THE SPIRIT OF INDIA: Skit by students of Sri Sathya Sai University
The Saga of National Independence struggle
August 14, 2008
“Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it” was the famous quote from father of India’s nationalism, Bal Gangadhar Tilak that imbued Indians with patriotic fervour and love for Mother India. Come August 15th and one feels the adrenalin of patriotism getting in his veins. 15th August 1947 was the day India rediscovered herself, when she woke up to freedom, from the tyrannical British regime that ruled her for more than two centuries. The nation celebrates this great victory all over the county with celebrations echoing the unity factor. And it was this voice of unity that was heard echoing on the eve of India’s Independence Day at Prasanthi Nilayam.
Celebrating the occasion, the postgraduate students from the Sri Sathya Sai University presented a spirited display of patriotic fervour through a music drama, titled, THE SPIRIT OF INDIA on the eve of National Independence Day. A fine portrayal highlighting the spirit of patriotism, achieved through the viable media of individuality of the human, nationality of a citizen, devotion in diversity, integrity of character, and atmic reality, in its finer essence was on display in the Divine presence of Bhagawan.
How important and how significant is one’s passion for Motherland? The presentation had answer to this question depicted through a rebellious youngster of national independence struggle, an unsung hero by name Ravi Singh whose dedication and sacrifice for the greater cause was the central theme of the presentation.
The presentation starts with an open question to the public as to “Why are we proud to be called an Indian?” Pat came the reply from a student, that he loved to be an Indian because Lord has taken birth in this sacred land over and over and again through the ages… then came a lad from 8th standard who echoed the same sentiments and Bhagawan was literally moved at the spirit shown by the little one. The drama was weaved into a fine brocade of a story by the threads of unsung heroes of independence struggle, who sacrificed everything for the sake of Poorna Swaraj. The story coursed alongside the lives of two young men who dedicate their lives for the freedom struggle under the leadership of the Mahatma, Gandhiji. They rise against the British non-violently, trusting the power of their immortal spirit rather than relying on the strength of the mortal body. They receive the blows rained by the British joyfully knowing that each blow that seemed to crush their body actually developed their resolve to be free into an indomitable and unbreakable one. They go to jail and there too experience the joy of Unity and oneness as people of all religions and strata in society rub shoulders, united in the common cause of freeing Mother India from the fetters of foreign rule. Gandhiji motivates them by his mere words laced with Truth through stories from epics and past history, like the one that of Raja Harishchandra whose kingdom exemplified the adage: yathaa raja tathaa prajah, which means: as the king, so are the subjects.
The story moves to the court of Sri Aurobindo wherein the protagonist takes shelter after loosing his son to police brutality. Posing a valid question as to why people in the name of non-violence meekly receive blows and attributes the same to bravery and non-violence. Did not Lord Krishna in the Bhagawad Gita too urge Arjuna to rise in arms? The Krishna Arjuna dialogue ensues and message becomes very clear. Krishna, though apparently urged Arjuna to wage war, wanted him to actually give up body attachment. And war was the means of doing it then for Arjuna did not want to fight because he thought he was killing his own people. Non-violence was the means now for the revolutionaries wanted to fight because they thought they were killing enemies! Whatever be the means, the end must be to annihilate body consciousness and then alone can one be truly free.
Towards the end, the heroes, Gandhiji, Bhagat Singh and Subash Chandra Bose made their brief but very inspiring appearances. Patriotic songs were liberally sprinkled all over the drama and all the singing was being done live. Rather than using recorded tracks, the boys wanted to get immersed in the feelings of the day and occasion and sing the songs live. It had the desired effect as each song touched the people in some deep recess of the heart. There were no spectators or audience today as all felt one with the feelings of patriotism and true love being depicted at the centre. The drama concluded with all the students coming forward in the crescent formation. Then in military style, one by one, they all stepped out of line, stated loudly and proudly what the Bharata Bhagya Vidhata, Bhagawan, had done for them and then stepped back in line. As this concluded, it was so clear for all in the hall that if at all there is a True Patriot, then it was He, who sat right before them clad in the saffron! This final portion elicited a lot of applause from everyone.