A monk of Ramakrishna Mission. Now the editor of Prabuddha Bharata, an English journal founded by Swami Vivekananda
Bharat is the most populous democratic republic of the world. The last sixty-six years of Bharat’s republic saga have been punctuated with failures and pitfalls, big and small. However, these slips do not undermine the nation’s many successes but only emphasise them. Bharat started its journey as a free republic with its coffers almost empty, social and political turmoil, foreign invasions, and a mammoth administrative setup in tatters. Hastily drawn boundaries and perfunctory transfer of power did not help either. It was as though an unruly horse’s reins were thrown at Bharateeyas. Well, this did not stifle the Bharateeya visionaries and statesmen. Bharat boldly undertook a series of experiments. In hindsight, many of them may seem unnecessary but they did offer valuable lessons. Bharateeya economic policies and national planning methods have seen a sea change in these sixty-six years.
Providing basic needs like food, housing, education, and healthcare to all Bharateeyas has been and still is a great challenge. The severity of these problems has decreased considerably though. Bharat has conquered some of its problems like foodgrains’ production. If one were to analyse the history of the Bharateeya republic and draw lessons from it, the first thing that hits one in the face is that compared to nations like the US, England, and Japan, Bharat and Bharateeyas lack national and cultural pride. They definitely had it centuries ago but more than a thousand years of foreign rule hit at this pride so much that today most Bharateeyas think that being born in this nation is a curse. But all fault was not with the foreign rulers. It was also to a great extent and is even today because of the complacence with which Bharateeyas bear insult and penury.
Compared to many Asian cultures, Bharat has a typical social psyche that makes the average citizen live with dishonour. Callousness should never be mistaken for tolerance. Only a sensitive mind can be resilient. Change brings growth and there can be no growth if one is cowed down by stronger minds and powers.
This is exactly what Bharateeyas should do henceforth: upholding and regarding Bharateeya culture and history, bringing in more awareness and sensibility to the Bharateeya themes across the world, and ensuring that Bharat has adequate and meaningful representation all over the globe in political, economic, and academic fora. Only being firmly rooted in their ancient heritage can Bharateeyas look forward to a glorious future. It is imperative that Bharateeyas are taken seriously. The geo-political borders of Bharat should be solid and no one should even think of contesting them. Does anyone think of contesting the borders of the US or UK? That is because of the image these nations have built.
Bharat needs to be proud about its greatest resource: the youngest workforce in the world. It should nurture the youth by giving them lessons in heritage and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to excel in the present-day world. When even very small countries have higher education in their native language, Bharat with its rich brain-power, still does not have higher education like medicine, engineering, or scientific research in the vernacular. Bharateeyas need to focus on indigenous growth. The concept of Bharat should percolate down as the concept of a nation beyond borders and at the same time a nation, which relates to a specific territory and tradition.
Knowledge systems hidden in ancient Bharateeya languages and scripts should be researched into and they should be adapted to the modern day of information superhighway. And most important of all, Bharateeyas need to cultivate integrity. Across the globe, Bharateeyas are seen in the MNC work environments as people who do not keep their word, falter deadlines, and have a leaning towards corruption. That has to change. This nation that has had rishis as its founders cannot afford to have this abominable reputation. And all these changes can take place only if the Bharateeya youth are prepared. We need a breed of youth that does not leave any difference between thought, words, and action and a breed of youth, who stand foremost as leaders in every field for the entire world to follow. Swami Narasimhananda