By Sreenivasa Moorthy
I am pleased to read the opinion — Hindus are naive, apathetic; they lack national character and spirit — by Dr. G. C Sharma published in the India Tribune issue dated July 6. I can add one more dimension to our multifarious characteristics — we are deeply superstitious.
My recent visits to Germany, Austria and other European countries have given a new perspective about us, Indians. Why cannot we keep our surroundings clean and pleasant? It does not require a lot of money or foreign aid to keep the surroundings and the atmosphere clean and orderly. Even after the devastation of the Second World War, Germany has rebuilt the country and maintains it absolutely clean and orderly. How they do it? Orderliness and pride of their own country and people.
Indian society has deteriorated due to the bad policies or lack of policies in the country. It does not take money to follow the traffic rules. In the West, pedestrians do not cross streets unless there are green pedestrian signals and road signs to cross. The waters and the rivers are kept clean. The tap water is potable. There are wind and solar energy farms. The Indian capital city of Delhi has a beautiful river. Delhi population and the government have taken all the trouble of destroying the beauty and quality of water by sheer lack of respect to the natural resource. All over India people defile the natural resources of the most beautiful country in the world.
We, Hindus, have not read or understood Hinduism. Many, even the educated, believe in polytheism and reject monism or monotheism. All our Upanishads and Vedas address the Creator as one, the only one. We believe more in rituals or superstitions more than our true religious thoughts. Varanasi is a good example. Soiling the Ganga has become so bad, the water, which is an essential commodity, is made abhorrent. It is a disgusting sight. People have to realize that they can perform their rituals without soiling the precious resource.
The political leaders and the people have to realize the importance of the projection of the capabilities of Indians. If Indians and Indian leaders do not improve the country, no one in the world will care about Indians. We will be dissociated, disconnected, unrealistic and superstitious, and we will be looked down as ignorant and backward poor Indians. If we want to be proud, we have to improve not only the finances of the country but also preserve the natural resources, cleanliness and orderliness in and of the country.