“The spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India’s spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever-increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice…The final dream was a step in evolution which would raise man to a higher and larger consciousness and begin the solution of the problems which have perplexed and vexed him since he first began to think and to dream of individual perfection and a perfect society. The difficulties in the way are more formidable than in any other field of endeavour, but difficulties were made to be overcome and if the Supreme Will is there, they will be overcome. Here too, if this evolution is to take place, since it must proceed through a growth of the spirit and the inner consciousness, the initiative can come from India and, although the scope must be universal, the central movement may be hers.”
—The August 15, 1947 Message by Sri Aurobindo, [Sri Aurobindo wrote this message at the request of All India Radio, Tiruchirapalli, India, for broadcast on the eve of India’s Independence)
As Bharat celebrates the Amrit Mahotsav, there is a perceptible nationalistic fervour everywhere. Every household is becoming a part of this celebration with the record-breaking Har Ghar Tiranga Abhiyan. The remarkable journey of seventy-five years is naturally a reason to rejoice.
After a long struggle for centuries to attain Swaraj, the self-rule was a historical achievement. We ensured the unity of geographical units after the bloodiest Partition we had gone through. Despite all apprehensions, we turned into a Republic by 1950 and flourished as a democracy over the decades. The mother of democracy is now the largest democracy in the world. Despite ups and downs, like the imposition of Emergency, we displayed exemplary perseverance and passion in carving out our own space on the global stage. Food security was the biggest concern for the first two decades, but now we have surplus agricultural produce. Our defence preparedness has attained new heights after the initial hiccups. In space technology, our scientists have done wonders. We were the only country that exported 2424 lakhs of vaccine doses to 101 countries during the COVID-19 crisis. In sports, our players are taking new strides. Through education, many Bharatvanshis are making their mark in the technological and medical sectors. Bharat is again trying to regain its position on the world stage, and the entire world is also turning towards this spiritual land to solve the imminent contemporary challenges to humanity. Are these landmarks enough and in tune with our potential? Are we in a position to realise the true spirit of our Independence struggle with which our freedom fighters fought against the colonisers? How can we play our role in fulfilling the destined role of our ancient country for humanity? These are the questions around which our churning for the future should revolve amidst a celebratory mood.
As Sri Aurobindo expected, to realise the deserved stature for Bharat, the sons and daughters of Bharat would have to take a pledge of ‘Nothing Is Dearer than Her Service’. All sections of our society, including many sages, satyagrahis, revolutionaries, literary figures, educationists, lawyers, and scientists, worked with the same spirit for our freedom, though their means were different. Celebration of the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence is an occasion to take resolve to fulfil their dreams. Revisiting the contributions of our national icons and recontextualising their vision for the present circumstances can be the best tribute on the occasion of the seventy-five years of Independence.
The gravest onslaught of colonisation was on our social-economic structures and civilisational intellect. The European prism demonised our education, trading, and socio-religious practices and instilled a sense of inferiority through our educated class. The same colonial hangover is still haunting us to date. In the last seventy-five years, we are still grappling with the dilemma created by the Western prism in making our policy choices. In our education, imposed modernity is the guiding force in understanding our history and social relations. This borrowed lens has been the major hurdle in realising our true potential, besides new fault lines that we have created in society on the linguistic, caste, regional or religious lines.
Material progress is critical, but not by neglecting the edifice of our nationhood, rooted in cultural and spiritual milieu. Playing around with the binaries of rural vs urban, industrial vs agriculture and environment vs economic development would never give us true prosperity. To reignite the indigenous and integral policy approach is not just a political but also an intellectual exercise. The next twenty-five years are crucial for ensuring data sovereignty and the spiritualisation of technology. No other country can provide that wisdom to humanity.
Hence, this edition is an attempt to revisit the past, to understand the present situation of our national life so that we can carve out the path for the future. We hope that this special edition of Organiser will stir a new kind of churning for the Amrit Kaal and contribute to preparing our society for realising the global role of Bharat as a Vishwaguru. Enjoy the churning; Happy Independence Day!