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Modern Chanakya: By serving Bhagvad Gita, Prime Minister Narendra Modi can make India stand miles apart in the geopolitical space

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the forum
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New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving his statement to the media, at the Joint Press Briefing, in New Delhi on June 5, 2015. (Photo: IANS/PIB)
Image: IANS

By Gaurav Sharma

In promotion of Indian culture and heritage, no Indian Prime Minister even minutely compares to Narendra Modi’s vigour and pro-activeness.

Apart from being a harbinger of economic development, Modi has ensured that the rich history of India is marketed profusely even as geopolitical ties with other nations are strengthened through the diplomatic route.

In his maiden visit to the United States, Modi gifted ‘The Bhagavad Gita according to Gandhi’ to President Barack Obama, thereby propounding Indic values on the Western shore.

Ahimsa or non-violence was also extolled as the guiding philosophy of the Indian nation, inspired by icons such as the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.

Tulsi Gabbard, an elected member of the US House of Representatives, reciprocated by gifting her own version of the Gita to the Indian Premier.

The advertisement of the Gita is not an isolated incident restricted to the United States. Modi rekindled India’s spiritual ties with the Eastern nations by presenting the message of Gita in a witty yet graceful fashion.

In his visit to Japan. Modi gifted Emperor Akihito with a copy of the Bhagavad Gita. Apart from happily advocating the universal message of the Gita, Modi tried to stem the foreign notion of India as snake-charmers.

His wry remark, “We’ve had devaluation. We used to play with snakes, now we play with the mouse. When we move a mouse, the whole world moves” made him the hero of Indian diaspora.

Secular critics, however slammed Modi’s Gita distribution as a propagation of a deeply polarizing RSS agenda.

Mainstream television news channels, ran long debates against the celebration of the universal message of the Gita, based on the warped premise that the philosophical narrative was essentially a Hindu text, and therefore its presentation to foreign diplomats was a discriminatory move on part of Modi.

The liberal secularists term such an initiative as antithetical to the ‘secular’ fabric of India.

Most of the intellectual and academic study of the Gita has been limited to either deciphering whether Krishna was real or fictional or to defining the Mahabharata as a class struggle and a clash of tribal groups.

Such narrow subjections are basically a reading of the civilisational texts through the prism of Europeanised thought.

In this regard Lokamanya Tilak’s view holds much food-for-thought; “When you want to read and understand a great book–especially a great book such as the Gita–you must approach it with an unprejudiced and unprepossessed mind”.

Moreover, the reductionist view of the ‘pseudo-liberal’ secularists, has been the greatest impediment in India’s movement towards becoming the world leader of deeper harmonious spiritual truths.

In fact, the message of the Gita can itself become the unique selling point (USP) of India in the globalized world, something that could make India stand miles apart in the geopolitical space.

Since, the United Nations has failed to usher world peace, perhaps Gita can provide the succour for wounded souls.

Besides, some of India’s most prolific and enlightened thinkers, such as Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi have argued for the universal message of the Gita.

S. Radhakrishnan, India’s first vice-president sums-up the broad-minded scope of the Gita as follows, “Gita does not represent any sect of Hinduism but Hinduism as a whole, not merely Hinduism but religion as such, in its universality, without limit of time or space…”

Surely not all of our founding fathers were ‘Hindu’, although the mainstream media loves to paint such a dubious picture.

Modi has definitely taken the right course by carrying the message of Gita to countries bereft of such lofty and pristine spiritual wisdom.

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Big reforms Led to India becoming the fastest growing major Economy globally: Garg

It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries

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The RBI building in Mumbai.
The RBI building in Mumbai. Photo credit: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

The major reforms undertaken by the Indian government for raising economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability have made the country one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, said Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

Garg was addressing the Special Event hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on ‘Indian Economy: Prospect and Challenges’ in Washington D.C on Friday.

Indian economy needs more reforms.
Indian economy needs more reforms.

He said the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) represented an “historic economic and political achievement, unprecedented in Indian tax and economic reforms, which has rekindled optimism on structural reforms.” He further emphasized that India carried-out such major reforms when the global economy was slow.

“With the cyclical recovery in global growth amid supportive monetary conditions and the transient impact of the major structural reforms over, India will continue to perform robustly,” Garg said.

During his meetings, Garg highlighted that the digital age technologies have profound implications for policies concerning every aspects of the economy. It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries.

Also Read: Biggest Bank Frauds Which Shook The Indian Economy

He expressed that the response to such a transformation will have to shift from ‘catch up’ growth to adoption/adaption of digital technologies for development and growth.

Garg also informed that India has started adopting policies and programmes for transforming systems of delivery of services using digital technologies and connecting every Indian with digital technologies and access through Aadhaar and other such means.

Indian economy should be on rise.
Indian economy should be on rise. Image: Mapsofindia

While citing the example of expanding mobile data access, he mentioned that India is now the largest consumer of mobile data in the world with 11 gigabytes mobile data consumption per month. He informed that India is investing in digital technologies, encouraging private sector to adapt these technologies and also addressing the taxation related issues by introducing equalisation levy.

Garg is currently on an official tour to Washington D.C. to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India and other senior officials. IANS