Guiding Light: Avoid the cult of imitation

Dada J. P. VaswaniUpdated: Monday, January 23, 2023, 08:05 PM IST
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Today it is fashionable to talk of a globalised world; we call the world a global village; but there is no beauty, no simplicity, no original thinking in this global marketplace. I only see a cult of comfort, shallow cleverness, narrow selfishness, decadence. Ours is a glorious culture. Let us stand up as true Indians in mind, body and spirit. Let us abjure this cult of slavish imitation.

Many of us are apt to imagine God as a sort of Old Testament figure – with long, flowing robes and a white beard, seated on a cloud, hurling lightning and thunderbolts at the sinful world but God lives within you, in the temple of your heart; he speaks to you in silence; he speaks to you through your intuitions, visions and dreams. Every person you meet is a manifestation of God! Each and every one of them can teach you valuable lessons in a new, unexpected and unique way! Therefore is the Lord described as Deenabandhu and Deenanath – he is the friend, the brother of the humble and the lowly. When we take them seriously, we will surely find the answers we are seeking.

If we are to build India* anew, we must show our students that imitation of the West is emaciation of culture. When our young people are educated in the spirit of the true Indian culture, they will take pride in being Indian. They will turn their back on the slavish habit of imitation. There was a time when our fathers and mothers taught children our puranas and myths, sacred mantras and slokas along with Indian virtues like austerity, purity, simplicity, humility and respect for elders which were carefully nurtured in the young.

Today, our children have been left to raise themselves before the television, or become subject to undue peer influence to ape the west. Only two generations ago, our children were given images of Sri Rama, Bal Gopal, Sita and Radha to play with. Now we give them Barbie, Spiderman, Batman and X Boxes. From being a nation of scholars and teachers, we are becoming like a herd of sheep which blindly follow the first sheep.

If the world's largest democracy, as we love to call ourselves, is to stay a vital democracy, we must cease the cult of imitation and learn to express India!

*Jan 26 is India’s Republic Day.

Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader

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