by BR Usha
Janani janma bhoomischa swargadapi gareeyasi
Most of us have heard the above Sanskrit adage which was famously spoken by Lord Rama. Truly, Janani (mother) and janmabhoomi (motherland) are more exalted than even swarga (heaven). Between all Indians, and humans on the whole, there should be no anger or violence. We cannot expect the government or politicians to inculcate these things in us. It has to come from within. We need to first learn to love our country, our people. Only then can we extend this love to others. The above saying well illustrates this sentiment. Even today many poets sing and describe the beauty of our motherland from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarath to Assam including the Himalyas and her rivers.
I recently read that how you refer to your country depends upon what your mother tongue happens to be. In most Indian languages, we generally use the feminine gender to refer to our beloved “Bharath”. Native speakers of English invariably refer to their country as their “motherland”. But the Germans, on the other hand, refer to Germany as their “Vaterland”. (Vater in German means Father). So, both “motherland” and “fatherland” are acceptable ways of referring to one’s country.
Maybe the word ‘Motherland’ is more suited to refer to one’s country because of our infinite love towards mother. Just like how we develop love and affection towards our mother right from birth, we develop the same love and affection towards the land too.
As far as I know, no where in the world is there a practice to worship the land and take mother and motherland’s blessings before we start any new work/ assignment/ project be it agriculture, construction or water extraction as we do it in India.
In Indian culture, the earth is referred to as Bhoodevi. Our mother gives birth, takes care of us, feeds us and shelters us quite in the same way as our motherland who shelters us, feeds us (food grains), quenches our thirst (Water).
I cannot even imagine a situation when my mother is captivated and chained in someone’s hands, is under someone’s custody, being tortured and crying. I can visualise the emotions experienced by our ancestors during such a situation. I respect their fight to free her, free their mother from such torture. It is such a nice feeling to be free, free to do whatever you wish, of course within permissible limits of not harming anyone by our actions. It is our fundamental right to be free, and do whatever we wish. This was not the case for last two centuries and sixty years ago, we were under the control and under the mercy of the rulers, taxed and tortured. We were not allowed to be ourselves in our own motherland.
Yada yada hi dharmasya
Glanir bhavati bharata
~ Bhagavad Gita (Chapter IV-7)
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion–at that time I descend Myself.
So manifestation had to happen – and it occurred. Exactly about a century ago the struggle for freedom became more and more stronger reaching out to the common unlettered man through the launching of the Swadeshi movement by leaders such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Aurobindo Ghose. But the full mobilisation of the masses into an invincible force only occured with the appearance on the scene one of the most remarkable and charismatic leaders of the twentieth century, perhaps in history – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Being a lawyer in profession he had won his political spurs organising the Indian community in South Africa against the vicious system of apartheid. During the Indian freedom struggle, he developed the novel technique of non-violent agitation which he called ‘satyagraha’, loosely translated as moral domination. He was thus heir to the ancient traditions of Gautama Buddha, Mahavir Jain and emperor Ashoka, and was later given the title of Mahatma, or Great Soul. Gandhi, himself a devout Hindu, also espoused a total moral philosophy of tolerance, brotherhood of all religions, non-violence (ahimsa) and of simple living. Truly “Mahatma”. Eminent charismatic leaders like Tilak, patel, Nehru, Aurobindo, Bose, Lajpat Rai and many great freedom fighters led the nation to its freedom from rulers. India was declared a Free Democratic country on the midnight hour of August 15, 1947, exactly 60 years ago.
There has been no looking back ever since. In sixty years our country’s progress in science, technology, infrastructure development, education, self reliance, agriculture and contribution to World peace has been tremendous. Revolutionary progress in Information Technology and Bio-Technology are examples of our growth worldwide. This is an example to reinstate that when the foundation (Culture and heritage) is so strong, any damage (invasions) to building is temporary. India is all set to emerge as the fastest growing country in the world with its GDP growth of 9.4% in 2006-2007.
Today every patriotic citizen desires that India must become a corruption-free country. The basic requirement for any citizen who wants to fight corruption is that he should himself be honest. It is therefore necessary that a citizen who wants to fight corruption must first decide that s/he will uphold one’s own moral character and s/he will not give a bribe or take a bribe.
Also read: Ban on plastic flags
We have responsibility as citizens of this country to fight against corruption and any ill practices of the society, to choose the right leaders to lead this democratic country by electing the right representatives. Please vote and please vote the right people. Today’s youth of our motherland have more responsibility to take the league forward and pledge ourselves for the country’s well being and contribute to its continuous growth.
Sare Jahan se Accha, Hindustaan Hamara
Proud to be an Indian
RwB celebrates India at 60:
- India at Sixty by TS Srinivasa Murthy
- Tricolour Marble Cake and Eggless Tea Cake: Recipe by Bridget White Kumar
- Rangoli-16 by Srilakshmi Suresh
- Independence Day by Cuckoo
- ‘India at 60′ collage