“SELF ENQUIRY IS THE BEST METHOD TO DESTROY THE EGO, WHICH COVERS THE LUMINOUS SELF LIKE THE DARK CLOUDS COVERING THE SUN.”
-Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi
Nandini Voice for The Deprived organized an All India Essay Competition for the citizens in the month of January 2015 on “Strategies to make clean India campaign successful”. There was a good response from the citizens all over India. The entries submitted by the following five persons have been selected for award of the prize.
* Mr.Prakash Gupta, New Delhi * Mr.G.Kantharajan, Mumbai
* Mr.Deepak Kumar, Lucknow * Mr.Santosh Kumar Patel, Madhya Pradesh
* Ms.Mathangi Chandrasekaran, Chennai
Highlights of the views and suggestions made by the participants in the essay competition are provided in this article. The views have been submitted to the Prime Minister for his consideration.
Need for campaign at school level
Mindset towards the need for cleanliness can be developed in a sustained and long-lasting manner by initiating the campaign at the school level.
Importance of dustbins in public places
Dustbins should be installed inadequate number in all public places. The very sight of the dustbin would remind the people about the need for using it and give up the habit of throwing away the waste anywhere.
Need for segregation of waste
Each household should be asked to have two dustbins; one for biodegradable and one for non-biodegradable waste.
In the case of the biodegradable waste, the household should themselves be persuaded to put them in a composting pit and convert it into manure for use in gardens. In the case of households who do not have land space, community composting pits should be organized in local areas to generate manure locally for use or for sale.
Need for toilets in all households
NGOs must be asked to identify the households that do not have toilets and submit the details to the local civic authorities.
It should then be the responsibility of the civic authorities to take steps to construct toilets in each household wherever possible or community toilets. A dynamic and imaginative civic body should also be able to organize private-public partnership for construction of such toilets.
Respect the dignity of Karam Charis and rag pickers
It is necessary that the government and the society should recognize the contribution of the Karam Charis and rag pickers as professionals, involved in cleanliness campaign and treat them with the dignity that they deserve. Periodically, they should be honored.
The public-private partnership can be launched to provide safety equipment for their use, support the education of their children and organize separate clinics to provide medical treatment to them, if and when necessary.
Use technology in a big way:
Waste has to be recognized as a source of wealth and the ways and means of converting the waste into useful end products must be identified, appropriate to the local areas. Several technologies such as biotechnology already developed in India and abroad should be put to good use.
The government must give active support and incentives for industrial units that are set up to convert such wastes into utility products.
When waste are used as feedstock for the production of the value-added product, there would be an additional incentive for people to collect waste, that may even fetch them some income by sale of the collected waste to the industrial units.
Uses of biodegradable products
In traditional India, paper and cloth bags, dustbins made of bamboo, mud pots, cotton textiles were largely used.
Use of such products should be encouraged and must be given priority for use. This will go a long way in reducing the use of non-biodegradable products.
Use of electronic waste
Thousands of ton of electronic wastes are now being generated in the country. Many value added products can be recovered from such electronic waste. The government must encourage small scale units all over India with facilities for profitable recovering valuable material from electronic waste such as lead, copper etc. which can be reused.
Use for sewage water
It is reported that several important chemicals like ammonia, methanol etc. are now being produced from sewage water abroad. Algae can be cultivated using waste water.
A task force must be created by the government to identify such technology possibilities and implement the appropriate schemes.
Prevent clean India campaign from becoming a farce.
Several so called celebrities like cinema stars and sportspersons hold a broom in front of cameras and then are not seen anywhere with the broom in public places later on. The politicians also resort to such gimmick. This amounts to ridiculing the campaign itself.
Campaign should not lose momentum
While there has been an initial spurt of activities, the campaign should not be allowed to weaken in course of time. Continued debates, discussions and interactive efforts are necessary.
Perhaps, Mr.Narendra Modi can help the campaign further and set an example to others by sweeping at least for a few minutes every day, as he is reported to spend several minutes every day doing yoga exercise in the morning.
