender of cooking gas subsidy, Swatch Bharat initiative, and skill development are some useful initiatives of the present government, in the same direction. It is essential to get credible data, both qualitative and quantitative, from the grassroots level to measure the efficacy of our developmental policies. It is also necessary to hold fruitfuldialogues to ensure the participation of all in the nation building exercise, and speed up the execution of the program.
Efficacy of all the policy measures aimed at changing the destiny of the nation will very much depend upon the enterprising spirit, capability to cooperate, and the wisdom of masses. To achieve it, enlightenment and training of society is a prerequisite. While speaking about development, population growth is one related aspect, which is much talked about. We need to seriously ponder our population policy. It must be discussed whether population is a boon or bane? Whether the current systems and resources would be adequate to provide employment and basic amenities to masses after 50 years from now? How much manpower would be required to run our systems effectively? Quiet often, it becomes mother’s responsibility to bringing up children and inculcating values in them. Hence diet, healthcare, self-respect, empowerment, enlightenment, opportunities and freedom to make use of those opportunities by our mothers need to be ensured by our system. Are our systems turned for the same? What is our anticipation regarding the condition of our environment after 50 years? Facts and figures of last two census reports and the imbalances that have come to notice as a result are being widely discussed. Our present and future is getting impacted by the same. We need to rise above vote bank politics to formulate a holistic approach, equally applicable to all citizens, towards the population policy. Such a population policy cannot be enforced by our Governments or laws, all alone. Considerable efforts are required to tune society’s psyche to the same. It would be prudent to think about the same during policy making exercise.
To bring about a change in the natural instincts and behavioral patterns of humans, customary religious practices, and cultural traditions, in accordance with current times is often, too tricky. Even if this change is appropriate, it cannot be accomplished by just bringing in a law or making law enforcement agencies to enforce the law. It never happened this way and it will never happen this way. It can only be accomplished through a respectful dialogue with concerned entities. This dialogue and the efforts to enlighten the society through the dialogue, needs to take place at all the levels be it the government, administration, media or intellectuals in the society and it should consistently continue before and after such changes. We should not be guided by cheap popularity or political incentives. What is truthful and just should be our guiding principle. By adopting a compassionate approach towards every section of society, we can change their approach through a friendly and respectable dialogue. The anguish some sections of people felt as a result of some reasoned judgments could have been avoided. For example, Santhara, peculiar life style of Digambar Acharyas,Bal-Deeksha (initiations of children as recluses), etc., are some of the age old practices prevalent in the Jain community. To bring about changes in such matters without consulting the Acharyas of the respective sects about the reason, importance and philosophy behind such practices, will affect social cohesion and harmony and finally harm the nation. It has been a tradition in every sect/religion in our Country to introspect about their rituals and practices at regular intervals and attunes such a rituals and practices to current times and circumstances. This is the healthy way of bringing about necessary changes. All such changes have always come from within. Any external attempt to bring about such changes has always ended up only in controversies. Success in any systemic change is achieved only through changing the social psyche.
Education system is an important tool for social transformation. In recent years, we have been observing commercialization of education. Getting more and more expensive, it is going beyond the reach of an ordinary citizen. Hence the purpose which education is expected to fulfill, is not taking shape. Apart from imparting formal education, education also aims at shaping a complete man, who is wise, self respecting, self reliant, compassionate, efficient and cultured. With this integralapproach to education, many experiments are going on within as well as outside the country. We should take cognizance of all these experiments. Results from these experiments, and the suggestion made by various organizations, educationists and panels should form the basis for all the aspects of education be it curriculum, fee structure or management of education. Education should be society based. Education should be oriented towards fulfilling its goal as well as contemporary requirements of society. And in the light of these limits there should be freedom to chalk out the education system. To ensure that education is not commercialized; government needs to make sure that government educational institutions also are run well at all levels. This process starts with the quality of teachers we have. We need to have effective training, and maintain standards for teachers. More than anything else, we need teachers who realize their responsibilities.
