“Behind India’s unity, there is an enormous and magnificent variety,” said India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1952. Unity in diversity has been the foundation of the Indian Constitution – celebrating the bond of togetherness while respective the diverse traditions and unique culture of each and every province, community or creed.
In the recent past, a sense of intolerance has gripped the Indian society. “My way or the highway” is the writ that rules large these days. The Poet had once prayed for fearless minds but the world has now been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls.
Post May, 2014, the idea of India is under attack. I do not wish to enter the war of statistics about exactly how many incidents there have been or the blame game as to whether they have taken place in BJP-ruled states or Congress-ruled states. Quite simply such episodes must be nipped in the bud.
A certain 56-inch tea-seller (by his own proud admission) was handed the mantle of India in the elections that concluded earlier this year. His was a huge mandate, which his fans and followers claim was for the hope of development and change that he promised. Six months down the line, what remains is empty rhetoric, “eloquent silence” and attempts to ascertain the majoritarian triumphalism to a particular religion.
As another year in the calendar winds up, a new dawn beckons us. Let us beckon the new year with these words of Swami Vivekananda:
“I shall go to the mosque of Muslim, I shall enter the Christian’s church and kneel before the Crucifix, I shall enter the Buddhist Temple where I shall take refuge in the Buddha and his law and I shall go into the forest and sit down in meditation with the Hindu who is trying to see the light which enlightens the heart of everyone.”
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