The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, in few days, Republic Day, that is, the 26th of January, will be celebrated and the work that the Foundation is doing is very closely linked with “The Youngsters”. So, I wish to ask you in what ways the youngsters of today have lost love for the Nation?
Acharya Prashant (AP): You cannot love someone or something, you know very little of. The nation at its root represents a community of people united through certain values. For someone to really love the nation, it is important that firstly, he knows what those values are. Those values must be worth loving and even more fundamentally certain values must exist, right? And those values cannot be just theoretical, ideals on paper.
So, what does the Indian Nation stand for? When you say youngsters today have probably, I do not know, “Lost love for the nation.” I would be interested in knowing, what exactly have they lost love for? Do they know what the Indian nation stands for? And do they know what is worth loving?
See, a nation doesn’t become admirable, or respectable, or lovable just by the dint of being a nation. You may very well have theoretically a nation that’s founded on hatred towards a group of people or something, right?
And there do exist so many nations that have come into existence this very way, they exist because of a certain dislike towards something. And we have had nations in history that existed just to obliterate other nations. And we have had nations where the connecting thread is as fragile as, you know, a shared language, shared ethnicity, shared food habits. So, a nation is not necessarily lovable on its own. What is it that lies at the base of the Indian nation, do we know that? Firstly, do we know that? Secondly, is it worth loving? We have to investigate these questions.
What lies at the foundation of the Indian nation? Or are we just disparate groups of people living politically together for the sake of convenience? If you say you are an Indian, I say, “I am an Indian”, what connects and unites the two of us? Most people do not want to go into this, most people are far more eager to talk of “Diversity“ than to talk of the underlying “Oneness”. Because…