Where Have all the Giants Gone?

Today we have dwarfs at the helm of affairs — dishonest people such as the appointed prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his boss Antonia Maino aka Sonia Gandhi — but India has had more than its fair share of giants. Once upon a time. A time when giants like Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata and Swami Vivekananda walked the earth.

Did you know there was a connection between the founder of the Tata Group and the founder of Ramakrishna Mission? I did not know that.

Vivekananda had inspired Sir Jamshetji Tata to set up a research and educational institution when they had travelled together from Yokohama to Chicago on the Swami’s first visit to the West in 1893. About this time the Swami received a letter from Tata, requesting him to head the Research Institute of Science that Tata had set up. But Vivekananda declined the offer saying that it conflicted with his spiritual interests. [Wiki.]

I generally despair about India but then I check myself by reminding myself that a land that gave birth to such people as Jamshetji and Vivekanand can never really go down for good. India will rise once again from the depths that people like Manmohan Singh and Antonia Maino have dragged it down to. India is too precious to be sold so cheaply as Mr Singh and Ms Maino have tried.

Will Durant, the American historian and philosopher, observed —

India was the mother of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. She was the mother of our philosophy, mother through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics, mother through Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity, mother through village communities of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.

Let’s keep that in mind.

I am sorry that I have put the names of Dr Manmohan Singh and Antonia Maino in the same blog post as Swamiji’s and Jamshetji’s — but I had to do it. My apologies.

Author: Atanu Dey


10 thoughts on “Where Have all the Giants Gone?”

  1. “I am sorry that I have put the names of Dr Manmohan Singh and Antonia Maino in the same blog post as Swamiji’s and Jamshetji’s — but I had to do it – but I had to do it. My apologies.”

    Ha Ha Ha Ha….I agree at times one has use these names with greats like Jamsehetji Tata and Swami Vivekananda.


  2. “A land that gave birth to such people as Jamshetji and Vivekanand can never really go down for good.” I don’t see what this should hold. Olympic athletes get gout too. They even die some day.


  3. Giants are always disappearing species in unprotected environments. A good example is Australia which lost most of the giant species within few generations of humans invasion.

    I’d say there’ll be fewer, because their competitive advantage is not suited in current predator-friendly environment.


  4. Atanu, you can be a giant yourself, if you choose to be one. Recognize and manifest your own potential. That was the message of the giant you mentioned , Vivekananda.


    1. Venkat,

      tumhara na janm, na mrityu
      naash na vinaash
      tum toh amrut kay santaan ho
      tumhay kis baat ka dar hai

      I have heard that that’s what Swami Vivekananda said. Loosely translated it says, “You are not bound either by birth or by death. You are beyond that which can be destroyed. You are the child of the immortal. There’s nothing that you have to fear.”

      So if we choose to, as you say, we can be giants as well.


  5. Whenever I read the conversation between Dagny Taggart and Francesco D’Anconia where they remember about their forefathers and wonder what happened to that spirit in the world around theirs, I remember the early modern times of India. Where are those intellectuals,fierce fighters and nationalists? What happened to our minds?


  6. The new giants are around us. But we might be failing to see them. As the times have changed, their ways of working have changed. May be we will know about them once their work has becomes ‘history’.
    Clearly, following people are not without faults or criticism. Prima facie, their greatness shadowed by strangeness or money. I have lot of respect for NRN Murthy,Ram dev baba, Dalai Lama and definitely for Sri Sri Ravishankar. Going a step further, if some one understands shiva-shakti practices in Shiva Sutra even Nithyanada wont loose respect. It seems like he was specifically picked because this swami from farmer-cast was getting hugely popular with tamil dravid/lower casts and causing reverse conversions of new Christians in villages.
    But I agree, none of them seems absolutely perfect.


  7. When the French writer Andre Malraux asked Jawaharlal Nehru in 1958 about his “greatest difficulty since Independence” then Nehru replied: “Creating a just state by just means”. He then added: “Perhaps, too, creating a secular State in a religious country.”

    The problem with Congress is that they want us to make want we can’t be or what we are not. They are trying to impose a fascism on us.
    India has become a Constitutional Dictatorship.


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