Tuesday, August 13, 2013

‘Cultural nationalism- The Indian perspective’: Excerpts from speech by Datta Hosabale at Bangalore

Bangalore August 08: A 2 day National Seminar organised byIndia Foundation and Center for Study of Religion and Society (CSRS), New Delhi along with The Mythic Society, Bangalore on Cultural Nationalism : The Indian Perspective  was held on   7th  and  8thAugust, 2013 at The Daly Memorial Hall, The Mythic Society Bangalore.
Cultural nationalism : the Indian perspective: Valedictory event

The seminar was inaugurated by Prf MGS Narayanan, Former Chairman ICHR, New Delhi on Wednesday morning.
At the Valedectory on Thursday evening, Dr. S.P.Singh of Delhi University updated the audience about the 2 day seminar. He highlighted the salient points of the papers presented during the two day seminar. Dr. M.K.L.N Sastry presided on the occasion. Shri. Nagaraj of Mythic society introduced Shri. Dattareya Hosabale to the audience. Ram Madhav, Director of India Foundation New Delhi was also present for the 2-day seminar.

Shri. Dattareya Hosabale of India Policy Foundation, New Delhi delivered the valedictory address at the event. Following is the excerpts from his speech:
“I am grateful to the organizers to have invited me to the event. I had the opportunity to have sat  through the various sessions in the seminar over the past two days and each of them were brilliant. I thank the organizers to have organized a seminar on the subject of cultural nationalism,  which is usually dubbed as obsolete in this era of globalization. But due to the turn of events all over the world nationalism is gaining ground again. I like to congratulate the organizers to have given an opportunity to the young scholars to present their views.

The Indian diaspora has retained their cultural identity. Including them in this endeavor is important for cultural nationalism. In the time of today’s identity politics, cultural nationalism should answer the questions of the people and should lead to inclusive nationalism. If those in the remote places, downtrodden and neglected people don’t feel the same about nationalism like you and me, then it will be rendered useless.

It is false to say that the concept of nationalism is a new. Saying so would be contradictory to the idea of India. The concept of nation state has been discussed in this seminar. In Europe, people speaking same language have fought each other. Each tribe had grown into it’s own country. They may be one nation but different states as in case of USSR. Hence understanding of nationalism in Europe is different from our experience. Roman’s ruled beyond their nation. They had their state beyond their nation. A nation is made by people, their culture and feeling of oneness. Emergence of nation in our experience is not the same as European experience. Nation is not same as ‘Rashtra’. When we say nation, tree when concept of nation come to mind.

The ‘Vedic Rashtra’ was not born out of wars and clashes but was born out of similar cultures. In European concept of nation, language plays a major role. In India, the Vedas, our rishis and people came together to form a nation. This is also corroborated in many Sanskrit slokas. Rashtra may have a geographical boundary but it also has a spiritual and ethical connotation to it. The meaning of Rashtra may encompass the whole world. Our idea of a Rashtra is for spiritual emancipation whereas nation is for a political purposT

