Today's Beautiful Gem: "Bharat Mata"
from the `Discovery of India' by Jawaharlal Nehru
"Sometimes as I reached a gathering, a great roar of welcome
would greet me: Bharat Mata ki Jai-- Victory to Mother India!
I would ask them unexpectedly what they meant by that cry, who
was this Bharat Mata, Mother India, whose victory they wanted?
My question would amuse them and surprise them, and then, not
knowing exactly what to answer, they would look at each other
and at me. I persisted in my questioning. At last a vigorous
Jat, wedded to the soil from immemorial generations, would say
that it was the dharti, the good earth of India, that they
meant. What earth? Their particular village patch, or all the
patches in the district or province, or in the whole of India?
And so question and answer went on, till they would ask me
impatiently to tell them all about it. I would endeavour to do
so and explain that India was all this that they had thought,
but it was much more. The mountains and rivers of India, and
the forests and the broad fields, which gave us food, were all
dear to us, but what counted ultimately were the people of
India, people like them and me, who were spread out all over
this vast land. Bharat Mata, Mother India, was essentially
these millions of people, and victory to her meant victory to
these people. You are parts of this Bharat Mata, I told them,
you are in a manner yourselves Bharat Mata, and as this idea
slowly soaked into their brains, their eyes would light up as
if they had made a great discovery."
Note: August 15, the Indian Independence Day, is not far off.
Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao