Generating a National Thinking and Perspective
When we mooted the idea of a National Value Inculcation Movement, wishing to initiate it with a two-day ‘authentic Nationally Representative Discussion’ in the Capital, neither the idea nor its intention was clear to many in the Centre for Inner Resources Development (CIRD). They must have wondered what the relevance and scope of such a get-together could be, and how it would achieve anything in terms of an ‘Effective National Endeavour’. Some also questioned: Do we have the power to do something substantial in the ‘value decline muddle’? Will not our effort be like pouring milk into a huge lake or sea?
But in the few months that passed, the importance and potential of individual minds getting together to process a National thought and concern, have been clearly felt. A good measure of discussion, sharing, suggestions and considerations has also transpired. And our core group, I feel, is now quite clear and firm, about the imperative need for involving leaders of the various ‘branches of National life’ in this significant effort. The personal introspection and discussions of such a representative group will, no doubt, mark the beginning of a National Movement, poised to assume a relevance and magnitude, warranting widespread attention and allegiance.
Backbone of our Freedom Struggle was the deep Cultural Value bond
No country, institution, Government, or body of power, will be able to function with integrity, unless it takes up the Value Inculcation Pursuit, which should encompass the newer and newer generations also, with timely concern and attention.
In our protracted Struggle for Freedom, the force that held the leaders together was the deep, age-old cultural value bond, they commonly cherished. It enabled them to muster abundant inner might, resolve and inspiration, to lead the masses, despite all odds and persecutions. This is something to be critically evaluated and emulated.
People saw how the strong spirit of Nationalism, emerging from the ‘subtle cultural value bond’ engulfed the land, like a huge river in spate. The goal of the historic Struggle was gladly achieved without bloodshed.
Steady Value Decline
But all movements have their ups and downs. And thus, what was till then a spirited, wholesome awakening and advancement, turned, before long, into an epidemic of ambition, for gaining and sharing positions of power, any Independent Nation would fetch.
The great value bond began to decline, the cultural cohesion and elegance, started eroding. And, alas, no adequate effort, with insight and dedication, was possibly launched to save the adversity. The socio-economic flair, brought many a personal ambition, which soon gained dominance. Sufficient thought was not apparently given to the fact that unless we could aouse individual minds and hearts, committed to pursue the Nation’s goals, with fidelity and concern, the desired progress would not be had.
The fear and concern have now become widespread, that we will not be in a position to take the country forward, with the required standard, style and commitment, unless the people are emergently re-infused, with the inspiration and strength, of our National Values.
By raising the subject of ‘Value Decline Disaster’, and the Imperative Redress it calls for, our aim is to focus the attention of National leaders in Administration, Parliament, Judiciary, Education, Industry and allied sectors. By that, we intend to set in motion ‘a collective, sustainable remedy’, at the causal level. We do not intend to launch any grass-root work or programme. For, any such attempt has to be widespread and multi-levelled. Ours is now a seminal or germinal effort, though significant to begin with.
In other words, we have to persuade the leaders, in various branches of National life, and through them the people, to rediscover and re-associate with the Nation’s time-tested values, applicable to all walks of life, so that all concerned will become strong, committed and persuasive in their personal, official and social conduct.
The heart and the mind should pulsate constantly, a marked National dimension, so as to think fervently, of the good of the country, its multitude. The imperative need for a good governance, educational system, opportunity and encouragement, should be felt by all concerned, persuading them to give the best, for the country and people.
National Motto & the Flag exhorts us to be Strong with Truthfulness
Both Satyam eva jayate, the National Motto, and the Tricolour Flag, we adopted in the wake of Independence, are quite eloquent in their ceaseless message, as to how well our post-independence life and striving, should be wedded, to the Ideals and Values, the Nation has cherished, right from prehistoric times.
The Motto, selected from Mundakopanishad, imbues us, with invincible inner strength, the Upanishadic Thinkers possessed, which arises, from our own within. It also couples us, with the indomitable force of truthfulness. In having to vouchsafe, in official documents that “the statements made herein are true and correct, to the best of my knowledge and belief”, is not our National Motto becoming more pronounced, every time?
As for the National Flag, it is a shining symbol, of our Eternal Values and Commitments. The ochre on top, is a powerful call to be ‘fire-like’, in our spirit of truthfulness and sacrifice. Right from the ancient past, Ochre dress has been, the marked spiritual insignia, of ascetics and renunciates. The country’s immortal literature disseminating values, has flowed from these dedicated hearts. It illustrates the truth that, through supreme dedication and sacrifice alone, can the human imbibe and imbue, the best in whatever he or she does. Though every one pursues a life of varied possessions, in reality, ‘unselfishness and dispossessiveness’ alone, can bestow the glorious human fulfillment. Our National Flag is, thus an unfailing beacon to all citizens, to be pure, brilliant and sacrificing, in thoughts, words and actions.