India was one before 1947 but now it has been divided into three states. USSR was one earlier now it’s divided into many states. I had once met a Bangladeshi citizen who when born was an Indian. He belonged to the Indian nation. After 1947, East Pakistan was formed and he became a citizen of Pakistan. Again in 1971 Bangladesh was formed and he became a Bangladeshi Citizen. What we may observe here is that his state had changed but not his nationality. Nation is a Socio-Political concept whereas ‘Rashtra’  is a Socio-Cultural concept. As an example let us see as to who are the American nationals. As Samuel Huntington in his work titled ‘Who Are We’ categorically says that the Anglo-Saxon Christians are American nationals. I had once asked a Jewish diplomat that since the Jews were spread all over the world for about 2000 years and in the meanwhile they would have intermingled and married across other cultures and religions and yet how could they claim that they are one nation still and what formed the basis of their nationalism even after these 2000 years. He said two things formed the basis of their nation even after these 2000 years of disparate existence. They are culture and religion. He said wherever we Jews lived, we followed our Culture and religion. At a conscious level we always felt as one nation. Common history, common traditions, common feelings form a nation.  As one writer said, nation is a soul. IN our nation, the national consciousnesses has been carried over various generations. Once Annadurai, former CM of Tamilnadu, in the Lok Sabha spoke of protecting our Himalayas during China war. Later many asked him as to why was he concerned about protecting the Himalayas which had no border with his state and was separated by thousands on kilometers. Annadurai answered that they belonged to one culture and shared the same history. This is cultural consciousness. Achyut Menon though he belonged to the CPI, had written about how Adi Shankaracharya toured the entire country and thus united this nation. Even Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, a staunch socialist used to organize Ram Leelas every year. He wrote about things that makes us a nation and unites us as a nation.
We also need to look into the role of proverbs in our nation. Where ever we go to any part of our nation, we get to hear the same proverb albeit in different languages. For e.g when a person whom we were talking about arrives, we wish him a hundred years. Even while I was at a remotest place like Demchuk, a local man quoted the same proverb when met with similar situation. Even today every Chief Minister of Karnataka presents offerings to river Kaveri every year when the dam fills up. One more example is ‘Namaste’. ‘Namaste’ is the same all over our nation. Even ‘Tilak’ on the forehead is a common symbol.
Cultural nationalism is something we are living but has been forgotten due to current political discourses. We need to understand it in right perspective. A MP from Ladakh who is also a goo friend of mine, is a Buddhist. He always says that the nation is paramount to any other identity. Cultural nationalism is not just a subject for the academia.” Kennedy once said “Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies”. Similarly, Geography has made us a country, our history has made us a nation. Cultural nationalism is part and parcel of our life and we live it in our daily lives.”

A Report by Prashanth Vaidyaraj for VSK – Karnataka.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat Meets Jain Guru Poojya Tarun Sagar Maharaj at Jaipur

Jaipur Aug 07: RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat met Jain guru Poojaneeya Sri Tarun Sagar of the Digambar sect in Jaipur, Rajasthan on Monday, discussed several social issues

RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat met Jain guru Poojaneeya Sri Tarun Sagar of the Digambar sect in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat met Jain guru Tarun Sagar of the Digambar sect in Jaipur on Monday and on Tuesday he met Acharya Mahashraman, the supreme head of Jain Shwetambar Terapanth sect, at Ladnu, in Nagaur district of Rajasthan.

Sri Tarun Sagar said they had discussed a long range of social and political issues.

Poojaneeya Sagar, known for his unconventional contents in his discourses and movement against export of meat and leather, called RSS a nationalist and disciplined organisation. He claimed that it was following his persuasion that RSS dropped the leather belt and shoe from its dress code for its activists.

(Inputs from Dailymail)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Act as a strong country: Ram Madhav to govt over LoC killings

Bangalore, Aug 07 (ANI): Reacting over Defence minister AK Antony's statement on killing of five Indian soldiers in Poonch, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav on Wednesday said that the statement by Antony is shocking. Antony described the intruders as "terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan army uniform" while an Army spokesperson said that "soldiers from Pak Army" were involved. Speaking to mediapersons in Bangalore, Madhav said the statement shows that the uniform of the Pakistan Army is available easily in the market and anyone can purchase and wear it. He also asked the government to act strongly over the incident. 


Monday, August 5, 2013

RSS Swayamsevaks steps in for rescue of landslide victims at Idukki of Kerala

Idukki, Kerala August 05: Idukki and Ernakulam zones of Kerala received heaviest rain today, which resulted in major landslide affecting hundreds of people. In an area where rescue operation itself was challenging, district administration seeked immediate help of Sevabharati, the service wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS.

RSS-Sevabharati activists immediately stepped in for relief works.

RSS Swayamsevaks immediately stepped in for the rescue operation in landslide hit zones.

‘Flood and Landslide in the Idukki and eastern parts of Ernakulam. Swayamsevaks along with forces working in worst affected areas of Idukki. Worst affected are was the Cheeyappara village’, said Sri J Nanda Kumar, Senior RSS Functionary.