Kolkata, Oct 4: Differences based on language, caste, sects etc. are bound to be there. In spite of these differences Bharat has been one nation. There is an express need to revive this spirit of ‘One People-One Nation’ and what could be the best occasion than 150th birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita to convey this message?
And Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat exactly did that. He seized the opportunity to invoke Sister Nivedita to convey this message to the people of this country on Tuesday evening from Kolkata.
Bharat has been one nation since the hoary past despite coming of various people to this country like tributaries merging with the River Ganga. As the flow does not change its name, so is the nation, he said.
At a largely attended function organized by Sister Nivedita Mission Trust to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of the Irish disciple of Swami Vivekananda “who gave India her all”, Dr Bhagwat was speaking on “Sister Nivedita and Indian Nationalism”.
He said that if people are craving for each other’s throats there cannot be nationalist feeling. There can be differences of languages and customs but the common thread that binds us all together into a nation is what Sister Nivedita had said the ‘Consciousness of ‘Bharat’”, he said.
Elaborating his views on cultural nationalism, the RSS Sarasanghchalak in his scholarly address described Bharat as ‘one nation, indivisible and indissoluble’.
Quoting extensively from the writings of Sister Nivedita, Dr Bhagwat said that the idea of nation has evolved with the people and the values they cherished from days immemorial. There are differences of languages, customs etc. and nothing wrong in that, but ‘Bharat Mata is the common thread of unity in this diversity. We must develop the consciousness of Bharat (Bharat ka bhaan hona chahiye), he emphasized.
Narrating an incident he said: “One of my friends, a learned Muslim asked me why I oppose Sachar committee…Sometime back we were Hindus but got converted to Islam and will now remain so. He told me that his habits had remained the same despite the conversion. They sing qawwali because the habit of singing bhajans is inherent to them. I told him that he needed to educate his fellow men, and they need to realise it. We are all children of Bharat Mata.”
He further said, “A number of outsiders came with their culture and customs to this country and we assimilated them all…we digested them all. But sometime back we had some problems (beech mein hamara hazma kharab ho gaya). So many tributaries merge into the River Ganga but the river remains the same Ganga. Once they educate them and understand this fact there can be no opposition”.
He quoted Rabindra Nath Tagore who had said that these two communities (Hindus and Muslims) will not die fighting but they will find a way to stay together. And that will be the Hindu way.
Dr Bhagwat said that the concept of Bharat was different from how the West envisaged about India.
“We have to learn from the ideas of nation state espoused by Sister Nivedita,” Bhagwat said. Quoting Nivedita, he added, “National unity is built on the common home, the common interest and common love” driven by the strength that flows from the Vedas and the Upanishads.
India's survival depends on Dharma. “This country is fully protected for its dharma base. Without dharma there is no existence of India”, he said.
Dr Bhagwat said that Sister Nivedita bravely came forward to accomplish the unfinished mission of Swami Vivekananda voluntarily. It was she who introduced the ideal of nation making by manifesting man-making principles of Swami Vivekananda. “Sister Nivedita performed a key role at the most crucial time of Indian history. Using every element of unity in India, she tried to let the whole nation resonate with the common tune we have within", he said.
The visit of the Sarsanghchalak to Kolkata was mired in controversy with the state-run Mahajati Sadan authorities denying permission for the program forcing the organizers to change the venue to Science City Auditorium with a larger capacity.
Sister Nivedita 150th birth anniversary celebrations committee had booked Mahajti Sadan for the program months ago in June.
It may be mentioned that the RSS Chief had referred to the situation in Bengal and Kerala in his Vijayadashami address at Nagpur on September 30 in which he had said that the state governments and their systematically politicized administrative systems were lending a helping hand to the anti-national forces.
“The situation in Bengal and Kerala is known to all. The state governments and their systematically politicized administrative systems are not only apathetic to this serious national crisis but are also lending a helping hand to the anti-national forces for petty political interests. Information pertaining to all these anti-national activities reaches the union government and administration and they must be taking necessary steps to foil these nefarious designs…,” he said during his speech in Nagpur recently.