By Rashmie Pathak
It is mentioned in Bhagwat Geeta 2.33, “अथ चैत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि। ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि”
“that if you don’t perform in this DhArmik (righteous, here) war, then by disregarding Swa-Dharma (own nature/duty, here) and fame, you will incur sin.”
Or take the famous lines of रामधारी सिंह दिनकर for people who chose to be neutral,
समर शेष है, नहीं पाप का भागी केवल व्याघ्र, जो तटस्थ हैं, समय लिखेगा उनका भी अपराध।
We will never be absolved of our Dharmic duties. Dharma Yudh is not modern construct of Religion. War is not always meant to be between few races, sects or countries. This war is fought within oneself also. We are fighting on a daily basis, with our subconscious urge to choose what is right over wrong, what is positive over endless negativity, and ultimately what is good over bad.
But, in the recently held state elections of India, we saw how few promises of freebies, few lies and whisper campaign to and with electorate and how it almost eclipsed the commendable and pragmatic actions by erstwhile ruling party. The idea of short term self-interest won over the idea of long term betterment for all. Loan waivers won over the idea of self-sustenance and a system for assured income.
We all witnessed this on 11th December. The morning of the results day started with anxiety and hope and slowly ended with a sunken feeling of All-is-lost.
I felt bad, I felt bad because of this crushing feeling of All-is-lost. In those moments I was compelled to feel that for the electorate, Dharma came last. Country and its long term interest didn’t even figure when one party’s election defeat is celebrated by neighbouring enemy countries as well.
It got me thinking. Where we went wrong? After all, bunch of us made our efforts. Things were stacked up well, as every single governance parameter was speaking for itself, but we still didn’t take any chance. I did my little, by convincing the house helps, Ola drivers, society Guards to vote for development and so did many of my friends. People look convinced, especially the lower income groups. They talked about gas, electricity, DBT, improved PDS, roads, cleanliness, toilets and what not.
But what went wrong then?
Maybe few conversations I recall at this moment, have the answers:
Person 1 – We can’t make money with paying taxes, if these people stay in power.
Person 2 – Bhai Demonetisation me paisa gaya, aur agar ab firse inko vote diya to property aur gold bhi jayega.
Person 3 – Agar sab kuch online ho jayega to upar ki kamaai kaha se hogi
Person 4 – cleaniness aur digitalisation, saaf country, inka achaar dalunga kya jab baccho ke liye khoob kamaunga nahin to, main to NOTA karunga iss baar
Person 5 – GST ka kya faayda hai? batao? har transaction kyun batana hai govt ko?
I looked around and unfortunately, these people are one among us. We the middle class, upper and higher income groups, many of our family members & relatives, our neighbours & colleagues, some even our friends & mentors.
While I was looking elsewhere, the problem lied in my own backyard. We, the opinion makers, we the upholders of moral values in any thriving society, we the change makers, WE dislike and despise change. Yes! To whatever we think or we may say, we have this deep seated resistance to change. I used to think that 2014 changed this for us but somewhere it’s indeed a flash in the pan. Our default mode is a centuries old power structure, which due to circumstances or by design, deny change. Sometimes we do aspire to become a developed country and experiment with a new social and power equations but then our fears take over. We have indeed lost the sense of Dharma. Our short term self-interests are holding us back, even if that mean losing everything in long term.
And we are showing this resentment to everyone around us. The impressionable people, the youngsters, colleagues & subordinates. Mahaul is ruffing facts.
Given this situation, I feel we have to play a pivotal role in educating people around us. We need to engage people around us, like us. We have to instil/reignite sense of Dharma and everything which brings this opinion maker class back to its senses.
We have only some 70 days left to crucial 2019 elections. It’s a make and break election to not only our country but civilization as a whole. Let this not be a 2004 redux…Better Fight than cry in future.
We have to take time out. We may have to look beyond our daily routines, regular jobs, and personal lives for the time being.
This Nation needs NAMO, We need him for the future of our coming generations.
Let’s start. LET’S START TODAY!!
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