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भक्ति परम्परा का प्राचीनतम प्रतीक शबरी
रामायण भगवान श्री राम के सम्पूर्ण जीवन का दर्पण है। विष्णु के अवतार रूपी श्री राम की सम्पूर्ण कार्यकलापों व लीलाओं के प्रसंग श्रीमद्वाल्मीकीय ‘रामायण’, गोस्वामी तुलसी दास कृत ‘श्री राम चरित मानस’ आदि पौराणिक ग्रन्थों में वर्णित हैं। इन ग्रन्थों में श्री राम के जीवन से जुड़े प्रत्येक व्यक्ति की अपनी विशिष्टता एवं महत्ता रही। कई व्यक्ति तो ऐसे रहे, जिनका पौराणिक ग्रन्थों में तो अल्प वर्णन हुआ, लेकिन हकीकत में उनका योगदान बड़ा उल्लेखनीय एवं विशिष्ट रहा। ये व्यक्ति बेशक भगवान श्री राम के जीवन में अल्पकाल के लिए जुड़े, लेकिन इसी अल्प समय में वे अमरता हासिल कर गए। ऐसी ही सौभाग्यशाली महिला रहीं, शबरी।
दंडकारण्य में हज़ारों ऋषि-मुनि तपस्या किया करते थे। शबरी हीन जाति की और अशिक्षित बालिका थी। उसमें संसार की दृष्टि में भजन करने योग्य कोई गुण नहीं था, किन्तु उसके हृदय में प्रभु के लिये सच्ची चाह थी, जिसके होने से सभी गुण स्वतः ही आ जाते हैं। वह रात्रि में जल्दी उठकर, जिधर से ऋषि निकलते, उस रास्ते को नदी तक साफ़ करती। कँकरीली ज़मीन में बालू बिछा आती। जंगल में जाकर लकड़ी काटकर डाल आती। इन सब कामों को वह इतनी तत्परता से छिपकर करती कि कोई ऋषि देख न ले। यह कार्य वह कई वर्षों तक करती रही। अन्त में मतंग ऋषि ने उस पर कृपा की। महर्षि मतंग ने सामाजिक बहिष्कार स्वीकार किया, किन्तु शरणागता शबरी का त्याग नहीं किया। महर्षि का अन्त निकट था। उनके वियोग की कल्पना मात्र से ही शबरी व्याकुल हो गयी। महर्षि ने उसे निकट बुलाकर समझाया- 'बेटी! धैर्य से कष्ट सहन करती हुई साधना में लगी रहनां। प्रभु राम एक दिन तेरी कुटिया में अवश्य आयेंगे। प्रभु की दृष्टि में कोई दीन-हीन और अस्पृश्य नहीं है। वे तो भाव के भूखे हैं और अन्तर की प्रीति पर रीझते हैं।' शबरी का मन अप्रत्याशित आनन्द से भर गया।
शबरी भगवान श्री राम की अनन्य भक्त थी। वह हर दम भगवान श्री राम की भक्ति में लीन रहती थी| शबरी को श्री राम के प्रमुख भक्तों में गिना जाता है। गूरू के वचनों के अनुसार वर्षो तक भगवान राम की भक्ति भाव से शबरी ने प्रतीक्षा करीं। राम उसकी कुटिया में आयेंगे, इसी बात को ध्यान में रखते हुए वह अपनी कुटिया को सदैव साफ-सुथरा रखा करती थी। 'प्रभु आयेंगे', ये वाणी सदा ही उसके कानों में गूँजा करती थी। सीता की खोज करते हुए जब राम और लक्ष्मण शबरी की कुटिया में आये, तब शबरी ने बेर खिलाकर उनका आदर-सत्कार किया। इस भावनात्मक दृश्य को गोस्वामी तुलसी दास इस प्रकार रेखांकित करते हैं: "कमल-सदृश नेत्र और विशाल भुजा वाले, सिर पर जटाओं का मुकुट और हृदय पर वनमाला धारण किये हुए सुन्दर साँवले और गोरे दोनों भाईयों के चरणों में शबरीजी लिपट पड़ीं। वह प्रेम में मग्न हो गईं। मुख से वचन तक नहीं निकलता। बार-बार चरण-कमलों में सिर नवा रही हैं। फिर उन्हें जल लेकर आदरपूर्वक दोनों भाईयों के चरण कमल धोये और फिर उन्हें सुन्दर आसनों पर बैठाया। यह सोचकर कि बेर खट्टे और कड़वे तो नहीं हैं, इसीलिए पहले वह स्वयं बेर चखकर देखती और फिर राम और लक्ष्मण को खाने को देती। शबरी ने श्री राम से भक्ति का आशीर्वाद देने क आग्रह किया। श्री राम ने तब शबरी को नवधा भक्ति का पाठ कराय और उसे ह्रदय से धारण करने के लिये कहा। और इसी आशीर्वाद के साथ स्वयं को योगाग्नि में भस्म करके शबरी सदा के लिये श्री राम के चरणों में लीन हो गयी।
