The Second Freedom Struggle
By Acharya Sachidananda on 17-02-2017
‘Let me quote from a letter that Gandhiji had written from Delhi on 27th January 1948, just 3 days before his martyrdom…’ the Baba began…‘Gandhiji had written in that letter: “The Congress has won political freedom, but it has yet to win economic freedom, social and moral freedoms. These freedoms are harder than the political, if only because they are constructive, less exciting and not spectacular.” …‘Political freedom, economic freedom, social freedom and moral freedom were the four pillars of the ‘Purna Swaraj’ that was envisaged by Mahatma Gandhi and other ‘freedom fighters’ who had laid down their lives in the first Freedom Struggle of India…… ‘We had won our political freedom in 1947. But ‘Purna Swaraj’ still remains a distant dream for us. We are yet to win economic, social and moral freedoms for India. This unfinished task calls for a ‘Second Freedom Struggle’ that will be harder and more challenging than the first. This is the historic mission bequeathed to posterity by those who had won the political freedom for India through their ‘blood, sweat and tears’- blood shed in non-violent struggle, sweat of hard work and tears of ardent prayer…..‘Economic freedom begins with freedom from poverty and hunger. Even after half a century and more of political freedom, more than 300 million people in India still live below poverty line, not being able to afford one nourishing meal a day. Hence, freedom from hunger whereby every Indian citizen is able to have at least one nourishing meal a day has to be the basic goal of the Second Freedom Struggle….‘Charity, freebies or ‘poor feeding’ cannot be the solution. We need to have a sustainable development strategy focusing on education, employment and empowerment….For this we will need entrepreneurship and employment-oriented as well as character building education. Are you with me my son?’, the Baba asked.‘Yes, of course revered guruji.’ Answered Atma Prakash ‘Now let us come to social freedom’ the Baba said after a pause. He continued: ‘Social freedom cannot be won for India as long as the dehumanizing caste system continues to exist in our country. The caste system, though had a relevance in ancient India, has today become a curse on Independent India. We need to liberate the people of India, especially the political parties in this country, from their obsession with caste-class-minority ‘vote bank’ politics…‘We need to see all Indians as children of the one true God and citizens of the one Sovereign Democratic Republic, and as members of one national family bound with a common destiny. Only enlightened leaders can have such an inclusive vision and undertake such a nation-building mission….‘Social freedom also implies freedom from the all-pervasive ‘subject mentality’ in India. We were subjects under foreign powers for centuries together. As a result, we have developed a ‘subject mentality’ which is still predominant in our mindset…‘Subjects always demand more and more rights and privileges for themselves even at the cost of national interests. Subjects have a tendency to steal and loot when they get a chance. They will not have any deep sense of nationalism or patriotism. Subjects will very seldom have any sense of responsibility and entrepreneurship….‘Social freedom for India will ever remain a mirage unless India is liberated from the all-pervasive subject mentality. The late President of USA, John F Kennedy, had told the American citizens: ‘Do not ask what America can do for you, but ask what you can do for America’. We Indians also need to ask ourselves not what we can take from Mother India but what we can give to Mother India….‘We need to develop responsible citizenship and entrepreneurial spirit in India, especially among the youth of our country’. The guru looked at his beloved disciple who was listening to his words very attentively.The Baba continued: ‘Moral freedom for India has to begin with freedom from corruption in the Government. Government money is the citizens’ money. It needs to be used for the well-being of the citizens of India. Every rupee must be accounted for and used judiciously….‘The all pervasive corruption in the successive Governments of Independent India has been the biggest block in the path of development in our country.’ The Baba stopped for a while and looked at Atma Prakash.
About The Author
Swami Sachidananda Bharathi is an Indian Air Force officer turned spiritual guide and an apostle of peace and love. He is the patron of 'Indian Thoughts'. He represented India in the 'Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders' held under UNO, in 2000. He has founded Dharma Bharathi Mission.