28 January 2009

Nationalism requires religion

A nation lives for its pride. We have pride in ourselves but sometimes pride in our nation needs to be taught. How many times do I recall being taught sense of nationalism? Perhaps it was supposed to be taught by our religion. But how many times have we been taught about religion?

Here is a video that shows Chanakya's speech at Kaikayraj sabha dealing with the same question: http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=z7V0w9u1CsI
Please find below the transcript of his speech given in marvellous hindi.

My fellomen, It gives a feeling of pride and happiness to receive public appreciation from own fellowmen. Vishnugupta (Chanakya) ornated by his respect, is a matter of pride for a teacher and administrator. A teacher and administrator would be proud only if the nation is ornated with pride. A nation can be proud only if its capable and can succeed through its common values and traditions. A nation is capable and successful only if a teacher is successful in fulfilling his duties. A teacher can be called successful only if he is able to inculcate a value of patriotism and national character in every citizen. If a citizen is devoid of or has lack of patriotism, and is not aware of his nationalism, then its the failure of the teacher. It is my experience, I have witness the nation being insulted due to lack of patriotism. It is my experience that we have been defeated by lack of scriptures before we have been defeated by our lack of weapons. We have not been able to make the people owning weapons and scriptures realise their patriotism, because of which our nationalism has been split into pieces before the person. The teacher has been unsuccessful in awakening the patriotism and capability of this country. If the teachers admit defeat, the feeling of loss will be devastating for the nation. It is necessary to resonate chants of praise for the nation in all directions at the same we chant mantras from our vedas. It is necessary to create awareness among people that if they do not have faith in worship of the nation, then all other paths to worship will not be free from struggle. Hence, it is necessary to integrate an individual to another individual, individual to society and society to nation. It is imperative to tie individuals, society and nation in a single string immediately and that string can be nothing else than nationalism. Teachers should accept this challenge soon enough and get ready to rebuild the nation. It is possible that you will face roadblocks, but the teacher must overcome them. And if required the teacher should not hesitate in taking up arms. I accept that the skill and capability of a teacher is scriptures, but if arms are the roadblocks in the path, and the people creating hurdles to nationalism only understand the language of weapons, then the teacher must demonstrate his power. Otherwise, a powerless teacher would not be able to protect even his scriptures. It is possible that the teacher has to fight against governments, but remember, nation is more important than goverment, national benefit is greater than benefits of political power. So if governments have to be sacrificed at the altar of the nation, the teachers should not hesitate. History is testimony to the fact that politics of power and selfishness have degraded the nation. Right now we have to think only about this nation. If the governments supports it is good, else the teachers should recall the good deeds and glory of his ancestors and fulfil their duties. Victory is certain. Victory is certain for this nation's life values and of the nation itself. Only a call is needed.

We see that he tells us how the thought of our religion and patriotism are closely bound. Our religion tells us to prefer ends over means for the sake of the country. How many religions say this? Is it fair that we stick to use of arms as the last resort, and by the time we realise we have to take up arms it is already too late? If that would happen we would be left with nothing to blame than our own selves. It seems India is like the confused Arjuna at the war of Kurukshetra, waiting for Lord Krishna to motivate him to fight for right.

As I end this post, here is a thought published in the Hindu (source: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/2001/07/19/stories/10190906.htm)
On one of her travels, Swamini Vimalananda recalled in her discourse, how she was asked to give the quintessence of Hinduism in two words, just as Ahimsa stood for Jainism, ``Love and service'' for Christianity, ``Faith'' for Muslims and ``Compassion'' for Buddhists. To this she replied ``Shreya'' or rising to a higher level as core of Hinduism.

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