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.