Monday, 4 January 2016

Interview given to Sobhana K Nair, Mumbai Mirror on 30th of December 2015

Interview given to Sobhana K Nair, Mumbai Mirror on 30th of December 2015

Q) Why do you say that Akhanda Bharath is a cultural concept and not
political. Could you please elucidate further.

A) In fact, Bharathkhand is a Puranic geographic term. When looked at etymologically,
Bharath denotes ‘Light’ that is Jnana. The process of ‘realisation of
soul’ is described as transition from darkness to Light. The Knowledge
and the Process (sadhana) through which the realisation can be
attained form the basis of the Bharath culture. Ancient Indian
literature –Vedic and non-Vedic, Sanskrit and others- unanimously
subscribe to the ultimate goal of man and suggest a process to achieve
it through variety of ritual (religious) or non-ritual practices like
yoga, tapas, etc. Many religions and Darshanas sprouted from this
culture. Therefore, Bharath  is a unique cultural denomination with a
strong secular import. 

Q) Historically, at any point, are you of the opinion that Akhanda
Bharath existed?

A)  ‘Akhand’ is a recent prefix necessitated during freedom struggle of
India to prevent the division of country on communal lines. In India,
religion had never been the basis for forming political units. Neither
any religion nor politics united the entire sub-continent. Only the
culture based on secular Dharma served as unifying force. The learned
freedom fighters, nationalistic spiritual masters and social reformers
during freedom struggle advocated for the unity of people based on
secular Bharath Culture. But the political interests overpowered the cultural
ethos in 1947. Nevertheless, the nature of Bharath culture, inclusiveness, stayed deeply rooted in Indians. That is why, a Bharateeya/Indian yearns for Akhanda Bharath. If the politics
are moderated, economic and cultural integration is quite possible and
facilitates the SARC countries emerging as a strong consortium.

Q) As ICHR chairperson will you be undertaking any project on the issue? 
A) It is the Council that decides on research projects.