Religion, Politics & A Saint!
A section of the Indian Politicians have vociferated allegiance to Swami Vivekananda (January 12, 1863 – July 4, 1902), an Indian Hindu monk and the chief disciple of the 19th Century Indian Mystic, Saint and Religious Leader Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, in order to revive the Nationalist sentiment among the people, in recent times! Perhaps, they have chosen Swami-ji to motivate people, as a large number of Indians, especially the younger generation, do not evince interests in the works and writings by Vivekananda. They, seemingly, are also not interested in learning his way of life, philosophy, achievements and even his thought process! Those, who highlight Swami-ji’s contributions to the Nation, often tend to ignore the essence of his teaching. It seems that they are using Swami Vivekananda’s name only to gain political mileage. As vested interests are heavily influencing the Indian Political Leaders, they are trying to mix Religion with Politics, thus, laying aside the teachings of Swami-ji and other Saints…
Swami Vivekananda, who left this world at the age of 39, did not acknowledge the narrow-minded customs, cultural taboos, and crippling examples of superstition, severely deterring progress, which was being practiced by the people who themselves were or had claimed to be at the helm of Hinduism. He also specified the duties and responsibilities of his followers. Swami-ji had instructed other saints to serve the common people during famines and epidemics, apart from educating the poor, et al. Unfortunately, a majority of the Indians have failed to understand such a modern person.
Had Swami-ji lived long, he might have emerged not as a Reformer of Hinduism, but as a hater of Hinduism as it gets practiced these days! A longer life might have allowed Swami Vivekananda in having more time to experience the steady deterioration or degradation of the State, Society and chiefly Religious practices. It could even have helped change his mind… Swami-ji was well aware of the dark sides of every religion, especially Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Once, he admitted that each and every religious practice was communal, in a way! In modern India, Politics and Religion have become synonymous. However, there lies a difference between a spiritual person and a trader of religion. A person, who fearlessly criticised all these forms of religion while speaking at an event on the foreign soil, came to this world to show people what a true path might be. However, his countrymen have utterly failed to realise his philosophy 118 years after his death!
Leaders of some Indian Political Parties claim that their concept of Hindutva is based on the Ideology and Philosophy of Swami Vivekananda! To make such a claim is not only unjust, but also an unforgivable offence. Since the birth of the idea of Nationalism in India, Swami Vivekananda’s Thoughts and Philosophy had influenced the society. The Indians had learnt the true essence of Humanity, Liberalism and Internationalism from Swami-ji. According to the Saint, these concepts know no boundaries of Race, Caste and Religion. Once, he proudly proclaimed (and urged others to do so as well): “I am an Indian, every Indian is my brother… The ignorant Indian, the poor and destitute Indian, the Brahmin Indian, the Pariah Indian, all are my brothers.” Such a person cannot be confined to any particular Religion or Community. However, some people, including politicians with vested interests, are trying to do so in an attempt to enjoy the Power!
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