Such examples have been set up in the past by great Indian leaders. Rajaji used to wash his own clothes and Mahatma Gandhi cleaned his toilet himself. Mr.Modi has great stalwarts before him to emulate.
WHAT PEOPLE THINK ON DECLARING BHAGAVAD-GITA AS NATIONAL SCRIPTURE?
Nandini Voice For The Deprived organized All India essay competition on “My views on declaring Bhagawad Gita as national scripture” in the month of November 2014
There was a good response for the essay competition from all over India.
While many participants approve the suggestions to declare Bhagawad Gita as national scripture since it is of Indian origin, there is also dissenting voice.
The entries submitted by the following six persons have been selected for award of the prize.
* Mr.Aditee Mitra, Guwahati, Assam.
*. Mr.Vivekanand, Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand
* Dr. Satish Chandra Bhattacharyya, Guwahati, Assam
*Mr.K.Ramachandran, Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu
* Mr.Aashna Jain, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
* Mr.Prabir Kumar Seal, Assam
Highlights of the views expressed by the participants are given below for study. Kindly acknowledge the receipt.
VIEWS NOT IN FAVOUR
The essence of Bhagavad Gita lies in its substance and not in its symbolism.
The question arises whether the stature of Bhagavad Gita should be restricted within the geographical boundary of India, that would prevent it from being viewed as global scripture.
By declaring Bhagawad Gita as the national scripture, the question may also arise as to why Guru Granth Sahib or other philosophical books such as Rig Veda or Arthashastra not be declared as national scripture or for that matter why not any other religious book which is also of Indian origin.
Gita may have secular appeal, But it is always associated with Lord Krishna and hence is primarily a Hindu scripture.
Minister Sushma Swaraj says that Gita gave her the strength in difficult times.So, for the same reason, a Sikh may find peace and solace in the Guru Granth Sahib
VIEWS IN FAVOUR
Sacred scripture and eternal truth
Bhagavad Gita is a sacred scripture of eternal truth and philosophy, which guides us in every aspect of life. Bhagawad Gita is beyond any religion. If we humans understand the quintessence of Bhagavad Gita as it is, there would be an ultimate universal religion. Swami Vivekananda, once explained in Chicago, that Gita is the base of all religious scripture.
Bhagavad Gita is not just an “old scripture” nor is it just a book of “religious teachings”.
It transcends the bounds of any particular religion or race and is divine wisdom addressed to mankind for all times.
Experience of everyone
Many who are not Indians have studied the Bhagavad Gita and are benefited and they have said so.
Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who had to suffer the atrocities of his son Aurangzeb, was the one who got it translated into Persian. It was during the British rule in India that Gita first achieved.
Warren Hastings, the first Viceroy of India ordered Gita to be translated into English. Charles Wilkins ( a merchant with the East India Company) translated Gita into English in 1785. Gita has been translated into a large number of languages in Europe and Asian countries. The move to proscribe Gita in Russia was dismissed by the Tomsk District Court on 21st March 2012.
Great people do not undermine other religious scriptures. Kanchi Paramacharya studied Holy Koran and Bible and has used many quotations in his speech and writings. He never underestimated any religious book.
What Gita says:
In whatever way we worship, it will reach Him, Gita says "Gita never insisted that only the particular way of worship will lead us to realize God".
Just like declaring hockey as national game do not change the popularity of cricket in India, declaring Gita as national scripture will not convert a Muslim or a Christian or a Sikh into Hindu.
Originated in India
The recent decision by United Nations to declare June 21 as “International Yoga day” provides strength to the fact that the whole world is acknowledging India as the “Spiritual Capital” of the world.
Yes. Srimad Bhagavad Gita is a scripture that originated in India. All things and events referred to in the Bhagavad Gita occurred on the soil of India.
So, why should Indians hesitate in acknowledging own ancient scripture that are full of wisdom and knowledge?
HAS GANDHIJI’S AHIMSA PHILOSOPHY STOOD THE TEST OF TIME WHAT THE STUDENTS THINK?
