Category: Curated

Sanjay Dixit

Sanjay Dixit

About the Author

Sanjay Dixit, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Rajasthan, has many feathers in his cap. He graduated as a marine engineer, and sailed the high seas for a few years before changing course to civil services. He is also well-recognised as a cricket administrator who once defeated Lalit Modi in a famous election for the post of the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association. He considers Rajasthan's first Ranji Trophy title triumph as his crowning achievement. He is also credited with bringing a revolutionary new technology for production of date palms on a large scale in western Rajasthan, transforming livelihoods.

Dixit is a prolific columnist on contemporary topics. He has a deep interest in Indian languages, culture, economics, history, philosophy and spirituality. His six-part series - 'All Religions Are Not the Same' - has won critical acclaim. He also heads The Jaipur Dialogues as its Chairman, creating an India-centric think tank in the process, and hosts the YouTube series 'Weekly Dialogues'.

Francois Gautier

Francois Gautier

About the Author

François Gautier was born in Paris, France. He was South Asia correspondent for Le Figaro, one of France’s leading newspapers. He also wrote columns for Indian newspapers: the ‘Ferengi’s column’ in the Indian Express, then the “French Connection” column in the Pioneer, as well as regular contributions for Rediff., New Indian Express, Times of India blogs, etc.

François has written several books – amongst the latest : A New History of India (Har Anand, 2008), The Art of Healing (Harper Collins, 2011), Quand l’Inde s’éveille, la France est endormie (Editions du Rocher, 2013), « Apprendre à Souffler (Hachette Marabout, 2016) & « Nouvelle Histoire de l’Inde » (Editions de l’Archipel, 2017), « Les Mots du Dernier Dalaï-lama » (Flammarion, 2018), « In Defense of a Billion Hindus » (Har Anand, 2018) & « Hindu Power in the 21st Century » (Har Anand, 2019)

Francois, who is married for 30 years to Namrita, shuttles between Pune and Delhi. He is building a Museum of (real) Indian History in Pune (factmuseum.com).

Makarand Pranjape

Makarand Pranjape

About the Author

Author, poet, and humanities professor. He has been the Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla since August 2018. Prior to that he was a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India for 19 years.

Maria Wirth

Maria Wirth

About the Author

Maria Wirth, a German, came to India on a stopover on her way to Australia after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University and an internship with Lufthansa. By chance she landed up in spiritual India, realised the great value of Vedic wisdom, and never went to Australia.

She shared her insights with German readers through numerous articles and two books, as she felt this wisdom is lacking in the West. Only some 15 years ago, she became aware that even many Indians don’t know about their amazing heritage and worse, they look down on it and often consider Christianity and Islam as preferable. This shocked her and she started to compare on her blog the three main religions and also wrote her first book in English, titled “Thank you India”. For her it is clear that Hindu Dharma is the best option for humanity and she keeps explaining why.

Dr. Omendra Ratnu

Dr. Omendra Ratnu

About the Author

Dr Omendra Ratnu from Jaipur is an ENT surgeon who runs a hospital.

He runs an NGO, Nimittekam, with the purpose of helping displaced Hindu refugees from Pakistan and integrating Dalit Sahodaras into Hindu mainstream.

Issues of Hindu survival and conflict with violent faiths are his core concerns for which he roams around the world to raise funds and awareness.

He is also a singer, composer, writer, Geeta communicator and a ground activist for Hindu causes.

He has released a bhajan Album and a Ghazal album composed and sung by him.

