This is a thin volume of verse penned by Baranwal on the emotional integrity of Bharat ?constantly under transition but never in obliteration? as did happen with some countries of the world. In his poem he says that with the dawn of the second millennium, slavery began to eclipse the Bharatiya horizon with the people living complacently, ?socially torn, politically ripped, heedless of diabetic clemency?.
Under the heading ?Retrospection?, he writes poignantly of the land of Bharat from where spirituality and science flew as tidal waves imbuing the world with lifestyle changes. He speaks of Bharat which believes ?that truth is beauty, truth is one? but regrets that Semitic religions ?don'tbelieve in oneness of truth? as they ?seek to divide humanity?. He bravely puts up that religion turns opium the moment it gets ?exclusive, offensive and imposive? with fanaticism, violence and intolerance combined, ?rendering it subversive?.
He very rightly says that the ?innocent, ignorant and destitute? start the march of proselytisation ?by force or by crookedness in disguise? because Dharma is incompatible with conversion and wherever there is conversion, there is bound to be coercion.
He then praises the Sufis who ?rose in revolt against Islam?? and like ?medieval missionaries, they resorted to Hindu lifestyle, adopted the garb of a Hindu hermit; a jug, bared head became their profile? while they usang bhajan-like songs with instruments in their hands, which are contrary to Islam.
The author says that with the second millennium, different schools of Sufism emerged and proselytisation made an upsurge with Bharat looking ?like a zoo of sects? and Buddhism dominating the stage. ?Politically fragmented, compartmentalised religiously, socially torn and tabooed?, India lay open to be ?subdued?. It was then that the Deccan showed the path with the emergence of Shankara who ?bearing the torch of Brahma satyam? and ?using the philosophy of Vedanta? set out to set up shrines in the four corners to symbolise Bharat as a single nation. He enlarged the frontier of gyan (knowledge), the cult of Dharma and of Bhakti.
Under the title ?Assertion?, Baranwal talks of the Bengali Hindus, particularly Ram Mohan Roy who brought relief from outdated practices and transformation from superstitions to science and modernisation. He ?invoked the people to be rid of social taboos which had rendered them wretchedly backward.? Then he talks of the entry of Dayanand, who founded the Arya Samaj and coined words like swabhasha, swadeshi and swaraj. Armed with the logic based on the Vedas, he proved the Dharma'ssuperiority and Arya Samaj became a movement due to his ?dynamism and ingenuity?. While Arya Samaj tried to organise Hinduism, Vivekananda said, ?The West struggled for existence, Bharat struggled to grasp the infinite in Hindutva that embraces all, leading man to spiritual heights.? He concludes by talking of Dharma in Baharat ?which is the Dharma of the entire society, its root struck into the earth, while its head soars up to the sky.?
(Kushwaha Offset Printers, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh.)