Don't blindly ape the West Spirit of swadeshi more relevant now than ever before —Bhaiyaji Joshi
"Instead of blindly aping the western model of growth and progress, we should strive to evolve a model of development which would ensure a sustainable, all-round, and total development of mankind without disturbing the environmental balance. Organisations like the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) should take an initiative in this regard,” appealed Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, Sarkaryavah of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at Nagpur.
He was addressing the inaugural session of the SJM’s three-day National Conference at Vyas Auditorium in Reshambag premises. President of the Reception Committee noted philanthropist and social worker Bhaiyasaheb Mundle, presided over the inaugural session. Others who shared the dais on the occasion included SJM’s Organising Secretary Kashmiri Lal, National Convener Arun Oza, Co-convener Saroj Mitra and B M Kumarswamy, Satish Chandra Mishra of Vidya Bharati, Vasantrao Pimplapure of BMS, Surendra Naik of ABVP, Bhushan Vaidya of Laghu Udyog Bharti, Dr Ashwini Mahajan and Anup Sagdeo, secretary of reception committee. Former Pramukh Sanchalika of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti Smt Pramilatai Medhe was also present on the occasion.
Addressing the 600-odd delegates drawn from all over the country the Bhaiyaji Joshi in his hour-long speech made a clear cut distinction between the concepts of growth, progress and development. While the two were related to mere physical and material growth, the concept of development had the most important element of totality, he explained. This element of totality was the expression of love and compassion emanating from the heart of an individual, he added.
Stating that the western nations had set-up certain parameters to measure the status of development and divided the countries of the world into developed, developing and under-developed, Bhaiyaji raised a question mark over this very classification. Who decided the criteria for this classification, he wanted to know. They did not stop at just dividing these countries on their own parameters, Bhaiyaji said that these nations compelled the world to accept their notions of development which laid the entire stress on material progress and acquiring immense wealth.
Objective of development
Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi said that the objective of development should be total unfolding of the personality of an individual and the society to which he belonged. Therefore, the model of development should differ from country to country. The western parameters of the development are not applicable to other countries in their totality. Since the world accepted these parameters the nations had to pay a very heavy price to ensure development in accordance with western standards.
The western concept of development caused an immense degradation of natural resources and posed a serious threat to our environment, Bhaiyaji said and added that this blind ambition to amass and possess immense wealth has brought forth the demonic characteristic of human beings. This inhuman attitude would threaten the very existence of the future generations.
This mindless material progress further caused the erosion of moral and cultural ethos, Bhaijayi cautioned and said that this would lead to domination of demonic values and attitudes endangering the environment, resources and values. To counter this we must strive to usher in a development model based on our ethos, life style and values, thoughts, traditions and culture, he said. He said our thinking was sarva jan hitay-sarva jan sukhay (for the good of all, for the happiness of all). Therefore, we considered this entire earth as one family.
However, he advised the audience against rejecting all that is western and just bask in the glory of our past. This would do no good either. We must take their values of social commitment, preserving national interest and honour and facilitate exchange of ideas for mutual development.
Integral humanism is the key
Referring to late Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya’s philosophy of ‘Integral Humanism’, Bhaiyaji Joshi said that we should try to impress upon the humanity to think for the posterity while going for development. He insisted on development encompassing all aspects of human life. He said that after the industrial revolution in Europe, the Indian share of the world trade came down drastically. During the long years of political slavery we developed an attitude of dependent society, he said.
In the post-Independence era, our leaders were more under the influence of Communism, Socialism and Capitalism and planned the developments models based on these ideologies ignoring the basic needs and requirements of the country and society as a whole. Those who claimed Gandhi as their guide and philosopher simply ignored the Gandhian ideology and model of development, though people like Jai Prakash Narain, Vinoba Bhave and Nanaji Deshmukh tried to establish an alternative models. But their efforts were limited, he said.
Utilise talent properly
Stating that India produced a talent in software industry, he said that most of this talent is utilised in the western companies and firms mainly because they lack the proper guidance and education on nationalism and commitment to the society. He said that the practice of equating individual success and excellence with that of the nation would send wrong signals as this would give rise to personal ego instead of national pride.
Ill-effects of copying western models
Referring to experiment like ‘Green Revolution’ and ‘White Revolution’ Bhaiyaji Joshi said that in implementing these models we caused thoughtless exploitation of our land and animal resources. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides increased the production of food grains but the soil lost its fertility. Similarly, in extracting more and more milk we corrupted our indigenous cow breeds he added. Moreover, in spite of good production of food grains a large number of people remained hungry and the problem of malnutrition is still persisting. The production of milk increased but a large number of children are still starved off of milk today. The technology that was used in these experiments was foreign one and was not suitable for fulfilling our needs, he said.
India can lead the world in the field of bio-farming and water conservation, and India should take initiative in this sector by instituting some concrete projects, he suggested. The basis of Indian model was not exploitation but cooperation, he added. From family to society we ensured cooperation of all he said.
Need excellent infrastructure
Suggesting that the country must have excellent infrastructure for development the RSS leader underlined the need for exposing the talents for conducting indigenous research taking into consideration the needs and requirements and availability of resources in the country. Have full faith in the young generation, he exhorted the SJM activists. We must understand our duties and carry them out in right earnest to rid our country from the cancer of corruption.
Taking a dig at the present-day leaders, Bhaiyaji Joshi called for developing leadership from among the common masses. This was the need of the hour, he said. He exhorted the SJM activists to work for removing the perversions from our social milieu and accept the challenge of treading a path for the posterity to ensure sustainable development.
Beware of de-traditionalisation
SJM National Convener Arun Oza in his introductory speech cautioned the audience about the process of what he called as ‘de-traditionalisation’ which was taking the Indian society by the hurricane speed. The new trend of imperialism arising out of the recent concept of financial globalisation was destroying the age-old Indian ethos and life values, he added.
Describing Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh as ‘mute image of corruption’, Oza called for creating an alternative model of political and economic systems to save the country from an impending doom. This model should be based on a total perspective of new, emerging India; sound mass base and organisation; wide experience of constructive agitation, and patience and preparedness for a long battle, Oza said.
Earlier, Reception Committee President Bhaiyasaheb Mundle welcomed all the dignitaries and delegates to this three-day conference which was being held after 1991 when the SJM was founded in Nagpur by late Dattopant Thengadi and former Vice-Chancellor of Nagpur University Dr MG Bokre. The dignitaries were felicitated on this occasion.
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