An Unreal Moment for Our Nation
Curated

An Unreal Moment for Our Nation

Posted on January 27, 2021 In every nation’s history a moment comes suddenly when its people experience a moment that seems totally unreal, a moment of deja vu that people thought would never happen yet it does and does so with such a ferocity that it wipes away our core beliefs. Some years ago, when the Jewish Prime Minister was assassinated, the people were shocked not so much by his assassination but more by the fact that the murderer was not an outsider but a Jew. After all the Jews have a shared history by having gone through the holocaust together and faced many atrocities. ‘That is what binds us and is our identity’ was the perception of the whole society. ‘The threat was always from an outsider but never from one of us.’ That perception lay shattered as they understood for the first time that the enemy was within and their society and its imagined relationship is not what they thought it would be. That was a moment that changed them forever. That is the moment, I believe, millions of us are going through right now seeing the image of a man climbing the mast at Red Fort and the place which is associated in every Indian’s mind with only our national flag, being desecrated by another flag. The symbolism in the minds of one doing so is very clear. It is to show to all Indians that the national flag is replaceable and to create a sense of humiliation in our minds. None of us thought it was possible. Hundreds of thousands of our forefathers have given their lives to see it unfurled, holding it in their hands, sometimes their blood spilled to see it not fall down on the ground. Hindus and Sikhs fought the war of independence together, facing atrocities during partition which they thought held them together in a bond that couldn’t be shaken. Who would ever be able to break that bond, we thought. Today, like an apocryphal image, that very notion that we share a common history and that it binds us together, lies broken. When the twin towers were attacked the Americans were shattered not so much by the destruction of the towers but baffled by two questions. Why would someone hate them so much so as to attack them and why would they attack the towers? The answer came from introspection and as we all know changed them forever. The man who climbed the mast to replace the flag was simply representing an ideology. He didn’t act alone and all the men gathered along with him on the ramparts of the Red Fort represent a part of India that has got alienated. They don’t believe in the ideology of an Indian nation or shared history. Like the people who gathered in Jawaharlal Nehru University and shouted that India as a nation will be destroyed, the men on the rampart too are giving us the same message. That they don’t like the idea of the India that is emerging and would rather see it destroyed. So, how do we face this moment of deja vu in our nation’s history that is staring us in the face. For seventy years no one had imagined doing so in our nation’s history. The trauma of the freedom movement, the partition held us together. Today, when a new ideology sweeps our nation, as one of self reliance and pride, there is a force rising that tells us we shouldn’t dream and aim to take our place in the world. India will not be the same again. Each time now when we see the national flag fluttering in the wind, a pain will accompany the joy that we felt. Yet that pain is an indispensable part of growing up as a nation to know that we can no longer take our most sacred symbols for granted, that there are others, both amongst us and outside who would like to see that symbol desecrated and destroyed. As a poet once famously said, “I have seen the other who tried to destroy me and I realised that it was coming from within me. It made me awaken from my dream.” Terrorists chose their target where it would hurt and create terror, knowing that their victims failed to protect their most precious symbols of existence. That is why the most vulnerable, the most visible symbols are chosen and destroyed, one that may become a lasting image that cripples. Did the men choose the flag at Red Fort for the same reason? Is it because that is where we as Indians are most vulnerable and thought ‘No Indian’ would ever do it to us. For generations, for millions like me who saw our flag fluttering in the wind and felt a sense of belonging, hope and pride, we never thought that a day would come when not a stranger but someone from within us would climb on it to change it. Now that the moment has come and gone, should we not understand that this moment is not the first time but has been part of our history, a legacy that we as a nation cannot disown and cannot shake away, that it is always one of us that has given us a lesson on betrayal. This lesson, perhaps the most important lesson of Indian history, is never taught to us in schools. I pray and hope that this incident teaches us now, sooner than later something we didn’t learn in our textbooks. Many a society has emerged stronger after seeing that their most valued symbols are under attack. That there are many, both within and outside whose sole aim is to see our symbols destroyed. The last thing we need to do today is to call it an act of vandalism by a few misguided lumpen elements who can be forgiven or won over. We have made that mistake many times in our history and paid for it. I hope this incident shakes that passivity forever and we learn to call a spade a spade. There is a resilience within us as a society that has not died but has lived each time to rise for another day. I ask that day be now rather than later.   Rajat Mitra, Psychologist, Speaker and Author of ‘The Infidel next Door” www.rajatmitra.co.in Curated by Satyameva EditorsOriginal Article
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