Modi_Swearing_In
Rasita Anand
Modi Sarkar at One – Hope And Beyond

It is not only the Prime Minister who has to succeed. We, too, have to keep the faith, nurture the hope and contribute daily in our own ways.

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you are looking down”

-Charlie Chaplin

Swami Vivekananda in his letter to accompany the First Report of the Ramakrishna Home of Service, Varanasi, February, 1902 wrote: “Never mind if your contribution is only a mite, your help only a little; blades of grass united into a rope will hold in confinement the maddest of elephants—says the old proverb”.

In the fall of 2013, hoping to contribute to change in whatever manner possible, I, like many others, vaulted into meetings held in various parks across Bangalore to be a part of the movement unfolding at the time. In the process, I met many determined people but noticed the lack of professional women coming out in open and volunteering. This kindled the idea of creating a platform for women and took shape in Namo Bharathi, an informal group of us wanting to be a part of change and embracing it.

A house in a corner of a busy street of Indiranagar, Bangalore, served as office and meeting place for us volunteers. It was here that a bunch of us (both men and women) would congregate. In run-up to general elections, there was a feverish pitch all over the country. People from all classes, irrespective of party affiliations, came out in support; campaigning in the hot sun door-to-door, at cross junctions, in public spaces and in private, doing unlikely things and speaking about their hopes and expectations. History will remember this period before elections as one filled with varied aspirations.

For several of us who believed in the Prime Minister and continue to do so, this is a journey of togetherness, of many trials and tribulations. For Modi is not a person that people are rooting for but an idea that has caught our imagination. For what he stands for primarily is HOPE and CHANGE, both spelled in capitals. As Martin Luther King aptly believed, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”.

Rewinding a year back, the moment BJP crossed magical figure of 272 all hell broke loose. The celebrations were up-swing when it crossed 240 but inching towards 272 seemed surreal. For many of us across the country it was more a moment of relief than having our stand vindicated.

After a day of revelry, realisation struck that the journey for change had just begun. And each of us had a role to play. Our task did not stop with getting the mandate for the leader. For, more important than the leader wass the fact that common men seeking change claimed it as their victory.

And that brings us to the point, why was this victory important? What message did it impart to us? It’s a simple message of change. Obama was very succinct when he held that, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”. That is the underlying message.

We may wonder how “normal” citizens can effect change. As the American psychologist Nathaniel Brandon observed; “the first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” In our daily life, we see change being prompted by ordinary people who are on a mission. Be it the taking up cleaning their neighborhood, public spaces or inspiring efforts like cleaning the Varanasi Ghats; be it restoring lakes, planting trees, working on urban or rural issues, ordinary people like us across the country are ushering in change. It would do us enormous good if we remember that mavens who caused great change started out ordinary.

Actions like being positive, volunteering for causes close to our heart, pitching in with people and trying to get things working, standing up for what we believe in, working in tandem with the government, also simple things like giving up LPG subsidy which some of us can afford, et al would add up to the grand total. Recollecting the wise words of Michael More that, “Democracy is not a spectator sport, it’s a participatory event. If we don’t participate in it, it ceases to be a democracy”.

Our country is recognized as one of the greatest living civilizations of the world. Somewhere down the lane we seem to have lost the sense of purpose and direction. But it appears that we have begun to recognize what we have lost, so let us work to reclaim that lofty vision of Universal Wellbeing. The process as explained in the oldest hymn of the world , the Rig Veda

Sam’gacchadhvam’ sam’vadadhvam’sam’ vo mana’m’si ja’nata’m

Deva’bha’gam’ yatha’pu’rve sam’ja’na’na’ upa’sate

Sama’nii va a’ku’tih sama’na’ hrdaya’nivah,

Sama’namastu vo mano yatha’ vah susaha’sati

Let us move together, let us radiate the same thought-wave, let us come to know our minds together.

Let us share our wealth without differentiation, like sages of the past, so that all may enjoy the universe.

Let our aspirations be united, let our hearts be inseparable.

Let our minds be as one mind, so that we live in harmony and become divine.

With these wise words spoken in our scriptures, let us walk the talk. Reminiscing that we celebrated the victory of Narendra Modi as our own, let us continue to work towards making this script a success. For, in our collective efforts lies the success of our nation. Like Steve Jobs said, things don’t have to change the world to be important.