India will be a superpower
Mr.Basu is asking a very relevant question, Where are the substitutes coming from, where are they hiding, and in what context will they surface and make their presence felt on society?
My simple answer is, that they could be in our midst already, watching and waiting for the right occasion and opportunity to pounce on the scene and remedy the situation. They could be in Colleges, in Offices, in the Courts or Hospitals. It only takes a moment to ignite their imagination and inspire them. Read the Indian mythological lore, and you find a Rama or a Krishna waiting for years and decades before they strike. In the Hiranyakasipu-Vamana episode in Book Seven of the Srimad Bhagavatham, the Lord tells his devotees, the Devas, that Hiranyakasipu cannot be punished immediately though he deserved it, because he had enough merits earned and this had to be exhausted before he became vulnerable. The Lord also says that he will pardon all other sins of the Rakshasa but not when he chooses to destroy his Devotee, Prahlada. And, this occasion does arise, when the Demon attempts to kill his own son, a great devotee of the Lord. Similar is Ravana's case. A Rama had to be born, to grow, marry, go to the forest for 14 years, let his wife be kidnapped, and then wage a prolonged and terrible battle to destroy the Rakshasa. In Sisupala's case, the Lord Krishna waited for almost a hundred years.
So, the answer to Mr.Basu is that, when the appropriate moment comes, the Saviour will appear from nowhere and do the needed job, and so thoroughly! We should have faith and infinite patience.
It could be one of Anna Hazare's followers. One of them has already challenged the Parliament and is soon to be hauled up for its contempt. He has refused to change his perception of Parlimentarians, whom he publicly chose to call "Robbers, Looters, Rapists and Criminals". Suppose thousands of young people decided to gather outside Parliament when the contempt proceedings are on, and carried placards with the names of the MPs who fill the bill, and shout abusive slogans, what would the Parliament do? Much like what has been happening, lately, in many Arab countries. So, do not discount the possibility of a peaceful revolution, properly led and conducted. It only needs a few moments. See what happened in West Bengal, in Goa etc.recently.
This is what is meant when one talks of the essential and eternal spiritual strength of India and Indians. This is not a religious concept but a purely emotive issue.
The Gita has two statements from the Lord Krishna:
YADHAA YADHAHI DHARMASYA
SAMBHAVAAMI YUGE YUGE
He vouches with so much determination that he will take care of hopeless and helpless situations.
I should not be misunderstood as sermonising but speaking as an old man, experienced in Indian affairs and understanding the psyche of the Indian community. They have infinite patience, but when they burst out they are unstoppable. This is what happened in France, in Russia and other countries in the past centuries.
Sent: Donnerstag, 5. April 2012 10:40
To: Mohan Murti
Subject: Re: India will be a superpower
Mohan, I am away from India since last 15 years and go back for a week or less every year. I do not know much but feel the pain from what I see and read. This is not the India of our dreams or that of our fathers. Outside politics and public life though, I see enormous talents and genius in most fields of human endeavor. I am proud of our scholars, artists, engineers, inventors and similar people including some business leaders who are among the very best in the world. But our politicians and leaders make me feel sad. They could be the cartoonist's delight but are not for a common man like me.
You should write about our artists and classical musicians who are our real ambassadors of culture and spiritual super power that is India. I feel very positive about them.
Sent: Donnerstag, 5. April 2012 09:56
To: Mohan Murti
Subject: RE: India will be a superpower
You have been very brave indeed. I commend you for that. Positive thoughts do bring about actions that change the world for the better. Positive thinking while being commendable, should not act as a veil that blinds us from seeing the reality.
Who are these new leaders in public life, educated, young and above all honest? We are yet to hear about them or their deeds. Why hasn’t the feisty fourth estate found them as yet? In Indian politics a 70 year old is still considered an infant who becomes adolescent between 75 to 80 and matures after 80 or 85 with one foot in the grave already. I read in an article in TIME that in Narendra Modi’s own party there are serious aspirants and contestants for the PM post who will prevent him from coming to the centre and these are mature people over the age of 85. Modi being in early 60s is a babe in arms yet to reach infancy. How can such newborns see the whole country as their constituency? Rahul is still licking his wounds for his impudence! Our choices are among Manmohan, Mayawati, Mamta, Modi and Mulayem and we deserve them and no better. Please name the new leaders that you are so confident about. Where are they hiding?
