On Narendra Modi & India’s Renaissance – What It Has to Offer the World
Ham us desh ke vasi hai
Ham us desh ke vasi hai
Jis desh me Ganga behti hai
We are those who live in that place
We are those who live in that place
That place in which the River Ganga flows
Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960)
These are the lines of the refrain in Hindi from a famous movie hit of 1960 starring Raj Kapoor and Padmini. Today, it is Hindi imperceptibly through the entertainment media which is the national language and binding force for the masses. English is the binding force for the intellectuals. 50+ years ago in my youth the song was on everyone’s lips. It is evergreen and even today many of the young still remember and sing it with pride. The land in which the River Ganga flows evokes a deep and highly emotional cultural response from the denizens of Hindustan, the land of the Hindus. This is irrespective of their religious faith and spiritual aspirations.
In fact, much earlier in 1904, Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal immortalized the same gestalt when he sang in Urdu:
Maẕhab nahīṉ sikhātā āpas meṉ bair rakhnā
Hindī haiṉ ham, wat̤an hai Hindūstāṉ hamārā
Religion does not teach us to bear ill-will among ourselves
We are of Hind, our homeland is Hindoostan.
“Sare jahan se accha, Hindosatan Hamara” 1904.
Sri Narendra Modi, hearkens the denizens of today’s Bharatmata or Mother India to this ethos. It is because of this that a confident and resurgent India elected him Prime Minister of India in 2014 with the largest majority in 30+ years. India today is ‘the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world’. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, Zoroastrians / Parsis, Jewish, Baha’is and people of every other religious aspiration who comprise the civilization that is the India of today all joined together in the largest peaceful and open election on earth. They democratically elected Modi as the leader who best represents the hopes and prayers of 1.2 billion people, roughly 1/6 of the human civilization.
This is unprecedented in the history of the earth to date. Every other nation-state and civilization on Mother Earth has taken serious note. They are pondering over what this development in India and South Asia represents for the world at large.
What does India under Modi represent for the world at large??? The first and most ancient religion of the world and of India nee Hindustan nee Bharatavarsha is Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Faith, aka Hinduism today. Divisive, small-minded scholastic quibbles are eternal and I have neither the time nor patience for it. Neither does Sri Narendra Modi as he sets about nation building in India while disseminating a unitive global civilizational ethos. Sanatana Dharma is certainly at least 7,500 old if not older. This is determined by hard mathematics and astronomical references from ancient Sanskrit texts, the Vedas.
Religious Hinduism nee Sanatana Dharma, the largest faith of India with 1 billion+ adherents accepts the Vedas as revelation even as the Jews (the second most ancient faith on earth) the Torah, and the Muslims the second largest faith of India, al Quran. The ethos of Sanatana Dharma, ‘the eternal faith’ is immortalized in its ancient revealed texts the Vedas. In popular language accepted by all it is ‘vasudaiva kutumbakam’. ‘This is originally cited in Mahopanishad VI.71-73:
”अयं बन्धुरयं नेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् | उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् || ”
ayaṁ bandhurayaṁ nēti gaṇanā laghucētasām | udāracaritānām tu vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam ||
Discrimination saying "this one is a relative; this other one is a stranger" is for the (small) narrow-minded. For those who're known as magnanimous, the entire world constitutes but a family’.
This is the heart and soul of what is Sri Narendra Modi. The denizens of the current geographical space on this earth, India nee Bharatavarsha, totally subscribe to this ethos. Indians overwhelmingly consider Modi represents their worldview and their hopes for India and the earth. ‘Tis why he has been elected Prime Minister of India with such an overwhelming majority. Every country on earth has hailed or at least noted his rise. Global powers c.f. the United States wrongly ostracized Modi in the past as guilty of mass genocide. It is now falling over itself to build bridges, though late in the day. A democratically elected leader with overwhelming mandate of 1.2 billion people holds no ill feeling and wishes it well. In fairness, it was the political machinations of a small group rather than the general populace of the US that felt this way. Modi a studious and learned observer of global politics knows this well.
Prime Minister Modi’s government has been functioning for barely a 100 days. In that short time he has already gently but firmly shown on the world stage how he intends to represents the aspirations of 1.2 billion people sentient souls of India, inclusively and not divisively, amongst some 7 billion sentient denizens of Jaga / Spaceship Earth. A fine example is his stand at the recent BRICS conference in Brazil.
Coming to brass-tacks, alas, the hard give and take of global geo-politics is inevitable. Sadly, these are often a far cry from pious, inclusive general principles and flowery orations. ‘Tis what characterizes all sentient life in the universe, nay the multiverse according to the latest theories of cosmology. So say the ancient scriptures of India – the revelatory Vedas and the dharma sastras. The dharma sastras, codified by the wise and based on the revelatory Vedas are the codes of personal and group conduct of sentient beings.
Prime Minister Modi is open about his being a pious professing Hindu. He is an exceptionally powerful extemporaneous orator in multiple languages. On numerous occasions, he has reiterated his commitment to using the inclusive principles of Hinduism articulated above for the development of India. He is equally committed to using the same principles for the harmonious evolution of the world at large in the 21st century. Modi is a forceful and very principled administrator with an admirable track record. He has firmly stated his commitment to spending his time in politics now, and his days beyond, to ensure an enlightened Hindu approach to inclusive progress of India and of the world.
I humbly request all to extend him support and our best wishes for the good of India and the conjoint welfare of the world at large.