How Diwali, Hindu Festival of Lights, Teaches Us to Fight Injustice
15:40 08.11.2023 (Updated: 13:17 10.11.2023)
Diwali is essentially a moral about the triumph of good over evil. Sputnik India explains why this Hindu festival is more relevant than ever in today's turbulent times.
The festival of lights, Diwali, essentially carries the moral of "triumph of good over evil", as underlined by Lord Rama through his victory over the mighty demon king Ravana, who was killed for his evil deeds.
Diwali, to be celebrated this Sunday, could be seen as an occasion for the world at large to pause and reflect on making a collective effort against injustice for everlasting global peace and prosperity, Sputnik India explains why.
While Diwali carries a message of peaceful living and prosperity for all, as an Indian school of thought, it also reminds everyone to stop taking things for granted when an injustice is done to you, says Ashwani Mahajan, a noted academic and Indian expert on global developments.
"When an injustice is done, we have to address it, heal it and correct it. Because if evil forces continue to march forward, they will ultimately harm humanity," said the national co-convener of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, an economic platform of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), when asked if Diwali also had a message for the warring world.
Therefore, he suggested, evil forces should be curbed and the rule of Dharma should be established
"Whether it's the Indian epic Ramayana or Mahabharata, their inherent aim and message is not to establish the law of the land but the rule of Dharma," he pointed out. "So this is what you need to do when somebody is doing you wrong in this war-mongering world
"If it's a war, for example, if terrorists are making people's lives difficult or miserable, they have to be stopped. It will be for humanity. It's not that you're against one religion or another. It's the call of humanity to curb these evil tendencies," he elaborated.
Being Able to Defeat Any Evil Force
Ultimately, the rule of Dharma should be established. And you should be strong enough so that nobody dares to attack you or harm you. And that's the essence of Indian philosophy, said the academic.
According to Mahajan, when India's nuclear tests were conducted in 1998 under the leadership of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, some people said that India wanted to become capable of making nuclear bombs or weapons. India, however, maintained that "it was for nuclear deterrence
That makes Buddha smile. That means we are certainly peace lovers. But nobody should think that they can harm us with nuclear weapons, Mahajan explained. "Basically, the philosophy is that we should be so capable that nobody dares to be mad at us."
Noting that India is now making itself self-sufficient in defence equipment or defence production, he asserted: "Basically, it is a deterrent. If we have a strong army, that is a deterrent. If we give a befitting answer on the borders, whether it's China or Pakistan, that's a deterrent".
Why Hinduism as ‘Dharma’ Serves as an Inspiration for the Whole World
Explaining the rule of 'Dharma', he shared that Hindu Dharma is a way of life
... "what's my commitment, responsibility or duty towards my nation, society, family and nature. So we want a just, peaceful and pollution free world, protecting the environment while developing ourselves".
"It (Dharma) can't be sustainable if we don't fulfil our duties towards nature, my society, my family, my nation and the globe. That's what we have said through the very theme of the G20 summit, which was driven by the deep-rooted Indian philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' - one earth, one family, one future," Mahajan said.
He said India's deep-rooted philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' believed in co-existence. It never asked anyone to attack the world or others and take over their land. It also believed that everyone should be allowed to live in peace. "I have said time and again that every country has the right to protect its borders. If Russia felt that NATO was coming to its borders, that was obviously a trigger for its unease."
But India's position has always been that it's not the time for war, Mahajan said, adding: "And every country should understand that this is the only way we can make humanity prosperous and make this earth habitable and this whole production process sustainable."