False narrative can be countered by Insights of Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and Azad
By Satya Narayan Sahu | PUBLISHED: 14, Mar 2018, 11:47 am IST | UPDATED: 20, Mar 2018, 11:03 am IST
There is strange inertia and lack of passion on the part of the main opposition party to head on confront the threat to the Idea of India. Just by profusely using the insights from Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and may other national icons the main opposition party can check mate and counter the false narrative inflicted on the nation. Strangely the intellectual strength which used to be the strength of Gandhi, Nehru and Azad is completely weak and absent.
The articulations of the leadership appears to be countering the false narrative are devoid of phrases and flavour which can fire the imagination of people. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru wrote a classic paper for the Congress members in the middle of 1950s. It was entitled as "Basic Approach". It was as insightful for his period as it is today. He referred to one sensitive point. He said that there was some kind of mental exhaustion gripping the minds of people in modern civilisation. He attributed such mental exhaustion to absence of philosophical approach in life. He said that life minus philosophy would be reduced to crude materialism devoid of larger purpose and meaning.
I remember professor Rajiv Bhargava, who joined JNU as a faculty in CPS in place of professor Sudipto Kaviraj, once said that philosophy is marginally non-empirical. Philosophy is not as abstract as it is made out to be. Nehru observed in Basic Approach that most of the problems of mental exhaustion in modern civilisation could be attributed to absence of philosophical approach to life. He, therefore, prescribed a Vedantic approach to give some depth and content to life and find remedies to the mounting problems caused by modern ways of life.
Those who dub Nehru as a an atheist or an agnostics need to explore his reflections on many aspects of India's civilisational attributes which bring out his spiritual dimensions. Vedantic approach is an approach which is based on rich philosophies of life. That is why Swami Vivekananda said that India needed a Vedantic brain and Islamic body. We need such a confluential approach in our age sadly marked by narrowness of mind and thinking.
# Mr Satya Narayan Sahu was OSD and Press Secretary to the late President of India Shri K.R. Narayanan and served as Director in the Prime Minister's Office. He is currently Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The views expressed by him are personal and not that of Rajya Sabha Secretariat.