[For The Nation, विद्या भारती पूर्व छात्र परिषद् की ओर से]
किसी भी लोकतांत्रिक देश के लिए चुनाव ही उसके राजनैतिक भविष्य का निर्धारण करते है और यही देशवाशियो के लिए अपने अधिकार एवं मत का प्रयोग करने का अवसर देते है। संसदीय चुनाव 2014 भारत के भावी प्रधानमंत्री एवं देश के भविष्य का निर्धारण करने वाले है। चुनाव प्रारम्भ हो चुके है। एक पूर्व छात्र होने के नाते अपना राष्ट्रीय कर्तव्य समझते हुए हम भी चुनाव में वोट करे एवं सुनिश्चित करे की हमारे मित्र एवं पडोसी भी वोट अवश्य करे, उन्हें चुनाव के दिन फ़ोन करके अथवा अपने साथ ले जाकर वोट देना यह सुनिश्चित करे।
जब वोट करने जाते है तो स्वभाविक प्रश्न होता है कि कैसे निश्चित करे किसे वोट करना चाहिए। इसके लिए निम्न बातो का ध्यान रखना चाहिए:
1) वोट उस पार्टी के उम्मीदवार को जाये जो देश को एक स्थायी सरकार दे सके
2) जो चुनाव के समय देश के विकास की बात प्रमुखता से रखता हो और जो तुष्टिकरण से दूर रहे
3) जो समस्त देशवासियो के हित एवं विकास की बात करता हो न की एक वर्ग विशेष की
4) जिसके लिए देश ही सर्व प्रथम हो, जो कठिन निर्णय लेते समय किसी दबाव में काम न करे और देश हित ही सर्वोपरि माने
5) जिस पार्टी के घोषणा पत्र में देश के भविष्य के लिए: सुरक्षा, आर्थिक विकास, सांस्कृतिक विरासत, रोजगार, सुसंचालन आदि पर बल दिया गया हो
6) और जिसने प्रधानमंत्री पद के लिए अपना उम्मीदवार स्पष्ट कर रखा हो जिससे चुनाव के बाद जोड़-तोड़ की राजनीति से बचा जा सके। जोड़-तोड़ की राजनीति से एक दुर्बल सरकार जन्म ले सकती है।
अपना मत एक देशभक्त एवं मजबूत सरकार के लिए देवे। आइये हम सभी अपने राष्ट्रीय कर्तव्य को पूरा करने के लिए चुनाव में वोट करे एवं सुनिश्चित करे की हमारे मित्र एवं पडोसी भी वोट अवश्य करे
[Original source of the text: DNA India] Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been "defanged" by the Congress party in his second term with Sonia Gandhi deciding on key appointments to the Cabinet and to the PMO as he seemed to "surrender" to her and to the UPA constituents.
This picture of a prime minister losing "all vestiges of control over his own government" emerges from a just-published book by a former close aide of his, Sanjaya Baru, who provides an insight into the "cautious equation" between the PM and Congress President and Singh's "often troubled" relations with his ministers.
Baru, a senior editor and PM's Media Adviser between 2004 and 2008, quotes Singh as having told him that there cannot be two centres of power.
"That creates confusion. I have to accept that the party president is the centre of power. The government is answerable to the party," the PM told him, according to the 301-page book "The Accidental Prime Minister--The Making and Unmaking Of Manmohan Singh" published by Penguin.
Baru writes that after he had led the Congress party to electoral victory in 2009 Singh had made "the cardinal mistake of imagining the victory was his". He may have convinced himself that his performance and destiny had again made him the PM, and not Sonia.
