Prime Miniter Narendra Modi’s name for a daybreak to nightfall ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday, March 22 is a name for ‘Svadharma’. It was part of his ‘address to the nation’ he delivered on Thursday, March 19. The tackle was in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic wrecking havoc around the globe.

In his tackle, PM Modi appealed to his Navagrah, his insistence on holding on firmly to his 9 (“nav”) requests relating primarily to cleanliness, service, gratitude, and commonsense. This Navagraha, partially, seems to be borrowed from Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha and partly associated to the celebration of the competition of Sri Ram Navami. Satyagraha (satya: “truth”, agraha: “holding firmly to”) is a option to dwell Truthfully and constructively. Satyagraha is a “truth-force” that’s generated by means of adherence to Truth.


PM Modi is an impressive orator. He has a method of presenting his concepts and connecting to lots in probably the most simplistic and environment friendly method. He is ready to do that efficiently as a result of he speaks in ‘people’s language’. His speeches, past the occasional rhetoric and hyperbole of a grounded politician, are additionally laced with nuanced cultural-historical references. It is in these nuanced references that he transcends India’s linguistic variety. It isn’t any imply feat by any means contemplating the size and the breadth of the nation, 22 constitutionally acknowledged official languages, and 1000’s of different languages of India.

While Modi’s Navagrah was a way more complete enchantment to his fellow residents of India, the ‘Janata Curfew’ created a disproportionate buzz within the media. Many noticed it as a rehearsal for issues to return, maybe a nationwide lockdown in response to the COVID-19 unfold. Regardless of its any future implications, Janata Curfew at its coronary heart is an train in Svadharma.

Svadharma is a well-known idea in Indic tradition the place a person human being, not humanity or another unit of it, instructions the centerstage. It is an idea about people appearing in a method that matches their svabhava (character or disposition), their talents, expertise, and expertise. It is about individuals doing their very own degree greatest.

When PM Modi introduced his demonetization plans in 2016, he had appealed to the identical Svadharma. He had appealed to individuals, wealthy and poor alike, slicing throughout the complete spectrum of the Indian society to face in lengthy strains for hours as a result of it was the precise factor to do. He was capable of persuade individuals to undergo all of the hassles and hardships as a result of it wasn’t simply the precise factor to do, however it was additionally the righteous factor to do for the good Indian nation and its future generations. It was their Dharma.

Svadharma is a mix of two Sanskrit phrases — ‘sva’ and ‘dharma’. Prefix ‘sva’ means ‘self’. Thus Svadharma is a person’s private dharma. Dharma in itself is the overarching key idea in Indic tradition. It is the everlasting regulation that governs the complete cosmos. According to Sri Aurobindo, “dharma is the Indian conception where rights and duties lose the artificial antagonism created by a view of the world which makes selfishness the root of action, and regain their deep and eternal unity.”

A name to Svadharma has a a lot deeper which means in Indic tradition. Svadharma is an motion with out concern, stress, or compulsion. Word svadharma seems, most notably, in chapter 3, verse 35 of the Bhagwad Gita the place it reads, ‘svadharme nidhanam shreyan, paradharmo bhayavaha’: certainly it’s higher to rely by yourself dharma than another person’s. In reality, it’s preferable to die performing one’s personal dharma than to observe the trail of one other. We should play our half, nice or small. To act towards one’s personal dharma is fraught with hazard.

This notion of Svadharma is extraordinarily empowering, particularly in such dire conditions because the one we face with respect to the unfold of COVID-19 virus. For instance, not all of us are skilled healthcare suppliers. Despite the necessity and the urge, we should always depart the issues pertaining to remedy, medical opinion, and many others., to the consultants. If all of us deal with our personal private hygiene, social distancing protocol, and many others., we can be serving to the state of affairs enormously. The very last thing we need to do is to unfold rumors and create chaos. This is the place PM Modi’s name for ‘Janata Curfew’ assumes significance and judging by the response within the media, each mainstream and social, Indians the world over have responded positively and enthusiastically to his name.

Another considered one of his Navagrahas was to point out gratitude to healthcare and different important service suppliers. This is to be achieved by clapping and by banging on metallic plates (tali and thali). This banging on thali might remind lots of the early 1970s when this was utilized in elements of India in the course of the Emergency as a type of protest. It isn’t any coincidence that March 21 additionally marks the anniversary of the withdrawal of the Emergency. The draconian Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975 was withdrawn on March 21, 1977.

It can also be no coincidence that an enchantment to Navagraha is made days earlier than the auspicious Hindu competition of Chaitra or Vasanta Navaratri which begins on March 24. It marks the start of a 9 day worship of Maa Durga, in her varied types. It culminates in Ram Navami, the celebration of Bhagawan Rama’s birthday. These connections, if not deliberate, aren’t misplaced on anybody.

PM Modi requested his fellow residents to be sajag and satark (cautious and vigilant). He additionally requested for sankalp and sanyam (resolve and restrain). They all have deep cultural and non secular which means in Indic tradition. These notions can be challenged and hopefully on full show in days to return if a nation of 1.Three billion and a sixth of humanity hopes to beat this grave human disaster.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the writer’s personal.


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