Vol: 50 No: 01
15 August 2003
The future will be sound and good, if we inculcate democratic values in our masses because the proper working of democracy depends on the strength and wisdom of the masses. It is a national misfortune that people are made to think more of individuals and hero-worship is not discouraged.
Democracy was given to the world by India. There were republics like Vaishali in India when the rest of the world had no knowledge about democracy. Democracy came up first in the West in Greece but that was also partial, meant only for the higher classes; half the population were slaves.
Now, regarding redesigning India for the 21st century: we concentrate more on the present than on the future. If we take care of the present properly and well, the future will automatically take care of itself.
The future will be sound and good, if we inculcate democratic values in our masses because the proper working of democracy depends on the strength and wisdom of the masses.
The basis of our democracy is ‘Atmavat Sarvabhuteshu’ (having equality of vision); that is the way democracy has been given to the world by this country.
When people say that we are deteriorating, going the wrong way and are getting destroyed, they are not reading the trends correctly. One should never get dejected or pessimistic under any circumstances. Pessimism is a result of fear, cowardice. If there is fearlessness, there will never be any pessimism. It is only out of optimism that fearlessness can come.
I do not want people to be unrealistic but when you hope for the best and are prepared for the worst, you do not get frustrated and nervous in adverse circumstances. Things always do not happen as we want them to happen. There is another law—Rta—which governs all that. That does not mean we should not work. We should work according to our best capacity but we should also cheerfully accept whatever happens. Then we can take a step forward. Otherwise, not.
The four attributes go together: Fearlessness, Truth, Nonviolence and Humility. All the four are equally important. Fear is the greatest enemy of mankind. Therefore, fear has to go. Truth is absolutely vital for it; but truth at any cost does not mean that truth should be bitter. Satyam bruyaat, priyam bruyaat; na bruyaat satyam-apriyam.
One should be realistic also. You cannot expect absolute nonviolence to be followed by everybody. Only a few people, very few people, can practise it to perfection.
Absolute truth also can be strictly followed only by a few. But the greater the number of people who adhere to this principle, the greater will be the number of common people who will be attracted to follow this ideal. And that will increase the nation’s strength.
If the people are strong and fearless, no man can think of making them subservient. Violence and democracy are a contradiction in terms.
But all this must be done consciously and it will come from education. Education has to be reoriented. Education should enable a person to know his own limitations and to know his capacity; it should also enable him to overcome his defects and increase his self-confidence, self-reliance and capacity. Instead of this, helplessness comes from the present-day education. Educated people are going about crying that they do not get this or that. What is the use of education which does not give people self-confidence?
We are all suffering from the hangover of the British rule and we are still carrying on the pattern of education, fashioned by them for their own imperial rule. Our country never had any territorial ambition at any time nor will it ever have.
We believe in being serviceable to other people. We do not believe in coveting things, but in giving things. Life is to give but not to take. That is India’s basic philosophy.
15 August 2003
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