A PAGE FROM HISTORY: Why Bharatiya culture
We find Nehruji at different times attempting to draw an imaginary line between the so-called Hindu ‘Nationalism” and “Indian Nationalism” of his conception. If the properly analyses the residue of “Indian Nationalism” minus ‘Hindu Nationalism” he will soon find that it is Zero.
—IP Barua, Gauhati
In the manifesto adopted by the Bharatiya Jan Sangh at the All-India convention held at Delhi on 21-10-51, the following appears on “culture” which has been made one of the four Fundamentals for this organization:- “Unity in diversity has been the characteristic feature of Bharatiya culture, which is a synthesis of different regional, local and tribal growths, natural in such a vast country…. All the creeds that form the commonwealth of the Bharatiya Rashtra have their share in the stream of Bharatiya Culture, which has flowed down from the Vedas, in the contribution made by different peoples, creeds and cultures that came in touch with it in the course of history, in such a way as to make them indistinguishable part and parcel of the main current.
In the Bishwabharati Jubilee celebrations and Convocation held at Tagore’s Shantiniketan on 24-12-51, Dr. Radhakrishan, in course of his inspiring address, stated inter alia:-
“If today, it is the Western tradition that tells us ‘either one or the other’… it is the Eastern tradition that tells us-both together’. In fact, the two dominant characteristics of Indian culture are shahisnuta and Grahinuta, i.e. tolerance and capacity for assimiliation. These two characteristics have enabled the culture of India to absorb and harmonise elements of a great variety of cultures and build up a rich mosaic out of them that has become the wonder of the world.
This convocation was shortly after followed by the Indian Philosophical Congress at Poona on 27-12-51, where welcoming the Delegates, Dr. Jayakar, (Vice-Chancellor of the Poona University), said inter alia:- “India, the home of spiritual Truths, must, in the present age, undertake the mission of building a new world…”
Hitherto, it had been the fashion of Nehrujee to belittle the BJS’s emphasis on “one culture” based on Bharatiya Sanskriti and Maryada and to charge this organisation as a communal one, and this charge had been repeated by him self as well as his satellites and “yes-men” from innumerable platforms during the Congress campaign in connection with the last general elections. But overwhelmed by the growing surge of weighty opinion in support of the “Bharatiya Culture” as necessary ingredient for this renaissance and up-building or “ liberated India”, Nehrujee blurted out as follows in course of his election speech at Ajmer on 11-1-52.
The economic life of a Vedic Aryan was far less complicated than that of an average citizen of today. Yet Vedic economics is not without its lessons for us, especially when we are caught in a baffling maze of economic isms.
Whose is wealth?
The economic system of Vedic times has been very pithily summarized by the first stanza of Eeshopanishad:-
Eesha vasyamidam sarvam yatkincha, jagatyam jagat;
Ten tyakten bhunjeethah, magridhah, kasya swiddhanam.
The most provocative portion of this stanza is the query: “whose indeed is wealth?” Even while being a sort of a question mark, the term swit lifts the question to a higher plane and suggests that the query is not just a simple interrogation but also a point of deep meditation. It suggests that the answer to the question-whose indeed is wealth? –should contain a clear exposition of whether wealth belongs to the individual or socety, nation or state and for what purpose it is to be used.
But more important than this swit also means surely or assuredly. When this meaning is accepted the meaning of ka in Kasya is Prajapati the ruler or administrator of the society. Thus the meaning of Kasya swit dhanam becomes: “Without doubt wealth belongs to the protector of the society.”