On the eve of Gandhi Jayanthi on 2nd October 2014, Nandini Voice For The Deprived, organized an All India essay competition for college students on “Has Gandhiji’s Ahimsa Philosophy Stood The Test of Time?” There was a good response for the competition from students all over India.
The essays submitted by the following six students have been selected for the award of prize
Ms. Karthika .V - PSGR Krishnammal College for Women, Coimbatore
Mr. Piyush Goyal, Chanakya National University, Patna
Mr. Santosh Kumar Patel, Shri Govindram Seksaria Institute of Technology, Indore
Mr. Subham Ghosh, Hoogly Mohsin College, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal
Mr. Surya Sidhant Rath, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Bhubaneshwar
Mr. Vishal Onkar, S S N Engineering College, Chennai
Highlights of the views of students are given below for your study. We will be grateful if you kindly send your considered thoughts on the views of the young students.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE VIEWS OF THE STUDENTS
While several students have argued that ahimsa philosophy has stood the test of time, there have also been other students who are of the view that the practice of ahimsa philosophy in its truest sense is not possible in the present time. Highlights of both the viewpoints are presented below.
Ahimsa philosophy cannot be practiced in the absolute form:
After Mahatma Gandhi’s time, the limitations of ahimsa philosophy has been repeatedly exposed. It now appears that ahimsa philosophy can only be practiced in a limited way.
Gandhiji employed ahimsa methods effectively under conducive circumstances w hen Britishers were ruling India and British rulers had, by and large, faith in fair play. Several British intellectuals at that time even looked at India’s demand for independence approvingly. It is extremely doubtful whether Gandhiji could have employed his ahimsa methods successfully against someone like Hitler.
Contrary to popular opinion, nonviolence has never been an accepted norm in Indian history. Chanakya was said to have advocated the use of violence when dealing with those who are recalcitrant. In fact, Gandhiji himself was known to have said: “I do believe that when there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence”.
Recent historical events in India shows that ahimsa could not have been employed in certain cases like Khalistan movement launched by Sikh extremists. India did not hesitate to use its armed mite to liberate Bangladesh and the entire country viewed Indira Gandhi’s decision to use force approvingly when Pakistani forces in erstwhile Bangladesh suppressed the freedom movement.
In conclusion , it can be said that while ahimsa is an idealized course of action practiced by some exceptional individuals like Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, the hard fact is that one cannot live in the Utopian world based on high ideals and values that are fine in theory but impracticable considering the ground realities.
While ahimsa may not be the best solution to the present day’s world problems, neither is unrestricted violence. Violence can be justified only in specific circumstances and should not be resorted to as an act of pure vendetta.The world conscience and opinion should ensure this.
Ahimsa has stood the test of time:
It appears that the legacy left by Mahatma Gandhi was not well guarded by those who ruled India in the post-Gandhian period, who have never completely understood what ahimsa is all about.
Several persons are not willing to practice ahimsa today, as it requires a person to have the high level of courage and conviction to stand against the wrong and do personal sacrifice in the process. Perseverance and character are extremely important for the practitioners of ahimsa principle.
There are immediate examples before us of Aung Sang Suu Kyi, the founder of National League for Democracy in Myanmar and she stood against the military junta with passive and nonviolent resistance as a matter of principle. She has succeeded already to a considerable extent. Anna Hazare has proved the power of nonviolent protest and facts very recently when the government was forced to listen to him. Sharmila Chanu of Manipur is another role model and she has taken the path of Gandhiji’s non-violence to strongly protest with regard to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in northeastern India. She has already shaken the conscience of the nation.
The world is now gradually realizing that ahimsa is the best antidote to mitigate the march of violence and promote the social consciousness of understanding, cooperation, coordination and reconciliation which are of paramount importance to ensure peace and harmony.
Gandhiji proved the strength of ahimsa philosophy in his lifetime. Let us not question the practicability of ahimsa philosophy, when the fact and truth are that most of us today while respecting Mahatma Gandhi as Father of Nation, has failed to live up to the standards set up by him.