I agree that people are asking uncomfortable questions more than ever. Is the fourth estate beyond reproach and influence? Who are funding them and who are their masters? By 2020 nearly 600 million people in India would be living in slums around large cities without sanitation, safe drinking water and minimum healthcare. Let us first have enough electric power to light every home and cultivate the fields before we dream of being a super power as created and drummed up by foreign media. Let us get some honesty in the way we look at us.
In real India, Premjis, Murthys, Mittals, or Tatas do not participate in politics. In fact most of them keep as much distance from it as possible. Manmohan Singh did not arouse any economic potential by being a mere bureaucrat who neither decides nor acts on any change. Narasimha Rao did contribute more for what Manmohan got the credit from the fourth estate for reasons best known to them.
Spiritual super power India has always been in the past. India of today has turned away from that great heritage. Do you not see the globetrotting god men and dedicated TV channels peddling religions in all hues and colours. They are arguably helping to hold the society together and provide some relief from the miseries of daily lives like the soap operas and IPLs. Are they blocking a revolution from taking place or a civil war in the least?
What do you think?
India will be a superpower
India can be a superpower by virtue of its economic ability and its spiritual quotient.
India cannot be put down in the future merely because of the problems it faces today.
During an informal chat with leading minds from across the globe attending the annual “World Business Dialogue”, organised by Cologne University, more than a few references were made to the much-widely-touted London School of Economics (LSE) report, “India is not a superpower, and will not become one in the foreseeable future.”
To a great extent, the LSE study report is rational, therefore incontrovertible, especially when it comes from an academically and intellectually strong group of scholars. I would, therefore, agree with their findings generally, but with three serious caveats.
First, from my modest experience spanning some 30 years, I am in no doubt that almost any nation and its people can progress to great heights when they are led by example of a disciplined and goal-oriented leader, willing to see the whole country as their constituency.
On the other hand, almost any people, however competent, or well-meaning, can be a failure under a vague, distracted, corrupt and immoral, self-seeking leader.
It all boils down to quality of leadership, which gives the people hope, vision and consummate behaviour with which to sculpt themselves and their institutions after.
It is amply clear that we are already attracting a new crop of educated, young people into politics and public service. I am confident that these new leaders will hopefully change our governance culture for the better.
Secondly, it is my belief that people of our nation are gradually beginning to hold accountable those who cling to political offices and question — thankfully, within the bounds of law — on how they are governed.
The recent Economic Survey statistics show that the ratio of Public Expenditure to National Income in India is one of the highest among developing countries. But it is also a fact that a significant proportion of the population hardly derives any benefit from public expenditure.
It is not astounding therefore, that public officers — elected officials and civil servants who are taken up by the, “get rich quickly” syndrome, are some of the wealthiest people in the country. This is being watched with resentment and impatience by the people — thanks to the feisty Fourth Estate.
Just last week, it was reported that Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati's assets doubled during her chief ministership of Uttar Pradesh to Rs 111 crore. This cannot continue to happen.
Sooner than later, people will muster the courage to ask questions and demand answers.
THE REAL INDIA
Thirdly, the handicap that scholars abroad have — they may, themselves, be unaware of this — is the difficulty in understanding the “Real India”. This real India is what accounts for much of its failures in the past centuries and its success story in the recent decades.
I am convinced that there exists an unseen “spirituality” in the country and its people. It only needs to be charged and turned on for dramatic changes, in the political, economic and social fields. What is now going on in the country is peripheral and cannot be the basis for long-term conclusions, like the LSE scholars seem to be driving at.
True, it was a Manmohan Singh who aroused the potential of India in the economic field, but the international community is watching the readiness with which the people caught this on, and played their parts effectively and well.
The economic boom during the past few years is created by people who have realised their strength, their needs, and are ready to play their respective part to guarantee the results.
A Narayana Murthy, or a Premji, or an Ambani, or a Mittal are not rare avatars, but very commonplace. They are, therefore, neither unusual nor one-off. Most of the billion-plus Indians are made of similar stuff. The future of the country is, therefore, assured. The LSE scholars have done a linear projection of the present and assumed that the systemic weaknesses will be there to stay. This is where they have gone woefully wrong.
The report also misses the empowerment in Indian society, in matters of education, health and nourishment, living conditions, gender equality, inclusiveness, etc. The incorrigible fundamentalists and traditionalists will cease to exist, sooner than any one can imagine.
I am convinced that India won't be a “Super Power” in the sense the term is understood now. India will give a new definition to the term, and be a peaceful and progressive model for the rest of the countries.
As published in The Hindu Business Line of March 21, 2012