Monday 22 January 2018

Sister Nivedita: The Dedicated - Who gave her all to India – 24

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Nivedita as ardent devotee of Mother India awakened national consciousness - 3

She was a great inspiration to the youth in Calcutta. She always felt that effective service to motherland could not be done from comfortable levels. It was noon and so it was extremely hot, as it was the summer session. On reaching her room along with some youth, she immediately opened all the doors and windows. Waves of hot air filled the room, but she didn't bother at all. She removed the mattress laid on the cot and unrolled her own small mat and a thin kantha (bed spread) over that. Those youth who had accompanied her were struck with wonder, she said, 'I am practicing austerity. And I want you to practice it because of the nature of the task you're set upon to perform. No luxury befits those who want to free their country'.
Nivedita's love for India was so vibrant that she would not tolerate any wrong words being told or any injustice meted out. On 11th February 1905. Lord Curzon, while giving the convocation address at the University of Calcutta, said that truth was given a higher place in the moral codes of the West before it had been similarly honoured in the East. The Indian students were called by him as untruthful. The educated Indians attending the meeting were hurt, but no one raised a single word in protest. Nivedita was present at the meeting. She became furious at the insult. She just could not silently endure the indignity caused to India.

Nivedita was a very well read person. At the end of the meeting, she forcibly took Sir Gurudas Bannerjee to the Imperial Library. She drew out the book, 'Problems of The Far East' by Lord Curzon, and showed him the pages 155-56 of the book where Curzon had proudly described how he had given false statements about his age and marriage to the President of the Korean Foreign Office to win his favour. On 13th February, Amrita Bazar Patrika, published in the editorial 'Who is Untruthful' the excerpts from Lord Curzon's convocation address together with the relevant portion from the book proving his use of untruth. The next day that news item (published in the Amrita Bazar Patrika) was reproduced in The Statesman with comments. It triggered a serious movement throughout the country over Lord Curzon's false statements and his unfair allegations against Indians.

On 14th February, Nivedita addressed another letter to the editor of The Statesman, which was published with a caption 'The Highest Ideal of Truth'. In the letter, she quoted copiously from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Puranas to show how truth was held in an exalted position in this country. She was more pained to see the cowardly silence of the students present at the meeting who did not say a single word in protest. In the letter, Nivedita censured them also: 'The students, to whom these statements were addressed, received them in "a faultless silence". They did well. Less well, however, must we think it, if they stepped into manhood, remembering charges so leveled at their dead ancestors and their national codes, with never a word offered in defense!'

To be Continued

हमें कर्म की प्रतिष्ठा बढ़ानी होंगी। कर्म देवो भव: यह आज हमारा जीवन-सूत्र बनना चाहिए। - भगिनी निवेदिता {पथ और पाथेय : पृ. क्र.१९ }
Sister Nivedita 150th Birth Anniversary :
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