However, the role of parents and society is equally important. Do we tell our children that it is more important to have a meaningful life than a successful life? Is our behavior such, which instills the values of truthfulness, justice, compassion, sacrifice, patience and good behavior? Is our generation ready to tread this path in social and professional fields with insistence and agility, ignoring petty gains? Do we – the social and political leadership – and media care to see that our walk and talkleads the society, particularly new generation, towards national integrity, social harmony and ethical behavior?
To say that Governance and economy and other systems drive human behavior –“Yatha Raja Tatha Praja”. Hence our policies should unite the society; caring for the uplift of the weakest link of the society, they should achieve progress of everyone in the society. We need fundamental reforms in our electoral practices, administration, tax systems, public health system, and industrial, educational and agricultural policiesto make them more effective and people oriented. Hostilities by Pakistan, expansionism from China, rising fundamentalism and chauvinism in the world order, and unfair international diplomacy, resulting in rise of terrorist outfits like ISIS, are acting as a catalyst to already complicated and serious internal and external security of our country. Fostered by external powers and inspired by external ideologies, some people from within are walking the path of terrorism. It goes without saying that it is government’s responsibility to come out with a comprehensive and a firm policy to root out all such problems ones and for all. Ethical education should be made part of the education policy so as to preserve our social and cultural values intact and thwart all attempts at destroying our culture. There is a view that media should be regulated while conserving their freedom to ensure that no ill effect, knowingly or unknowingly, prevails in the society. It is a fair to expect that all the promised dreams are realized and became a reality fast. But this is also true that governance is driven by the will, quality of thoughts and organized state of the society. When a self realized, righteous and holistic society starts walking with determination on the path towards national glory, the systems and apparatus of nation follow and become helpful in the transformation. A nation becomes prosperous, safe and capable only when government, administration and public at large are on the same page on the issues ofidentity of nation, national pride, and credible integrity towards nation, and are readyfor constant efforts with focused contemplation.
What is the chord that can keep our diverse society together? (1) Certainly, it is our eternal culture – Hindu culture – that accepts and respects all forms of diversity and which precisely forms the nature and value system of every Bharatiya. (2) The very culture, based on which our ancestors build their lives, toiled hard to nurture and foster it, and even sacrificed their live for its protection and honor, even to this day, their glory is a source of inspiration and ideal for us. (3) This divine motherland endowed with richest and wealth, who helped us realize the truth that formed the foundation of that culture and the Dharma born out of it, whose abundance of divine wealth nurtured us and made us magnanimous, the love and devotion for whom we inherited from our ancestors, such motherland of ours, even today has the power to arouse the creative spirit of every individual of this country. Through these three factors an individual can easily be assimilated while keeping ones diverse identity of language, region, sect and party intact. Also, even while safeguarding one’s smaller identity, one becomes part of the larger social identity. The humanitarian spirit, vision and philosophy based on the above three factors, the decision in conformity and equally matched practice is what is called Hindutva.
This lifestyle of Hindu society, from time immoral, even long before the termHindu was coined, evolved in keeping with the time on the basis of above three factors. The onus of good and bad of this nation ever rusts only on their shoulders.
For last 90 years, RSS has been constantly trying to galvanize the energies of Hindu society for nation building. Sangh founder Dr. Hedgewar had very well understood that the task of nation and society building cannot be entrusted on contract. When an efficient and organised society works persistently for the betterment of nation for a long time, then only the nation becomes prosperous. The mission of RSS is to prepare such workers who can organize the society for this noble cause. Today, everyone can see the impact created by Swayamsewaks coming out of the easy and simple modus operandi of RSS. Now they not only get respect and affection from a grateful society, but also the recognition of the whole world.
Come on, let us all become Swayamsewaks and be part of this sacred work, because this the only way to build the Bharat that the world inevitably looks forward to for a new opening. The Bharatiya society has to become perfect and organised on the strength of their eternal identity. Soaked with the nectar of our Dharmic Values that ends all divisiveness and is capable of infuse the whole humankind with the feeling of fraternity by giving them real freedom, let us individually and collectively endeavor to accord happiness, peace and redemption to human race. This the way out and we have to do it.