“Volunteer For A Better India” – a caption so aptly chosen by Gurudev, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar!
When we have such a clarion call that we want a better India, it implies that there is something lacking in the present state of India.
It is these factors that we need to identify and work on for a better India. While such factors could be many, some of them stare at us starkly, starting from
poverty on one side
unending scams on the other and
erosion of values in between.
Consequently, there is a great imbalance in society and not everyone has access to a quality life.
To better on these, cannot be a government driven act alone. It is the people’s voluntary efforts that will make the real change.
Eroded values can be restored only when people understand the culture of this land and the ethos that steered the civilization.
The culture of India is driven by Dharma, which is the innate characteristic of every being and its interaction with all others.
As an ethos, India as a land, has never been a centralized country. People have worked together collectively but in decentralized forms. Individuals have shone forth because of their individuality and they have been appreciated for it. At the same time each individual has also worked together cohesively as a samaj, for the collective good of the land.
Volunteering is all about coming together of individuals, working together in cohesion for the collective good of the samaj, society of the land.
On the economic front, why is India so poor?
If we look back at the magnificent temples that dot the landscape of India, at the palaces and grand Havelis in every Nagara of this land, they do not tell us the story of poverty, but on the contrary, they speak of a prosperous past. There is no dearth of records that speak of the wealth of India right through the millennia.
If this land was prosperous in the past, how has it become poor now?
Earlier, the invaders and colonial masters repeatedly plundered India off its wealth.
Since independence, this plunder has not stopped. The wave of plunder has continued. Only the people who plunder have changed. It has continued in the new garb of corruption where we ourselves plunder our brethren and thereby plunder Mother India.
For India to have been prosperous in the past and now to continue generating wealth, year on year, for the plunder to continue to the present day, there must be something in this land which keeps generating wealth in every nook and corner of this land, year after year.
What are these wealth generating factors?
Can we identify them and use them productively for creating prosperity for this land and to create a better India once again?
For one, the land itself is fertile, offering multiple harvests of varied produce throughout the year.
The climate is warm and salubrious for comfortable living and for productivity.
The land is rich in minerals and mines.
The land has copious rain and fresh water.
The people are intelligent and industrious by nature.
Effective water harnessing techniques have multiplied the prosperity of the land many fold.
People through the ages have given importance to education.
These factors were harnessed by our ancestors through sustainable practices and sustained values for sustained prosperity. We too have to understand these components and work towards sustaining them. Only then will our volunteering for a better India be purposeful and effective.
Besides fighting against corruption to better values and better India there are various issues needing attention today, such as infrastructure, education, power, water, health, sanitation, defence etc. What can then be a focus area when we start volunteering?
In the effort of volunteering, if there is one thing that we can do such that it will have a positive, cascading effect on all other sectors of development, then it would be well worth the effort to focus on that “one thing”.
That one thing turns out to be something as elementary as “WATER”.
We see right through history that cities and civilizations developed due to access to abundance of water. India has been a prosperous land through the ages, primarily because the people of this land could harness their waters well.
It is harnessing of waters by the people again, in a decentralized manner, in every locality of the cities, in every town and village, that will make India rich in water again and a sustainable, all round prosperous civilization once again. It is such a sustainable harnessing of water which will add momentum to all other spheres where development needs to happen.
The people of this land had understood the workings of man and Nature and the relationship between them.
All these facets have been discussed in our book “You Turn India” from the Bharath Gyan Series.
Let each one of us understand our strengths and volunteer our might for a better India.