Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Sister Nivedita writes on Indian National Ideals


A Brief Statement of Some Points
I. What is our civic ideal ? That the people should do the work of their country and not merely enjoy.

What is the work of the nation ?

Our work is threefold :
1. To love the soil and water of the land we live in.
2. To realize the highest ideal, each in his own way.
3. To share in the whole life of humanity—national or international.

With regard to the first point:
We should love the soil of the country. (In this is included our religion which is the product of the land we live in.) We must do some work for the country each in his own humble way. Everybody cannot do work on an elaborate scale. But each can, if he likes, help in the growth of the country in his own way. India requires industrial regeneration and for this purpose, a band of workers.

With regard to the second point :
We have here a solemn duty to perform—each one of us should try to realize the highest ideal each in his own way. To think of certain ideals as the exclusive possession of a man or of a nation is vulgarity, according to the Hindus. The superiority of Hinduism lies in the fact that it acknowledges religious freedom. It never claims certain ideals as the exclusive possession of a particular sect. It is a comprehensive religion. Now, religious freedom may be positive or negative. Western ideals say—Do unto others the thing you would like to be done towards you. While Eastern ideals say — Do not unto others the things you would not like to see others do to you. This fact shows the liberality and the comprehensiveness of the Hindu religion.

With regard to the third point ;
We must expand our narrow self. Our duty should be to share in the whole life of humanity—national or international. One cannot be a cosmopolitan unless one be a nationalist. And to become a nationalist, we must extend our narrow self.