Keeping India Together
With the 2014 General Election, India is at the cusp of a great change. The world waits with bated breath, for the outcome of this election could pave the way to a major breakthrough within the nation.
At this incredibly exciting time, Sadhguru tells us that the need of the hour is a leader who understands what ties this great nation and its diverse people together.
We are a natural democracy, he points out, while reminding us: “Sameness is the formula of nation building, but India stands in defiance of this mediocrity.”
Presented below are powerful thoughts along the same vein, from the master, previously published in The Week.
Sadhguru: As in the life of an individual, so also in the life of a nation, certain momentous events shape the nature of life that entails. At a time when accusations of rot and corruption are flying free, none seem to be above the malaise. From the highest office, to the judiciary, to the 5th estate, to the activist – and above all even the common citizens – can be bribed to sell their fundamental right of franchise that determines the future of the nation.
Rudderless economic policy and weakening of institutions upon which the nation’s prosperity and sovereignty rest – all this and more make the upcoming elections of monumental significance. People are billing this as the mother of all elections as it could determine the fate of this hoary culture that has been known through times as Bharat or Hindustan, whose modern manifestation is India.
Nations are made and held together on the basis of race, religion, language or ethnicity. We are a colorful combination of all this and more. Sameness is the formula of nation building, but India stands in defiance of this mediocrity.
It is important to clearly understand what makes India a nation. Though we are a complex amalgamation of languages, castes, creed, ethnicity and race, even when there were over 200 political entities ruling the subcontinent, still, both within, and in the rest of the known world we were always referred to as one nation –Bharatvarsh. One thread that has held this nation of uncommon people is that this is a land of seekers. Seekers of truth. Seekers of liberation. It is this spiritual thread that has held this entirely diverse nation together in the last 8 to 10 thousand years. A nation that has mastered the art and science of god-making does not hold god as its goal but liberation as the only and ultimate goal. Referred to as Hindustan not on the basis of religion but of geography and culture, India's nationhood pre-dates all religion.
Weakening of this spiritual thread has brought us no good. If we do not maintain this identity of being seekers versus believers, India's sovereignty will be untenable. We have already been through the painful throes of partition. Leadership in the nation needs to grasp what truly holds us together. Most complex and colorful nation that we are, we are naturally democratic. The glory of this nation’s past is rooted in its spiritual possibilities and accomplishments.
This is a nation that has mastered the laws that govern inner wellbeing. In the modern world, nations of great affluence are suffering from a terrible sense of disenchantment within. India has the know-how and the scientific methods that could lead to wellbeing of all. Before individuals, particularly all those who hold positions of power and responsibility, step out towards external accomplishments, they must arrive at a sense of inner wellbeing.
It is only in this that individual human beings can go beyond personal ambition and strive for a larger vision. This is of utmost importance now, as for the very first time, we as a generation have reached a place where we have all the necessary resources, capability and technology to address every human problem on the planet. Only an inclusive consciousness is missing. The very basis of what we refer to as Bharat is this inclusiveness.
Spirituality beyond sectarian religions. Spirituality which is a natural outcome of human longing to know, it is only in reinstating this fundamental quest and longing to know, realize and liberate, that individual human beings will have the strength to seek and endure the challenges of building a great nation out of this seeming chaos.
This is a nation of immense possibilities. The whole world recognizes that, but there is a distance between possibility and reality. Do we have a leadership that has the courage, conviction and commitment to walk the distance?
The twin challenges of poverty and corruption could weigh us down and break the spirit of this nation. Corruption is humiliating but poverty is debilitating. Both need to be handled, but to rid the nation of debilitating poverty is most crucial. Other aspects that are eating into our nationhood can be dealt with when there is some fundamental sense of economic wellbeing. Right now if visa policies of other nations are eased, 80% of Indian population would leave. We are forcefully holding back a large segment of population; well, that is a prison, not a nation.
All this can change with some credible leadership. We are a nation of great possibility. Vote responsibly. Let us make it happen!