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Vision >> Freedom >> Introduction
TRANSITION TO FREEDOM

Introduction (Excerpts)

When India seeks to chose its direction it must take what the modern scientific civilization has to give alright, but it must not ignore what is indigenous to it.

Human Rights is a typical example: we know that the global Human Rights initiative has indeed brought relief to people across the world; but then it is also used by ‘developed’ societies and ‘educated’ persons to speak down to ‘indigenous’ groups by decrying indigenous methods and beliefs. Now, does this not contain an element of cultural hegemony? The Human Rights initiative works on the principle that all individuals have rights and that they need to ‘struggle’ for them. It does sound good except for the part that the Indian culture, for example, teaches its people to do their ‘duty’—struggle for others’ rights—and refuse credit for the results!

Clearly, the Indigenous-Indian and the modern-global approaches are different. In a similar manner each civilization or group has its own idea of what prosperity means, what wealth is all about, what the true meaning of education is and so on… The question arises as to whether it makes sense to completely ignore what your own civilization says and inculcate a global standard just because it is a global standard… In India we do pay courtesies to our ancient civilization… but courtesies are not enough, they are miles away from using ancient principles as ‘foundations’.

The three books that precede this one deal extensively with this contrasting thought process. They call to doubt the rationale in accepting contemporary notions without pausing to evaluate indigenous ones.  

The first book takes on various debates in which the traditional Indian and the average educated Indian land up on opposite sides. The book, while allowing each of us the freedom to choose sides in the debate, seeks to show that contrasting value systems do exist and in turn they lead to contrasting consequences. More importantly these consequences can dictate the degree of success of the nation. Compare a nation of self-seekers and another of duty-doers; which do you think will shine?

The next book builds on the fact that the ancient Indian thinkers thought differently. It explores the reason why the indigenous thought process might have been slighted and ignored when the transition to modern statehood happened in India. There from, tracing backwards, the book takes the reader on an exploratory journey into what Hinduism essentially means and how it has an inspirational core that is spiritual and yet secular. Looking from that angle, the issues of communalism and casteism that dominate the current political landscape turn out to be red-herrings. And it becomes evident that the choice of either taking the good from the intellectual past or (mis) using it to exploit fellowmen is a choice made by each generation. Therefore, if this generation chooses wisely, Hinduism can serve as the glue to pull all religions of the world together in peace.

 Analyzing and understanding this aspect of being Indian is important because otherwise the belittling of the rich heritage, in the name of superstition or on account of its human flaws, results in a lowered sense of self prestige and therefore reluctance to use the wisdom of the sages in our public debates.

Then finally in the third book, in order to address the practical requirements of today’s polity, a core solution has been dug out from certain glorious phases of the history of India and re-interpreted for use in today’s world. The book looks into a paradigm shift in respect of the administration of villages; in the past the villages were doers and the King was the auditor, in contrast today the King (state) himself is the doer and the villages are observers or receivers. This is a Human Resources disaster since it puts a small fraction of Indians to work on village development while most others are expected to sit and watch. Further it sets the benchmark pretty low for the villagers and therefore they do not rise in stature—that they may be considered men of letters or men of wisdom, seen on par with the educated elite of the cities. The comparison is distasteful but it is meant to show that the potential exists and it is not realized; all because the aims are not set high enough for the villagers. With this motivation at the core the third book indicates how the approach to village administration must shift from ‘Panchayati Raj’ to ‘Panchayati Swaraj’.  

Having therefore dealt with the practical approach that is needed in respect of villages of India, the fourth book explores how the other institutions of the nation must work towards completing the arrangements.   

Please do note that it is an elaboration of the idea of inspired living the way our ancients would have wanted us to live. This book therefore is not yet a do-it-yourself book—it isn’t quite at the nuts and bolts as yet. All the same, it is one step closer to what must be achieved in the practical world…

Mind science has shown, and many of the wise from this generation and earlier have pointed out that ‘any new creation is created twice; first it is created in the mind and then it is created in the life around us… "Dare to dream" they say… Indeed if we do not dare to dream of a great nation how are we ever going to realize it…?!

This across-the-board conceptualization of a free nation that follows is not exhaustive but indicative enough. And it needs to be fine-tuned by specialists; hopefully bringing us yet another step closer to realizing a better nation—a better world—for all of us…

 
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Index (Excerpt)

   
       
Introduction (Excerpts)