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HomeOpinionsShould Doordarshan give a live coverage of Bhumi Pujan on August 5th?: Answer is...

Should Doordarshan give a live coverage of Bhumi Pujan on August 5th?: Answer is an empathetic ‘YES’

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After the news of ‘Bhumipujan’ of Ram mandir broke out, the media has jumped into the fray and trying to raise a needless controversy by collecting soundbites from non-descript, and mass-rejected politicians and some intellectuals of dubious integrity. The latter groups attempted to dissuade the prime minister from laying the foundation stone of the proposed temple by citing moral and constitutional grounds as their convoluted psyche perceive these values.

Having failed at that mischievous enterprise, they are now chasing the Doordarshan asking it not to telecast the event on August 5th. The major reason they cite is the same stereotype- that covering the event will be against the principle of secularism as enshrined in Indian constitution. Implied in their contention are basically two things: First, Hinduism is a religion like any other faith-based religion including those belonging to Abrahamic faiths and Second, Rama is a Hindu God. Then comes their conclusion and objection: Therefore, showing reverence to Rama, a Hindu God, by the head of the state will violate the spirit of secularism.

Both these contentions are however fallacious. First, Hinduism is clearly beyond conventional religions, which are customarily associated with ‘one single faith’. It is sad that this fact has not dawned on a small section of people of the country. They belong to three categories: (a) religious fundamentalists belonging to faiths inimically opposed to Hinduism, and (b) some formally educated but dim wit people claiming themselves to be progressive Hindus themselves who have no proper understanding of the tenets of Hindu civilization. Despite the smallness with regard to thinking faculty and perfidious intention, they have been often able to create noise with help from media to oppose any attempt to restore our civilizational legacy, which has been most secular, in real meaning of that word.

Next point is about Rama himself. He is not only revered by billions of Hindus as God incarnate, but in human form he showed to the mankind how it was possible to practise wide ranging virtues like dutifulness, righteousness, patience, tolerance, compassion, dignity in speech and conduct, reverence for all life forms and environment to name a few. His life has been ingrained inseparably with every part of the subcontinent – north, south, east and west- starting from Ayodhya to Lucknow (Lakshanvati), Prayag, Chitrakut, Dandakaranya, Panchavati, Nasik, Kishkindha, Rishyamukh, Hampi, Rameshwaram, to Ajodhya hills (Purulia, West Bengal). Even numerous places such as Taxila (Taksha-sila), Peshawar (Pushkalavati), Lahore (Lavapuri) and others are reported to have been named after his and his brother Bharat’s sons viz., Taksha and Pushkal. He lives in umpteen numbers of folklores, songs, words in daily lives, poems, and proses. His glory shines bright not only in India and but also in other countries like Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and others.

One of the greatest epics of India viz., Ramayana, depicts his life and deed which have been the bedrock of Indian civilizational values and ethos. If the majority of people of India across its vast landscape are still god fearing, law abiding, humane, non-materialist, blessed with virtues of contentment, free of jealousy and envy, helpful to others, and patient these traits may be traced to the legacy of Rama and Ramayana.

Despite the fact that small numbers of politicians and their ecosystems have been constantly trying to damage the peaceful Indian society by dividing them in the name of religion, caste and classes, and infuse in them the culture of violence it is the innate civilizational strength imparted by the spirit of Rama that is keeping the Indian nation afloat. Many scholars wonder as to how such a densely populated country like India with abysmally low ‘people to police’ and ‘people to judges’ ratios remain largely a peaceful and law-abiding country!

If these are Rama’s legacy for common Indians’ way of living, his spiritual attainments in his human form as documented in Yoga Vasistha is a supreme document of philosophy. Though it is much lesser known than Bhagavat Gits, yet to the men of wisdom it is as important a philosophical treatise. All across the world the wise men in search of truth, cutting across conventional faiths, delve into it to get the road maps for salvation.

It is sheer stupidity to look at Shri Rama from the prism of so-called ‘secularism’. He is central to Indian civilizational values and ethos. Now at this juncture of time when the western civilization seems to be getting torn by forces of insatiable consumerism, mindless individualism, discredited socialism masquerading as liberalism, religious fundamentalism, and various permutations and combinations of these forces turning their people confused, there are great expectations from India. They are looking to that India which has grounding on her civilizational legacy and not one which has been aping them in shameless and beggarly manner. They are expectantly waiting for reawakening of that Indian civilizational soul!

The event of 5th August is therefore important globally as well. It may be one of the turning points in national life- an opportunity to redirect the attention of our youth to our inner vast treasure. Not only is a debate on DD unnecessary but eminently avoidable. It is pity that our national media is still making this an issue.

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