Despite tremendous and economic progress, we are not yet fully free and happy. What went wrong ? We left out a crucial element while drawing up the blueprint of Modern India. Though we added the two arms of being socialist and secular, the “soul” of India continued to crumble without the backbone of spirituality.
Without doubt, “spirituality” is the very backbone of India. It is what Vivekananda saw as her special genius. It is that which powered India’s pre-eminence in the world. It is this power that Gandhiji used to secure us freedom. Socialism, Communism, Capitalism and Consumerism have failed to create a classless, co-operative, free and happy society anywhere in the world. Depression, suicides, disparity, conflicts have only risen with these ISMS. On the contrary, Indic Spiritualism holds out hope for a beleaguered world.
Generations of people, from all over the world, have been coming to India in the hope that its spirituality will help them to learn about life and get a true taste of happiness. Undoubtedly, we do seem to know the indigenous formula. It’s just that we forgot to apply it on ourselves.
“Spirituality naturally raises human values and breaks the narrow boundaries of caste, creed, religion and nationality”, says Art of Living founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, advocating that a revival of spiritual values alone can ensure a happy and cultured society.
It was her spiritual resilience that helped India withstand various external onslaughts and remain united as a single unit. Her spiritual ethos made it possible for alien religious traditions to flourish here, giving everybody the freedom to practise what they believe. This is exactly what a secular republic should aspire for.
“When spirituality and politics don’t go hand in hand, then we have corrupt pseudo-religious leaders,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. And, this is exactly what has happened in India in the last few years which witnessed appeasement and polarisation. Instead of a focus on policies that uplift every citizen irrespective of caste, creed, region or religion, bluntly undermining the avowed ideals of the Indian Republic.
At a time when society is divided on the lines of rigid political and religious ideologies, spirituality can unite our hearts and minds. India can surely bounce back to her Golden Era by anchoring itself again to her spiritual ideals. Let us re-orient yourselves towards building a “republic” based on spiritual values of belongingness, responsibility and compassion, caring and sharing.
Today, on Republic Day, let’s amend our mind-set and pray for a SPIRITUAL REPUBLIC.
————– M. Rajaque Rahman.