I call Modi the rishi guru of new India

PM brings in a technologically progressive form of the older Bharatiya ethos as a dynamic creative force.

 |  4-minute read |   30-03-2017
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India is one of the oldest countries in the world and probably the best to preserve its ancient heritage. The Vedas compiled thousands of years ago remain commonly chanted today. India’s Independence movement was rooted in Yoga and Vedanta and the country’s older civilisational inspiration through Swami Vivekananda, Tilak, Aurobindo and Gandhi.

Yet after Independence Nehru and his followers rejected India’s past for a very different idea of India. Congress outsourced education and cultural development to the far Left, Marxists and Communists, with which Nehru had much affinity.

India’s political independence unfortunately continued an intellectual dependence on the West, perpetuating a denigration of the traditional culture, led by Delhi elite, which though located in India, kept their minds residing outside the country.

Indira Gandhi brought back some regard for traditional India but in the end supported the same Westernised elite for whom Indian civilisation was a dangerous myth to be eliminated for modern progress.

Mindset

Traditional India lived on with its vibrant festivals, pilgrimages, deity worship and renowned gurus. At the same time, the Yoga aspect of India’s ancient civilisation went global as its main cultural outreach to the world.

Few in the West knew of the Marxist control of Indian education or understood the socialist stifling of the economy. Most imagined India as still the land of the yogis. The RSS in opposition to Congress tried to sustain India’s dharmic traditions, with the BJP as its political expression. Yet it often seemed antiquated, backwards, out of touch with the times, even regressive.

Much of this was owing to Marxist propaganda that has always demonised its opponents, which the Congress dominated media gladly followed. Some occurred because RSS did not develop a clear expression in the English idiom that the modern Indian elite could recognise.

BJP assumed national power in 1999 under PM Vajpayee but could not change the mindset of the country. India fell back into the old Leftist rule with a vengeance and a massive corruption and nepotism under the UPA in 2004 that continued for ten years.

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Modi visits temples and honours the great deities and gurus of the country.

Then came Narendra Modi, who dramatically changed the equation in his unexpected decisive electoral mandate in 2014, adding a power of vision, personal charisma, a forward development agenda and tremendous work to usher in a new India.

Modi as Prime Minister brings in a technologically progressive and intellectually sophisticated form of the older India/Bharatiya ethos as a dynamic creative force. Modi’s new vision embraces the social media, a cashless society, smart cities and a radically improved infrastructure.

Traditions

Yet Modi is not just a free market capitalist. He has initiated many upliftment programmes for the poor from bank accounts to new entrepreneurial and education schemes. These are not just free handouts at election times, as in the old socialist era, but enduring programmes to make life easier and bring prosperity to all.

At the same time Modi visits temples and honours the great deities and gurus of the country. He is not afraid to be a Hindu or to attend Hindu functions, while at the same time excelling as a modern technocrat. Yet his view of Hinduism is equally sophisticated, not of a sectarian belief based religion but a broad spiritual path of Yoga, meditation, universal consciousness and selfr-ealisation.

Modi shows at a political level what the world has seen at a spiritual level, that the dharmic traditions of India, not only Hindu but also Buddhist, Jain and Sikh, have tremendous relevance if repackaged in a modern language and allied with cutting edge trends in spirituality, medicine, and science.

India and its profound civilisation can be renovated and repackaged to guide and inspire humanity as a whole.

Vision

Most people in India today were not alive when Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984. The Nehru-Gandhi card does not work with the youth, even though some media outlets and academics still try to project it.

The aspiration of young Indians today is not to reclaim the glory of the old Nehru-Indira years, which were not that great. It is to develop a new India that can compete in the emerging global economy today, without denying the civilisational heritage of the region.

The political embodiment of this aspiration for a new India is Narendra Modi, who rose from a poor Gujarati family, once selling tea, not from the old Delhi elite. India’s media which has opposed Modi and challenged his legitimacy to rule, is now looking at a future defined by Modi’s vision, not by their old Nehruvian privileges.

Modi has become the rishi guru of the new India, surprising everyone with his out of the box thinking and transformative decisions. The respect and regard he receives throughout the world is because of his connection to timeless India, ever able to renew itself.

His new approach has broken with the old Nehruvian apologetics and optimistically mapped out a future where dharma prevails and prospers along with the country as a whole.

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Writer

David Frawley David Frawley @davidfrawleyved

The writer is the director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies and the author of more than 30 books on yoga and vedic traditions.

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