Just as an individual becomes old, the society also becomes old. Just as an individual dies, the society dies and civilizations also die, but no individual can refuse to become old or refuse to die. But a society, a civilization can refuse to become old and to die if it so desires, although the society which refuses to die will cease to have a new life. It is easy to refuse to die, but if a new life is not available a sort of dead life begins.
The civilization of this country has long since ceased to have a new birth. We are as we have been for thousands of years. Even if there are a few changes, they have come from outside; changes have not happened from within ourselves. If we have progressed it is due to our being pushed by others, not to our own inner push. We have moved ahead out of compulsion, but our soul is shackled to our past.
Our society is as good as dead. Since ages sprouts of new life have ceased to grow. But we are neither unhappy nor anxious because of this; indeed we feel happy and fortunate because of it. We go on continuously claiming that there are no scriptures older than ours, that no temples are older than ours. We never feel concerned for the fact that all this fuss about our being ancient is the proof of our having ceased to have a new life.
Those who are capable of being new let the old disappear; those who are unable to have a new life go on praising the old and go on telling old stories. They go on carrying old names and old scriptures in their heads. But this is all dead weight and results in destroying the soul and dignity of the country. Therefore, there is no sadder community than ours on this earth. Our sadness is like that of some old ruined society; our mind has been like some old building, old and dilapidated, full of layers of dust and rubbish.
Where the streams of life cease to flow, the life becomes sad, stinks and becomes dirty. If we dam the flow of a river, the water will become dirty and stinking. It is not only that the streets of our town are full of filth and dirt, but the condition of the whole country has become like those streets. The streets of the town look dirty, but the streets of the mind cannot even be seen. A day may come when we shall clean the streets, if not today then tomorrow, but since the streets of the mind cannot be seen, who can clean them? The outer roads may soon become clean, but the inner roads will remain dirty. Just by the outer roads becoming clean, nothing of the inner can change. In our country many new things are coming and we are becoming modern. New children are being born daily, but our mind continues to remain old. It is thousands of years old, not just ordinarily old.
If we study the rules and regulations of our society, we will find that we have previously: i.e. not made any progress since Manu. Manu happened about three thousand five hundred years ago, and the sudra that was given birth by Manu is still living. Even today the talk of making a sudra free of his stigma is considered revolutionary. If the talk of removing the stigma of a sudra is still considered revolutionary, it means that the sudra is still very strong and very much feared by the higher castes. How can a rule made by somebody three and a half thousand years ago, continue to live, and cannot be removed?