Will India become like Japan ?
“NO” – Swami Vivekananda.
This interview with Swami Vivekananda by a reporter from The Hindu at the Chengalpattu Railway station in February 1897 may be a surprise. (Ref: Ramakrishna Vijayam – January 2015, Title: “Learn from Foreigners”- Translated from Tamil)
Q; What is the secret of Japan’s fast growth in the recent years?
Ans: The Japanese are basically honest and very patriotic. They are ready to sacrifice for the sake of their nation. India will be successful only if Indians are honest like the Japanese. A nation’s success and prosperity are determined by the valor and integrity of its citizens. People have to develop a nation. They are ready to do anything for the sake of their country whereas Indians are not. Indians care more about their own family and their own belongings.
Q: Do you wish India to become like Japan?
Ans: No! India will remain as it is. It cannot become like another country. Every nation has its own basic character around which it is built. The nucleus of India is RELIGION. All other social and political development s will only have a mild and temporary influence on the deep rooted religious feelings. Religious and god fearing feelings are all pervading in this nation and they alone can give the citizens peace of mind. India will remain as India because we are not like the Japanese.
The above interview reveals an important aspect of the Indian culture and psych. Ignorance and apathy still influence the 69 year old national spirit. Patriotism is demonstrated by waving the national flag and shouting Vandhe Mataram on the streets on August 15th every year. Indian patriotism is still lingering around on the long gone British rule. The proof is the mass cheering of the recent outburst of Sashi Tharoor in Oxford against British imperialism. It is similar to the style of Pakistan where its patriotism is measured more by hatred towards India. Indian rulers did not strive at all to educate the citizens on the true patriotism of caring for the development and security of the nation. Media is also more reactive than proactive.
Swami Vivekananda missed the great fun of the new developments after independence, the cinema culture, political games and religious fervor. Majority of the Indians, including the well educated have scant knowledge about our army’s importance and achievements, where as they read and discuss a lot about many wars and battles described in the epics. Security consciousness remains at a rock bottom. Devotees compete to splurge on donating high value jewelleries to the deities while the temples starve for basic infrastructural needs in and around the temple like water, sanitation, pathways and cleanliness. G.K. Chesterton, British writer said “Indians only exist in this world but live in some other world”
The patriotism fire lit by Mahatma Gandhi is running out of fuel mainly due to permeating dynastic rule. Obsolete British customs, practices, rules, regulations and laws are still in force with least interest to revise and indianise them. The educated youth are disgusted with the corrupt politicians. One of the comedy TV programs by Cyrus Baroacha mocked about BTBB meaning “Bring the British Back”. Britain will certainly decline any such offer. Murmurs of the learned are becoming louder concurring with the hate speech of Winston Churchill.
“All Indian leaders will be of low caliber and men of straw. Indians are not fit to rule, they are fit to be ruled” – Winston Churchill.
"A commercial company enslaved a nation comprising two hundred millions. What does it mean that thirty thousand men, have subdued two hundred million vigorous, clever, capable, and freedom-loving people? Do not the figures make it clear that it is not the English who have enslaved the Indians, but the Indians who have enslaved themselves?" (Letter of Leo Tolstoy to Mahatma Gandhi)
Crab mentality seems to be a curse on Indians. *The self derogatory remark is “one Indian is equal to 10 Japanese but 10 Indians will be equal to lesser than one Japanese because of politics and infighting among them”.
Political and economic experts affirmed in a panel discussion ** (By Mythili Bhushnurmath) that the ambitious Smart City programme of NaMo will be a reality only if Swachh Bharath (SB) becomes a success. YES. SB is a great opportunity and a challenge to the younger generation of India to demonstrate their patriotism. The success will have tremendous positive and progressive impact on the social, economic and political fabric of India. It will bring people together for better understanding and mutual respect. It is not an easy task but should not be given up. Boundary of demonstrating patriotism is not limited to fight with belligerent foreigners. Fighting against our own odds and focusing on national development and security are the needs of our time. SB had started off very well invoking the national spirit; hopefully it should evolve as a culture. The Japanese and the Chinese were very successful in this experiment. Suggest that it may be made a mandatory part of the Corporate Social Responsibility program.
Swami Vivekananda will be only happy if his remark is belied.
Dr. Krishnan Arunachalam
*Sujeeth Kumar, Infosys, speech in CTM
** economictimes.indiatimes.com › Experts Panel discussion on smart cities, its challenges for India in Macros
(published in Mylapore club magazine Sep/2015 titled “ Swachh Bharath- A great opportunity to Demonstrate our Patriotism”
Demonstration of true patriotism (Indiatvnews.com)