I remember decades ago when my grandmother would scold my cousins, siblings, and me not to behave like a “Rakas” (a Rakshasha in my native dialect, Powari). The sudden harvest of ripe mangoes in a remote central Indian village invariably induced greed in us that the brotherhood just vapourised when trying to capture the maximum bounty for ourselves. In every region of Bharat, educated or uneducated, people understand what “Rakshashi Pravritti” is – a characteristic to accumulate and hoard for ourselves. Those who share their possessions are of “Daivik Pravritti.”
In geopolitical terms, alarmingly, this characteristic of “Rakshashi Pravritti” is growing and is being formalised as state policies by the elites who govern the world. For Western Governments, this has remained a characteristic of their international behaviour for centuries. The modern-day Rakshashas gained their strength in the Stock Markets of Amsterdam ecosystem in the 1500s; European colonial powers followed, and Ravana – the king of Rakshasas, plundered and prospered.
After the middle ages, the Ravana kept juggling his head. He claimed millions of lives in global wars for accumulating bounties and living a standard of life that now makes this planet unlivable for others. With his every new head, Ravana feels he is invincible. With boons of scientific magic, industrial tools/weaponry, a prosperous golden Lanka, and a mighty group of brothers and uncles who can go to war with anyone who dares to challenge a Rakshasha’s way of life, Ravana has reached the peak of his arrogance. The problem is Ravana and his Rakshashas fully understand the pain Mother Earth is in and how much agony a Manav (commoner) is in, including those who live within the boundaries of their Golden Lanka. But they don’t want to change their behaviour and the desire to dominate.
The biggest question is, what is Bharat’s role? Is Bharat going to become India, one of Ravana’s juggling greedy heads? Or is Bharat going to be Rama or Vibhishana? Do we as a nation want to follow the materialism of the West that has permeated Urban India? What will we do for the soul of our country – rural Bharat?
On this side of the ocean, China seems like Kishkindha, where Vali, the Chinese Communist Party, is governing with an iron fist after exiling Sugriva to Taiwan. Vali’s aggression and intention to take what belongs to others have turned him into something that will annihilate him at the hands of Rama. It is only a matter of time now. Hanuman and Sugriva are only waiting for Rama to appear on the scene. Of course, Rama will have to prove to Sugriva that he is powerful enough, even without his army in Ayodhya, to kill Vali.
In the meantime, Ravana is trying to challenge Vali to a duel. Ravana does not know that Vali has a boon that whoever comes face-to-face with Vali loses 50 per cent of their strength to him. American and European economies are ridiculously dependent on China. Eventually, we know that Ravana did not dare to challenge Vali directly. Later Vali did trap Ravana’s head in his armpit and took him on the journey of three oceans. Today Taiwan believes that America will come to its side, but Sugriva needs to be corrected. He will have to wait for Rama.
The world should not confuse the dispute between Vali and Sugriva as similar to Ravana coming to the aid of Surpanakha (Ukraine-Nato) when Lakshmana (Russia) cut her nose. Surpankha’s real motive was to trap Ravana in war, as he had killed her husband. These are two completely different types of conflicts.
So, the biggest question is, what is our role? Is Bharat going to become India, one of Ravana’s juggling greedy heads? Or is Bharat going to be Rama or Vibhishana? Do we as a nation want to follow the materialism of the West that has permeated Urban India? What will we do for the soul of our country – rural Bharat? While the next few decades will show a clearer picture of our developmental model and military strength, we need to know who the Ravana is. Yes, it is Uncle Sam – the Government of the United States of America! Let us hope that whoever plays the role of Vibhishana will be successful in convincing Ravana not to desire someone else’s Shakti in this era.
(The writer is President, International Center for Cultural Studies USA Inc)