#JayatuNetaji : Netaji Jayanti Speech of Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat at Kolkata

Before I start my speech let me put here a corrigendum so that there be no misunderstanding. At the time of my introduction it had been said that “Doctor’Ji ke ungli pakad kar hum Sangh mein aaya, aisa nahi hai, I was born 10 years after his demise. I haven’t even seen him. But it is true that while entering Sangh for the first time, we go catching hold of the hands of someone or other & then engage in doing something that’s a duty of our lives. In conducting such duties it’s natural for us to commemorate time to time those persons who have conducted such duties in the past. Today this karyakram is taking place, we are commemorating Desh Gaurav Netaji, but this is not the first time we are doing it in Kolkata. Each year we do it, either in a big way or small. Either we do it engaging the society and people outside or we do it in our Shakhas. Once Netaji Jayanti celebration happened in Shyambazar Kolkata and I took part in it while another year it happened in Silchar of Dakshin Assam where too I had been present. This means we are doing such programs from before and would continue to do it. These days people are coming to know about it because Sangha has grown bigger and more renowned. However, this is what is natural for us and should be natural for all of us. Our lives today and our country’s lives are built on the sacrifice and penance of certain people. It is our duty to commemorate them with gratitude. As we want to live a pious life upholding humanity, those who lived such lives in the past, it is our work to pay tribute to them. And as all of us together want to let our country reach a certain position in the World, it is our duty to pay tribute to those who had sacrificed their own lives for the same cause earlier. Paying tribute to Desh Gaurav Netaji fulfils the purpose of commemorating persons of all the above three varieties. Such was his life.

From the very childhood his own set of intrinsic qualities along with his family values and grooming developed in him empathy for the society and a deep sense of self respect. Cultivating such traits well, he surrendered his everything for this country. Many people have invaluable qualities or merit. But only having such qualities does not yield fame to a person. Fame is attributable to the way one utilizes his merit. Netaji, in his whole life, didn’t consider his self interest at all. He was such a scholar who could earn a great lot. But instead, for the independence of India, he spent his own life under the painful conditions as if of vanavas. He had been jailed many-a-times, had to leave the country & even fight building an army. Whole of his life was an ordeal and he accepted such a life of penance with a smile. He did it for the country, not for his own fame. His is a life of the ideology of complete indifference & lack of self interest. Ideology of complete surrender is the ideology of his life. His life portrays the ideology of diligence and penance. His is the life that showcases the ideology of being valorous to do anything for the country without caring a bit for own life. And while doing all these, he didn’t expect anything in return. What did he get? What did we give him? We didn’t give him anything. He got nothing at that time. In one of his speech in Allahabad, Swami Vivekananda said that Bharat needed young men like Guru Govind Singh. Throughout his life Guru Govind Singh fought for the society bearing immense pain. He even sacrificed 4 of his sons and lost his own lineage, but continued to fight. What did his own society for whom he was at war give him in return? Disregard and mockery. But Guru’Ji never spoke even a word against them. Swami Vivekananda said such young men were required. If anyone of that time exactly fits into such description of Swami Vivekananda, then that was Babu Subhash Chandra. There were people to oppose him in the society for whom he was working. We know, difference of opinions lead to ideological clash and various other conflicts. But in spite of that he never indulged in infighting. He could have done that as he had strength & support, but didn’t ever do that. He didn’t do anything against the people for whom he was working. He lived such a life. And that is why, even after we didn’t do enough to commemorate him in independent India, he continued to live in the minds of the people of the whole Bharatvarsha due to his own sacrifices. He lived on his own, nobody did anything for him. He still lives in our mind in spite of the fact that nobody did anything for him. We call him Netaji because such were his leadership qualities. In reality he was a leader to lead towards welfare. He led by example living amongst all in the standard of others. He had all the characteristic traits of an ideal leader as we have learnt from our parampara. Though Netaji was the Chief of his army and the leader of great honour, he still fought on the ground. Army Chief doesn’t usually go on the war front in person. But from within the forests of Singapore up to the border of Assam he came along with his Army & went back on foot like common soldiers at the time of return. Descriptions are there about how he stayed with all others of his army in their way. And what to say about his war strategies? That was world famous indeed. Making an army of his own he challenged the empire where the sun never set and knocked the door of India. Had time favoured him, he would have come deep inside Bharat and, then, had his army could connect to those freedom fighters who were fighting from within Bharat, Bharat would have been free from British rule longer before.