The white in the middle is a vigorous call to be guileless in our heart. This central treasure in our being, should radiate genuine love for the whole humanity and world.
The green colour is a beacon for all, to be vigilant, in preserving our earth, with its sumptuous greenery, so that the planet can provide ample food, nourishment and a stimulating atmosphere.
The Wheel at the Centre, represents the great Cosmic Wheel of Activity, Nature has set in motion. It depicts how everything in the world, has a cyclic course, as Mother Earth herself has, infusing ‘transitoriness and freshness’ alike. Without such cyclic pattern, the world as well as our life, would be disheartening and stale.
Empowering Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, to fight unwaveringly for truthfulness, Krishna explains, how every individual on this earth, is but a cog in the Cosmic Wheel of Activity. And hence, each has the bounden duty of conforming to its Revolution, with unflinching dedication. In fact this is the rhythm, that persuades Nature to respond, with friendliness, helping us to preserve and promote our mission harmoniously.
Eternal Values Relate to the Mind & Intelligence permitting No Religious bias
Our National Values provide both the ‘subjective and objective’ focus alike. They not alone embrace the individuals, but also incorporate, the welfare of all creatures, and the earth, we inhabit. They impel us to treat our planet and allied sources of Nature, with utmost spiritual respect and gratefulness. In place of the hurried craze for exploitation, which results in untold depletion and destruction, we must judiciously strive to utilize, employ and harness Nature’s resources. Only then, can we preserve and bequeath the planetary treasure, to countless generations, for living safely.
With our intelligence, the greatest gift of Creation, given as it is, to assiduous enquiry and knowledge, certainly it is possible to conduct in a manner, so as to preserve Natural resources, with greater harmony and benevolence.
All these are evaluations, which our National Values highlight. Democratic rule always demands that thinkers, social activists and administrative stalwarts, must maintain an eternal vigil to recognize, with a sense of immediacy, any violation ‘of Natural Order and Rhythm’, and then mend the plight with the right insight.
It is important that in our thoughts and dissemination of National values, their eternal relevance should be preserved, by dissociating them from any undue religious biases. Religions may come and go, but values never go time-barred, as they relate to the mind and intelligence, which do not change their structure.
It is of extreme importance to know, that the thinkers evolved our Values, in prehistoric times. And the people assiduously preserved them, generation after generation. The tenacity, dedication and zeal our people have show in this mission, are amazing. It is these ageless perceptions, that our Vedic and epic compositions have ineffaceably recorded.
India’s Values are founded on Pure Reason
One fundamental principle our thinkers have set forth throughout, is that ‘anything unreasonable’, even if said by Brahma, the Creator, should be summarily rejected, like a blade of grass. On the other hand, whatever, coming even from a child, ‘if based on reason’, is to be accepted outright. While religious thoughts always rest upon God, our ‘value enunciation’ is founded solely upon, the dictates of the mind and intelligence.
Thus the authorship, relevance and utility of our National Values are ‘tenable to the core’. Like the force of gravity, then the chemical, physical, biological and other laws, these values too are vastu-tantra. They rest upon the true nature of things. They are not purusha-tantra, meaning they do not rest upon the will or wish of any. Any national mind, cannot but heed them, with full relevance and reverence.
The task before the Advisory Board and the Organizing Committee will be, to strengthen their understanding, about the National Call for Value Inculcation, in its wholesome relevance. The need and compulsion will be, to relate it nationally, with a emergent note of realism and propriety, so that the Authorities and people alike, will take to them, with patriotic fervour. Enlightenment and persuasion are the tools, with which we have to lead this grand mission.
It is our cultural finding that ignorance alone is the cause of any misconduct, be it of an individual, group or Nation. By enlightenment alone, can we hope to instill in each, the subtle persuasion, to avoid or remedy the evil, and act righteously. When enlightenment and persuasion fail, to evoke the desired response, only then will compulsion, by way of lawful demand and protest, becomes the option.
We are on the first phase of ‘persuasion through enlightenment’, trying to reach it to all the pillars and beneficiaries of democracy.
In order to understand how ‘inner value enrichment’ alone, can bring a ‘national solution’ to the present distress, some recurring instances are worth citing, which show how external means and might become unfruitful, That corruption is still rampant, despite stringent laws being in force, points to a very cardinal lesson. Unless the mind and heart of people, are activated with National values, the beneficial outcome, will not result. Our cultural values, have the magic power to elevate the mind, from its fleeting sensory temptations, to the far greater inner enrichment and fulfillment!
