Chaitra, Baisakh, Jyeshtha, Ashadh, Shravan, Bhadra, Ashwin, Kartik, Mangsir, Poush, Magh, and Falgun, these are the twelve Hindu months and today, on the 21st of March 2015 of the Gregorian calendar, is the Hindu Nav Varsh 2072, commonly referred as the Vikram NavVarsh Samvat as per the lunar Hindu calendars followed across the North India. Gujarat, to be noted, follows Vikram Samvat calendar(associated with Emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain and this calendar follows his victory over the Sakas in 56 B.C.);hence the New Year there will start on the 12th of November 2015 (the day after Diwali in the month of Kartik)of the Gregorian calendar. I know that in the want and grip of hasty and severe westernization, many of us do not even know the 12 months of Hindu calendar as mentioned in the beginning. While January, February and other months of Gregorian calendar (named after Pope Gregory XIII) are at the tips of people from urban or even rural parts of India, the Hindu calendar is now limited to just literature. Anyways, this doesn’t mean that the eminence of Hindu days and months has reduced; hence celebrations are to see no compromises, Diyas be lit by every Indian household, sweets be distributed, elders of the familybe cherished and the saffron flag be hoisted in all homes. A chandantilak on the forehead of every Indian is desired.
This is no competing or establishing our superiority over the other; but something that was developed within the borders of our homeland by the Indian intellects, ought to be given a prominent place in our present lives. It is true that unless you know and respect your history, your roots, development cannot be called. I still remember the childhood days when wisdom and valor of Emperors Vikramaditya, Asoka, Chandragupta Maurya were part of stories in every Indian family; the same have now been replaced by Harry Porter and Cinderella, which are mere fictions, far from reality. Let us, however, do not fall in the debate of richness of Indian culture and history as compared to the rest of the world; let’s rather discuss how we can turn this day into a productive asset for our society, a change that can better the lives of all Indians, poor or rich, and can make our social, economic, environmental and political spheres enriched and fruitful.
And when this New Year emerges from the Hindu calendar, why not talk about refining our social domain in view of thelushness that we have inherited from the past. Rivers were always considered as Goddesses, the condition today, however, of Indian rivers is pitiful, owing to our ignorance and participation in the acts of polluting them. You can target industries for heavy flow of waste into rivers, but where from do those plastic bags, water/ alcohol bottles and bidi/ tobacco wrappers come from in the rivers? Clean Ganga is not merely the liability of any government, it is the accountability of us all, let us pledge not to contaminate our Goddesses with household waste and also educate others about the same. Women in ancient India weren’t suppressed, then, what made us so brutal and inhuman that reports say that every other woman in India is a victim of domestic violence/ sexual harassment/ verbal abuse? Teaching our sons the need of respecting women is what is needed.
They are dividing and ruling us on caste/ religious differences, and we are now used to becoming silent sufferers. Why do we forget that we ‘elect’ them, and then why not elect the ones who are above this fake secularism and are crusaders of development, all-inclusive development? Paying taxes timely is our indispensable duty, reporting any and every injustice in the society is our obligation and letting the benefits of economic growth flow to every Indian is our compulsion. Teachers are to know the duties of being a ‘Guru’, government officials are to know how to serve the responsibility of being a public ‘Sewak’, and a common man has to be a ‘Bhartiya’ first, then a Jaat, Pandit, Shia or a Sunni.The Hindu NavVarsh2072 has to mark the beginning of a new era, and with so many social endeavors endorsed by the PM himself, I believe participants will be all the Indians.
Lastly, westernization and implementing any of the social norms of European nations needs brains to analyze their suitability to Indian traditions and their long-term effect. Prior to asking for legalization of homosexuality, we have to work for building toilets for every Indian household, prior to hoping for a government that is corruption-free, we will have to part with our greed of quick and illicit perks that motivate us to vote even for criminals/ corrupts, and prior to expecting a cleaner surrounding, we are to assure that none of us dumps waste on roads, public places or in rivers. All in all, tasks are many, and why I say to give a kick-start to all these on this Hindu New Year is because I believe that the rich Hindu history is our core fundamental and hence there can be no other day better than today.
On this auspicious day, when Lord Brahma started the creation of this world, referred to as Yagaadi (beginning of the Yug), when the Arya Samaj was founded, when the spring season along with Vasant Navratri commences and when occasions like Gudi Padawa and Ugadi are celebrated in parts of India, an appeal goes to Indian rulers to spread awareness, by way of promotion, addition to school curriculum and media broadcasts, about Indian and Hindu roots, prominent days and months of Hindu calendar. To all- Dedicated focus on 1st January of the Gregorian calendar and celebrations on that day can never be at the stake of Hindu and Indian culture, let your children not be a stranger to Hindu rituals, tell them the glorious past of ours, and assure that Hindu Nav Varsh is celebrated with distinction and high spirits.