We are commemorating such Netaji, not only out of gratitude but also out of aspirations of inheriting all his qualities. And we have to fulfill Netaji’s unfulfilled dream of Bharat and make her as he wanted. As we work we fix a goal. The way to reach that goal has to change depending on time, place & people but goal itself never changes. Initially Subhash Babu and Congress went in for movements that were legally valid. He engaged in Satyagraha, forwarded the movement, participated in different sessions of the Congress. However, when he realized that such movements were not enough considering the requirements of that time, he also attempted for an armed rebellion. Ways differed but the destination remained the same for all. And what was the idea of Netaji about that destination? We need to understand that. Considering time, place and situation, ways to achieve the desired goal may at times be easy or too difficult at some more. Depending on the difficulty level of the path, specific qualities are required to follow it. Ways change and such ways are called isms. This ism, that ism. Ism changes and is not important. Important is the destination. Subhas Babu is our icon to follow the path of the desirable destination & also to acquire the requisite qualities for that. While we talk about destination, our destination too is same as envisioned by him. That’s what we do at Sangha. All those who work for the prosperity of this country, are, according to us, doing the work of Sangha. We are to work selflessly with evidence for prosperity of Bharat and to let Bharat reach the global position it’s supposed to reach. Prosperity doesn’t mean only material prosperity as in that scale America is prosperous, China too claims to be prosperous. But Bharat’s prosperity is different. Subhash Babu has portrayed in his book that Bharat must contribute whatever Bharat can contribute to the World and making Bharat eligible to contribute that is our destination. While being a forerunner in all sorts of material prosperity, making the whole world prosperous in qualities, bringing in peace in whole world is Bharat’s prosperity. Bringing in equality in the whole world in spite of providing freedom to each one and to create the required bonhomie for that all over the globe is Bharat’s goal. Once Bharat achieves this goal and starts doing this, that is what we call Vaibhavshali Bharat.

