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The Eternal Gita
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The Bhagwad Gita (The Gita) does not specify that its teachings are bound by time, space, territory, religion or nation. Why should we reduce an all-embracing philosophy by territorial boundaries? Making it a ‘National Scripture’ or not won’t make any difference to its prestige.
The Bhagwad Gita has been highly praised, not only by prominent Indians including Mahatma Gandhi and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, but also by Aldous Huxley, Henry David Thoreau, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung, Herman Hesse, Bulent Ecevit and others. The Gita’s emphasis on selfless service was a prime source of inspiration for Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi had once said, “When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I don’t see one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagwad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of external tragedies and if they have not left any visible or invisible effect on me, I owe it to the teaching of the Bhagwad Gita.”

At the Gita Prerna Mahotsav, organised to celebrate 5,151 years of the Bhagwad Gita, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “Bhagwad Gita has the answers to everybody’s problems and that is why I said it in Parliament that it should be declared the Rashtriya Granth (Holy Scripture). The formal announcement for it has not been made since the NDA came to power. But I am happy to say that the Prime Minister has already given it the honour of a National ‘Rashtriya Granth’ by handing a copy of it over to America’s President Barack Obama. Only a formal announcement is pending now.”

Giving the Gita as a gift to the U.S. President is one thing, but for a responsible minister to declare in a public gathering that the Gita ought to be India’s ‘National scripture’ is a different thing. By declaring the Bhagwad Gita as the National Scripture won’t make it any more or less significant.
This move should not be politicised and should not be used by certain self-proclaimed Seculars for political gains. The debate should not be between Secularism and Hindutva.
Quotes from the Hindu scriptures are being used by various government institutions as their motto. However, they haven’t weakened the Secularism of India.

The motto of India is “सत्यमेव जयते” (Truth alone triumphs) which is taken from the Mundaka Upanishad.
The Life Insurance Corporation of India is a state-owned insurance group and investment company whose motto is “योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम्” ( “Your welfare is our responsibility”). This is derived from the Bhagavad Gita’s 9th chapter, 22nd verse.
The Indian Navy’s motto is “शं नो वरुणः” (May the Lord of the Oceans be auspicious unto us) which is taken from the Rig Veda.
The Indian Air Force: “नभःस्पृशं दीप्तम्” (Touching the Sky with Glory) is taken from the Bhagavad Gita: XI, Verse 24.
The television channel Doordarshan’s motto is  ‘सत्‍यं शिवम सुंदरम’ (Truth is God and God is beautiful).

Making Bhagwad Gita as the ‘National Scripture’ won’t destroy the Secular fabric of India. Our Secularism isn’t so weak that it will be destroyed that easily. India is a diverse nation and people from different religions in India are treated equally. Moreover, the minority communities have been given certain rights in the Indian Constitution that secure their development and help them progress. Thus, the argument that this move will destroy the Secular fabric of India isn’t a strong one.

The point is that the Bhagwad Gita does not need any legal sanction to describe its greatness. The Gita is not the only major philosophical work in the vast body of Hindu scriptures. Why should the government single it out?

Scriptures of the Gita, Quran, Bible, Guru Granth Sahib, etc., are a message of God to mankind. They act as a tool for social control. No religious scripture and religion should be imposed upon someone. Religion is a private affair and everyone should have the freedom to worship and propagate their religion.

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Kartikey Misra

A student of law, co-founder eltrivate, Individualist, Narcissist. Totally believes in Nationalism. Has an interest in politics, history, religion, literature and international relations. Loves to hunt pseudo liberals and pseudo seculars.

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