Sunday October 21, 2018

Is it right to call Narada Muni the world’s first journalist?

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By Gaurav Sharma

At a time when the brand of journalism being practiced today is increasingly raising eyebrows, it would be pertinent to trace the roots of the fourth pillar of democracy in Hindu mythology.

You might be wondering how Narada Muni has got anything to do with journalism.

Well, that is because the nationalists, particularly the Sangh (RSS), have been celebrating Narada Jayanti as Journalism Day for several years now.

Strangely, the Press Freedom Day almost coincides with the birth of the ancient rishi (sage) Narada, the day  celebrated as Narada Jayanti  among Hindus.

In Indian mythology, Narada is visualized as the first journalist, the primary source of information among Gods. The RSS in its paper, Organiser, advises journalists to practice their profession in accordance with the principles of Narada.

J Nandkumar, the assistant publicity head of the RSS, while citing the fifth chapter of Mahabharata Sabhaparwa, says in his publication, “Narada was considered to be the first reporter or journalist of the whole universe. He knew the crux of journalism. His mastery over journalism and expertise in communication was shown when he gave tips to Yudhishtira on governance.”

Referring to the importance stressed by Narada on transparent and fair news broadcasting, Nandkumar adds, “At another occasion he told Yudhisthira that the power of the common people is totally based on how they are informed. They should know how things are going on all over the world. So a responsible ruler should make necessary arrangements to make people aware of the facts.”

While some branches of Hinduism, particularly the Vaishnava school, considers Narada as a pure and elevated soul deeply absorbed in singing the glories of Vishnu. They believe that Narada cannot be viewed solely as a beacon of truthful message transmission.

The secularists might view the angelic projection of Narada with suspicion, as various facets of his nature are brought to the fore in the scriptures, which also depict him as a war-monger responsible for spreading mischief and gossip.

In folklore, he is seen as travelling between the realms of gods, demigods, humans and demons, inciting quarrels among them, by striking deft, witty conversations, which make them jealous and insecure.

This behavior seems more in accord with the brand of sensational journalism that we all too often see on our news channels today.

Mythologist Devadutt Patnaik in an article written in 2008 refers to Narada as the “Cursed gossip monger,” saying, “If you find ‘office politics,’ know that Narada has been at work. You can sense his presence at almost every office lunch or late night booze party, where invariably, inevitably, someone will provide fodder for enthusiastic conversations about cunning secretaries, unfair promotions, manipulative colleagues, favoritism of bosses, disproportionate salaries, nefarious practices.”

Staunch followers of Hinduism, however, remain adamant in their stance and are quick to dismiss such ‘false notions.’

“Narada was known as a person who used to cultivate disputes among gods and others with his communication skills. Without knowing the real purpose of those skills, many called him war monger kalahapriya (fond of contention), etc. But Narada used those disputes only to resolve the complex problems and also to restore dharma and peace,” says J Nandkumar.

Be that as it may, both extreme views of Narada, as an ideal journalist and a shrewd igniter of bitter battles, may not be entirely true. A more human form– a concoction of divine properties with devilish propensities is what Narada seems to possess.

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  • I think he can be called a mischief broker.

    • where there is mischief he breaks it. Lesser friends of Narayana cannot understand the complexity of His work.

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World Hindu Congress: RSS Chief says that Hindus Don’t Aspire to be Dominant

"It is time the Hindu society showcased its oneness to the world and went back to its ancient wisdom and values," Bhagwat said.

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World Hindu Congress
Hindus don't oppose anyone, don't aspire to dominate: RSS chief

Asserting that Hindus neither oppose anybody nor aspire to dominate, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday said the community needs to unite to end its centuries of sufferings.

Speaking at the 2nd World Hindu Congress here, Bhagwat said the key to unite the world is to control ego and accepting the consensus.

“We do not have any aspects of dominance. Hindus do not live to oppose anybody. We even allow the pests to live. There are people who may oppose us. You have to tackle them without harming them,” said Bhagwat addressing delegates from across the globe.

World Hindu Congress
Hinduism, religion

“Why are we suffering for 1000 years? We had everything but we forgot to practise values. We also forgot to work together. Hindu society has largest number of meritorious people in many sectors. But they never come together, stay together.

“Coming together of Hindus itself was a difficult task. Earlier, when our Swayamsevaks would try to organise people, they would say ‘a lion never walks in a group’, but even that lion or a Royal Bengal tiger who is the king of the jungle… if he is alone, wild dogs together can invade and destroy him…,” he said calling upon Hindus to unite.

The 2nd World Hindu Congress is being held on the occasion of 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893.

World Hindu Congress
The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002. Wikimedia Commons

Talking about uniting the world, Bhagwat cited the example of Lord Krishna and Yudhishthir from the Mahabharata, who he said never contradicted each other.

“One of the key values to bring the whole world into a team is to have controlled ego and learn to accept the consensus.

“It is time the Hindu society showcased its oneness to the world and went back to its ancient wisdom and values,” Bhagwat said.

 

RSS support Hindus
RSS world’s largest organisation promote hindutva

 

He said that the negative influence of ego should always be avoided.

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“Of all the main characters, Krishna never contradicted Yudhishthir and Yudhishthir never disobeyed Krishna because it is important to work unitedly, keeping your ego aside,” he added. (IANS)