Subhash Babu too said the same thing. Bharat kya hai? Bharat is an immortal Rashtra because relevance of Bharat never ceases to exist. The necessity of Bharat’s existence in nature never gets over. Bharat offers DHARMA, not religion, to the whole world. DHARMA is a different thing. Dharma of uniting the whole world, improving it, harmonizing it with the environment of whole creation and improving the whole creation too along with improving mankind. Teaching the practice of requisite restraint and behavioural balance to achieve such Dharma and Bharat offering such Dharma remain universally relevant. The whole world, we see, is looking at Bharat at present. This is time to fulfill that necessity. And Sangha work is meant to fulfill such necessity. That is why we aim at building a good Hindu because if we have to do such work, in which direction should we proceed? Yesterday I happened to get a book of this place. “Taruner Swapno”. Netaji said, “I have shared my ideas till 1924 in this book.” This book was released in the Calcutta Congress of 1928, wherein Doctor’Ji too was present and had discussions with Netaji. Reading what Netaji wrote in that book I felt this is the path of ours too. What else are we doing? Netaji says, ‘Bharatvarsha is the miniature of the whole world. As all problems of the whole world exist in Bharat, solving Bharatvarsha’s problems provides solution to the world’s problems too. Relieving today’s world from all problems and getting a new world full of peace and happiness are the responsibilities of Bharat and Bharat has the capability to fulfill such responsibilities. Bharat would have to do it’. Said Subhash Babu. But what must be done to do this? We’ll have to leave some of our defects. What are those? In brevity, Netaji says, ‘From the very day Bharat became subject to foreign rule, Bharat, forgetting collective pursuits, applied her full strength in personal development. Value of individuality without Nationality does not exist. Everyone must realize that fact.’ This means we think of our own developments at the individual level. Let me & my family be fine, some build up a bit greater periphery called JATI & think let my JATI be fine, let my PLACE be fine, let my RELIGIOUS SECT be fine. But let my country be fine is not being comprehended. We have left thinking of our country as a whole and the period of our bondage starts from very there because we forgot our own collective self. This country is full of many religions, many races and tribes, many Devi and Devtas, various food habits, different practices and rituals, geographical variances and varieties of human beings of different looks & statures and they widely vary in their opinions too. In spite of all such differences, we have remained a single Bharat from the very ancient time. Starting from the history at the time of Mahabharat, we forgot this truth at some point of time in between. We forgot who we are and also forgot who are ours, hence, started to fight with each other. Invaders capitalized this folly of ours. We need to get rid of such narrow ideas. I am there, my family, race, language, religion are also there. All these should be maintained fine but why should all these be maintained? My country is above everything. Bharat Mata is above all. In Sangha, we pray everyday— Bharat Mata Ki Jay. It begins with “Namaste Sada Vatsale Matrubhume”. Namaskar to Bhagwan comes second. At the end too we pray Bharat Mata ki Jay. Our pursuit needs to be achieving qualities for the country, pledging all of them for the country herself, pledging everything I have for the country, obeying the country, being the country and building the country. We ourselves need to reflect the image of Bharat. Let each one of us be the behavioural personification of Bharat. We need to put ourselves in pursuit of this. Netaji says we left what was needed & hence being subjected to foreign rule. Then Netaji says what we need to do. ‘To build new India we have to build men of pure heart on one hand while on the other, we simultaneously have to work out ways by which we learn to act unitedly together in different sectors. What is Sangha? Even a common member of Sangha would say to someone new that Sangha is the work of byakti nirmaan i.e. character building. Many people say ‘why don’t you do some other work? Kyai haat upar haat niche, how does this help? What will happen out of this? Going to the Shakhas everyday, you could do something else. Are bhai, this is the very work of building men of pure heart as said by Subhash Babu. Pursuit of this required, making this a habit is required. By intellect, everyone can understand humanity, everyone accepts it in mind, but to use humanity one has to inculcate the habit of behaving as per situation demand leaving all other priorities and self-interest. That is why it is required to act and do with all others together. Do haat upar haat niche, but do it together. Bring in equality but make sure it’s collective. Samanya uthna baithna bhi adat se aa jaye tab thik hota hai. In Subhash Babu’s words, ‘working unitedly together in different sectors’. This is what is Sangha, this is what the practice is. Subhash Babu further says, “Indians had never forgot to try to build human beings of pure heart, but we forgot collective pursuits, we forgot that doing in exclusion of Rashtra, our pursuits don’t get success. Why we need to do all these in Sangha? Not for Sangha’s fame. We have to convert the whole society into this. We have no self-interest. We don’t have to win any election. We don’t even want popularity. But people like Subhash Babu had said that there’s no other way. That is why we go for this pursuit and we have to get everyone in this. Sangha may or may not be famous, tera Vaibhav amar rahe Maa. With this spirit in mind we progress in our work. Netaji says even further, ‘origin of every National organization remains rooted into the country’s history, thoughts, ideologies & day-to-day requirements’. Our organization too proceeded in this way itself. We have let the historical heritage of India progress. This is why we find Sangha even in Subhash Babu’s words, in Rabindranath’s words too. We think we are the extension of Swami Vivekananda’s words. This is so because we have not said anything new regarding the ideology part of it. We are working on the gist of whatever had been said in different words by all those different people who had selflessly worked in proven manners for the country. We are working to produce the requisite qualities for application of the gist and spirit of all what had been said by people starting from Dr. Vergese Kurian or Dr. Abdul Kalam of post independence time up to the pre-independence freedom fighters. Because this is required for the country. Our all time greats have said this, Subhash Babu too had said this. He didn’t mere say this but did it too. Fighting for freedom was a work of that time. But even while continuing to do that work how many great human beings he developed! He didn’t work alone but built up own assistants of his own quality who spent their whole lives in the same pursuit. Ek deep se jwala dusra jwalte deep anek, such turned the reality of Azad Hind Fauj. That’s how the flame of his freedom struggle remained illuminated in all their hearts. We got Swatantrata, would now have to bring in swa(self) ka tantra (system). All our lives would have to be recast as per the historical heritage and musing of history of this country. Requisite qualities, requisite unity and identification of the society for that cause has to be developed. This is a very big work. When dying for the country was the need of the hour people like Subhash Babu sacrificed their lives with smiles. Now it’s no time to die but have to live every moment, every bit of it for the country. We achieved freedom doesn’t mean the work is over. Independence has come, British reign no more there but we ourselves are ruling through our representatives. But now we have to built the own face of independent Bharat, such a face that can set a standard for the whole world showing ways to achieve peace and happiness. Every moment, henceforth, we have to move ahead with that spirit of submission and patriotism, ardently following requisite disciplines in life and uniting all for that cause. This work is ahead of us. That is why every year either in presence of other people or in our own bauddhik periphery of the Shakhas, we commemorate Netaji with that very spirit through big or small programs. Even today we recall his life, study both his words and deeds so that we may turn into divine human beings and broaden the path of Bharatvarsha’s progress. Thus a path to relieve the whole world too would be paved. As one single event can open three such great avenues, we are engaging in pious commemoration of Netaji on his Janm Jayanti, we have always done it and I would request that we build ourselves accordingly.

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