Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Teachings of the great liberal from South India-Rajaji

(This was published in the Swarajya on August 5, 1961)

"When one sees a great evil, one must fight it. Otherwise, there is no purpose in life … I have seen landslides of moral standards like mountainsides toppling down during an earthquake. I have seen callousness and greed replace all traditional sensibility and restraint, all ideas of SwadharmaMy great age and varied experience have enabled me to see changes and contrasts, and the consequent distress is great.

This is an attempt to explain why I have broken away from valuable friendships and time-honoured camaraderie, which to many is still a mystery and is cause for distress and adverse comment. The sacrifice of comradeship and affection that I have made now, giving up that precious possession, and earning displeasure and dislike in the highest quarters – these are no less a sacrifice than what I made when I was forty, and full of potential for worldly advancement, gave up my practice at the bar grieved my aged father, withdrew my children from school and college, and went into the wilderness in 1920.

I have often thought of those days when a spirit of adventure and a passionate abhorrence of foreign rule helped one to undergo any sacrifice ...

But should we not defend freedom, should we not defend democracy, should we not defend Dharma? We must not allow India to be debased, mistaking mass selfishness for patriotism. We must love India and learn why we should love India. We must fight Statism, we must fight one-party rule, and we must stem the tide of greed and corruption. We must bring again into being a cadre of sternly honest officials to administer our affairs as was done till recently. It is a sacred duty, if there be any purpose in life and if we are not just spinning tops...When the morality of the nation and its elite is being undermined and threatened with destruction, there is no question of any alternative or surrender to superior force. We must fight and protect the soul of the nation from being overwhelmed and destroyed. It is the duty of each citizen to resist it to the utmost without waiting for others or counting the cost. For if the nation’s morality is lost, there will be nothing thereafter to save."

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