Chapter 9: Freedom from the Past
These days in our country, the policy makers are talking again and again of “taking the country into the twenty-first century.” Particularly in the last one and a half to two years this discussion has escalated.
Do you think this is possible in the present situation?
The very first thing is whether or not this country is even in the twentieth century! India must be taken into the twenty-first century - that is understandable - but who will take you? Here, people are still living thousands of years in the past. The leaders of this country, even people like Mahatma Gandhi, think that all the discoveries and inventions that have taken place after the invention of the spinning wheel should be destroyed, that the spinning wheel is the ultimate science. Mahatma Gandhi was against railway trains, against telephones, against the telegraph. If he is listened to.
And the leaders of this country have been following his ideas, at least they have been pretending to, at least they have been keeping the “Gandhi cap” on, at least they have been wearing khadi - clothes made from handspun yarn.
If he is listened to then this country will fall back at least two thousand years. Forget about the twenty-first century, even if it reaches the first century one should be thankful.
The minds of the people who are talking about taking India into the twenty-first century are filled with such rotten ideas, ideas that have already been discarded all over the world but which are still alive in India.
The idea is very pleasant, that “Let us move into the twenty-first century, and also before others,” but we are still sitting in bullock carts, while others have reached to the moon. Yes, once in a while in stories we also arrive at the moon, but even if we reach the moon, we will still be what we are.
I have heard.
When an American landed on the moon for the first time he was puzzled to see that a Hindu monk was sitting there in meditation by a fire. He said, “This is too much! We have almost killed ourselves working so hard to get here. We have spent billions of dollars on the project, and this junkie is already sitting here by his fire in meditation. It must be some spiritual miracle.”
So the American went over and touched the monk’s feet in reverence, upon which the monk opened his eyes and asked him, “Have you got a cigarette on you? It has been such a long time since I enjoyed an American cigarette.”
The American man said, “Here, take the cigarette, but tell me, how did you reach here?”