A mind, rightly inspired with National values, cannot think of endangering the country’s welfare, by yielding to selfish thoughts and greed. Human mind, is far greater and loftier, than the bodily senses! A lover of the Nation cannot, at any time, allow his personal or familial needs, to cause downfall to a whole people. Should not the thought that one’s own family and descedants will also be the sad victims of the adversity, be sufficient, to induce the required correction in any heart? Inattention or neglect, in this regard, is inexcusable both here and hereafter.
How grave is the havoc, caused by ‘lack of National Value Consciousness’, is best illustrated, by the afflicting state of affairs, our yearly budgets disclose. Many allocations, of crores of rupees, often remain unutilized, thereby pushing the Nation’s growth and development grievously backward. In Tribal Projects, that deserve greater concern and fellow-feeling, the earmarked funds, admittedly fail to reach, the innocent beneficiaries. Can there be a greater desertion of value? What a shameful neglect, aberration! Often only an incredibly small percentage of allotments, graces the actual project scene!
This means, that even when there is a determined wish to give, those meant to dispense with the gift, alas, intercept the process. Obviously, something, greater than mere authority and legislation, is needed to bring about the much needed National advancement!
Inner Value Enrichment will alone guarantee Fairness and Propriety in Conduct
It is disheartening to note that while our economic growth and advancement are rated with esteem, India is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, lagging deplorably behind, as the 72nd amongst 91. This tormenting picture, focuses the truth, that ‘inner value enrichment’, which alone can guarantee ‘fairness and propriety in conduct’, is something ‘distinct’ from mere economic status or affluence. Our proposed Value Inculcation Movement cannot, thus, brook any delay or inattention.
Indian ethos excels in inner opulence, which the humans alone have the fortune to achieve. Kings and Emperors of our land, not to speak only of the great Ashoka of late, discreetly abandoned the throne and royal ambitions, and resigned themselves to gain inner affluence and splendour. Many a ruler, has also creditably actualized the mission.
In fact, the glorious kings of this land, crowned their powerful royal life, with ascetic renunciation, and the consequent gifts of inner enrichment. The great poet Kalidasa, known for his truthful statements, highlights this maxim, while narrating the life-style, of the distinguished Raghu dynasty:
Kings of the Raghu clan had the culture of taking to education while young, sensory pleasures in youth, but of embracing the anchorite life in old age, to shed the body in yogic absorption in the end.
What greater example and persuasion are needed to re-assess matters and update our understanding and aspirations?
Nation’s Moral, Ethical and Spiritual Values should Empower the Leaders
Where now shall we look, for a ‘comprehensive overhaul’ and invigoration? Enlightenment first and the consequent persuasion next, alone, have the subtle spiritual power to penetrate into, the suicidal working of the mind. Only when the right persuasion and compulsion of the Nation’s moral, ethical and spiritual values, begin to enrich the Administrative and other ladders, the present widespread travesty can be reversed. The deception and deflection dwell in the minds and hearts of the governing and the governed alike. It is for the national minds to address the catastrophy!
To sit content, blaming the authorities, is neither right nor helpful in finding the redress. Enactments, by themselves, are bound to become feeble and ineffective. An enduring redressal consists in, systematically accessing the individual mind and intelligence, making them respond to the call of the Nation’s values, and invoke the necessary strength from the very depths of consciousness.
The mind and intelligence alone, do host all kinds of dereliction, as also the lack of National awareness and obligation. The task before us is to expose the distress, and relate it effectively, to the Value Consciousness Need, as well as its persuasions.
The concern should also take us to the young and growing citizens. Today’s young in the schools, colleges and higher educational centres, are tomorrow’s potential National functionaries. We must be able to culturally touch, tune and grace their minds, with the spirit of our National values, thereby making them abhor all forms of stealth, abuse and self-defeat. They should lovingly display, a natural persuasion to function devoutly ‘as trusted representatives of the Nation’, with integrity and accountability, which the country warrants from every citizen.
How can this be achieved? Certainly a determined National move is indispensable. Where shall we start it, except first in our own minds, by fostering a National concern, with a sense of extreme immediacy?
The picture will surely change, when ‘the compulsions of Value Awareness’ are aroused in Administrators and Administered alike, by enlightening them about the crisis, and persuading an immediate, systematic redress.
Apprehending the calamity and the consequent threat of National downfall, our Constitution has prudently laid down, Fundamental Duties for the citizens. Two of them are too relevant to our discussion: First, “to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our National Struggle for freedom.” Second, “to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.” The call as well as the need to heed it, is quite unambiguous.
Let us make this Constitutional obligation ‘the pivot’ of our proposed movement. To respond to this Citizenly Duty, and heed it faithfully, with a National spirit and resignation, is something that can wait no longer. Any neglect or disregard in this, you will agree, would be an affront to the Constitution, a grievous crime, impermissible in every way. Let us try to safeguard against such an eventuality!