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Books > History > Swami Vivekananda and the Erasing of the Dividing Line
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Swami Vivekananda and the Erasing of the Dividing Line
Swami Vivekananda and the Erasing of the Dividing Line
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Publisher Note

 

15 August 1947-a day for us to celebrate or to mourn? Sixty-one years have gone by and even today we look back with a confounded eye at the epochal drama that was enacted on that day. We feel jubilant; for it was on this day that the Union Jack was lowered and the Indian tri-color unfurled for the first time in the free Indian sky. There is equally a reason for us to mourn- it was also on this day that a line was made to run through the body of Mother India leaving her children divided. Swami Vivekananda and the Erasing of the Dividing Line-A Vision of a Unified India as Envisaged on 15 August 1947 is a deeply insightful piece of writing by Revered Swami Ranganathanandaji, the late thirteenth. President of the Ramakrishna Math and Rama- Krishna Mission. Originally titled Swami Vivekananda and the Future of India, this article was written on that fateful day, 15 August 1947, and contributed to the Pakistan Independence Day special issue of The Daily Gazette of Karachi, Pakistan. The Swami was then at Karachi as the Head of the Ramakrishna Mission's centre there. The article was later published in the October 1947 issue of the Prabuddha Bharata.

 

In these pages is evident the loftiness of the Swami's ideas with a historical vision, and its relevance stands undimmed even after six decades. The Indian subcontinent of the post 1947 period has been ablaze with the flames of war and communal strife at different junctures of time, the chief rivals being India and Pakistan, the Hindus and the Muslims. Such a state of affair becomes an obnoxiously distressing fact when we learn from history that these two communities have lived together in amity and shared the same sky for centuries together! Then, WHY NOT NOW? It was only a few decades before the Indian independence that the evil "Two Nation Theory" gained currency. Glaringly in contrast, there is no dearth of instances where the Hindus and Muslims have together faced the Englishman's bullets and bayonets to free their Mother India from foreign rule and humiliation. Many noted historians and scholars of politics have studied, from different viewpoints, the partitioning of India- one of the most tumultuous events recorded in history. But the Swami, in this piece of writing, does not merely study and theorize but envisions the great eventuality of the subcontinent becoming reunited. According to him the working of the powerful socio-economic and the deeply rooted cultural factors together will force the erasing of the dividing line. It is apt to say that through the pages of this booklet speaks the "Soul of Mother India" seeking communal harmony and unification.

 

Today it leaves us astonished as to how the Swami could foresee and think about a future-unified-India "on that fateful day" when the two mighty communal currents stood divided and in confrontation, and when the whole of the Indian subcontinent was enshrouded in a frenzied passion of communal hatred and ghastly violence. Apart from being a great monk and an internationalist to the core, he was as well one of the most notable nationalists of the twentieth century India. His vision of a unified India is the outcome of his perfect grasp of the India's past history and the then present situation. Whether, or when, this vision would turn into a reality is not known. We also admit that the present socio-political and communal situation in the subcontinent betrays this vision. These are simply the glaring facts. But history has witnessed many epochal changes which were unthinkable during the period prior to those events. Even the givers of such epoch-making ideas have been seen to be ridiculed in. their life-time and their ideas dubbed as unrealistic. But ideas make history. With our faith in the power of noble ideas, we hopefully place this prognostic piece of writing before our readers. We are sure it would give a new direction to the thoughts of the readers and make them think deeply on this burning issue. Our dream is to see an ideal, secular, democratic and unified India where all the communities would live in harmony, peace and prosperity. To such a dream we dedicate this booklet.

 

We express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Karan Singh, Sri T. N. Chaturvedi, and Smt. Kapila Vatsyayan for commenting on this booklet. Their comments have enhanced the booklet's value.

 

Swami Vivekananda and the Erasing of the Dividing Line

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2008
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Publisher Note

 

15 August 1947-a day for us to celebrate or to mourn? Sixty-one years have gone by and even today we look back with a confounded eye at the epochal drama that was enacted on that day. We feel jubilant; for it was on this day that the Union Jack was lowered and the Indian tri-color unfurled for the first time in the free Indian sky. There is equally a reason for us to mourn- it was also on this day that a line was made to run through the body of Mother India leaving her children divided. Swami Vivekananda and the Erasing of the Dividing Line-A Vision of a Unified India as Envisaged on 15 August 1947 is a deeply insightful piece of writing by Revered Swami Ranganathanandaji, the late thirteenth. President of the Ramakrishna Math and Rama- Krishna Mission. Originally titled Swami Vivekananda and the Future of India, this article was written on that fateful day, 15 August 1947, and contributed to the Pakistan Independence Day special issue of The Daily Gazette of Karachi, Pakistan. The Swami was then at Karachi as the Head of the Ramakrishna Mission's centre there. The article was later published in the October 1947 issue of the Prabuddha Bharata.

 

In these pages is evident the loftiness of the Swami's ideas with a historical vision, and its relevance stands undimmed even after six decades. The Indian subcontinent of the post 1947 period has been ablaze with the flames of war and communal strife at different junctures of time, the chief rivals being India and Pakistan, the Hindus and the Muslims. Such a state of affair becomes an obnoxiously distressing fact when we learn from history that these two communities have lived together in amity and shared the same sky for centuries together! Then, WHY NOT NOW? It was only a few decades before the Indian independence that the evil "Two Nation Theory" gained currency. Glaringly in contrast, there is no dearth of instances where the Hindus and Muslims have together faced the Englishman's bullets and bayonets to free their Mother India from foreign rule and humiliation. Many noted historians and scholars of politics have studied, from different viewpoints, the partitioning of India- one of the most tumultuous events recorded in history. But the Swami, in this piece of writing, does not merely study and theorize but envisions the great eventuality of the subcontinent becoming reunited. According to him the working of the powerful socio-economic and the deeply rooted cultural factors together will force the erasing of the dividing line. It is apt to say that through the pages of this booklet speaks the "Soul of Mother India" seeking communal harmony and unification.

 

Today it leaves us astonished as to how the Swami could foresee and think about a future-unified-India "on that fateful day" when the two mighty communal currents stood divided and in confrontation, and when the whole of the Indian subcontinent was enshrouded in a frenzied passion of communal hatred and ghastly violence. Apart from being a great monk and an internationalist to the core, he was as well one of the most notable nationalists of the twentieth century India. His vision of a unified India is the outcome of his perfect grasp of the India's past history and the then present situation. Whether, or when, this vision would turn into a reality is not known. We also admit that the present socio-political and communal situation in the subcontinent betrays this vision. These are simply the glaring facts. But history has witnessed many epochal changes which were unthinkable during the period prior to those events. Even the givers of such epoch-making ideas have been seen to be ridiculed in. their life-time and their ideas dubbed as unrealistic. But ideas make history. With our faith in the power of noble ideas, we hopefully place this prognostic piece of writing before our readers. We are sure it would give a new direction to the thoughts of the readers and make them think deeply on this burning issue. Our dream is to see an ideal, secular, democratic and unified India where all the communities would live in harmony, peace and prosperity. To such a dream we dedicate this booklet.

 

We express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Karan Singh, Sri T. N. Chaturvedi, and Smt. Kapila Vatsyayan for commenting on this booklet. Their comments have enhanced the booklet's value.

 

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