"Bit by bit, in the space of a few weeks he was defanged. He thought he could induct the ministers he wanted into his team. Sonia nipped that hope in the bud by offering the finance portfolio to Pranab (Mukherjee), without even consulting him," Baru writes.
Singh had been toying with the idea of appointing his principal economic adviser C Rangarajan, "the comrade with whom he had battled the balance of payments crisis of 1991-92", as finance minister, according to the book.
The PM had tried to put his foot down on the induction of A Raja of DMK well before the 2G scam became public knowledge, "but after asserting himself for a full twenty-four hours, caved in to pressure both his own party and the DMK", says Baru.
Baru says that besides resisting the induction of Raja, the PM had also opposed the inclusion of T R Baalu in the Cabinet, "for their unsavoury reputations". He succeeded in the case of Baalu but had to yield ground on Raja.
According to him, Sonia's "renunciation" of power was more a political tactic than higher calling or to an "inner voice" as she put it in June, 2004 after she chose not to take up the post of prime minister despite leading the Congress to electoral success.
"But, while power was delegated, authority was not," he writes, citing the instance of her unsuccessful effort to appoint a retired Tamilian official as Principal Secretary to the PM and to place her trusted aide Pulok Chatterjee in the PMO. The retired official had worked with Rajiv Gandhi but had declined Sonia's invitation.
Such appointments were aimed at ensuring a degree of control over the government in addition to the Congress president having a decisive say in the allocation of portfolios.
Baru cites the creation of the National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by her, in 2004 as the first sign that Sonia's renunciation of power was a political tactic. It had created a parallel policy structure. Singh had realised that he had no option but to live with it although it seemed that "he was not too comfortable" with it.
No one in Singh's council of ministers seemed to feel that he owed his position, rank or portfolio to him. The final word always was that of leaders of the parties constituting the UPA, says the book.
Referring to senior Congress ministers, Baru says that bringing the politically ambitious Arjun Singh, the left-of-centre A K Antony and the "presumed PM-in-waiting" Pranab Mukherjee into line was always a challenge for the PM.
"Each had a mind of his own and each was conscious of his political status and rank".
The book argues that the limits of PM's political authority and the PMO's institutional weakness meant that there was very little control of the PM and his office over the misdemeanours of ministers.
Singh shared a good working equation with Finance Minister P Chidambaram in UPA-I compared to the very formal relationship with Pranab Mukherjee in UPA-II. He would insist that Chidambaram sit with him and finalise the budget speech but Mukherjee would not even show him the draft of the speech till he had finished writing it.
Baru says that for Congress MPs the leader to please was always Sonia. "They did not see loyalty to the PM as a political necessity, nor did Dr Singh seek loyalty in the way Sonia and her aides sought it."
He cites the instance of Jairam Ramesh, then a minister of state, who had embarrassed the PM "by leaking a letter" that Sonia had written to Dr Singh cautioning him against pursuing a Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN. A few weeks later PM's response to that letter had also been leaked to a newspaper allegedly by Ramesh for which he was "reprimanded" by the PM although he denied any role in the leak.
Baru cites his own case when the PM wanted to reappoint him as a secretary in the PMO after the 2009 victory but had later been informed that this had created problems with the Congress party after which Singh had told him that he could not take him back.
"To tell the truth, I was dismayed by the PM's display of spinelessness," he says wondering why Singh had succumbed to the pressure to keep him out.
Baru's book also says that at the peak of the political crisis over the Indo-US nuclear deal in the summer of 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had threatened to quit if the UPA coalition was to buckle under Left pressure and had told Congress President Sonia Gandhi to look for his replacement.
The 'goings on' behind the curtain between Singh and Gandhi have been captured in graphic detail by Sanjaya Baru, the Prime Minister's media adviser in the first four years of UPA–I.
Baru, a veteran journalist who resigned his job with Singh in 2008 during the days of crisis over the Indo-US nuclear deal and is now with a think-tank, writes that Singh was finding it difficult to push the deal through his own party.
Singh had spoken to Gandhi on the evening of June 17 on the issue. Next morning, she and senior minister Pranab Mukherjee had come calling at the PM's residence.
The PM had cancelled all his appointments for the day and this had generated media speculation about his resignation. Baru called PM regarding this speculation and was advised by him to say nothing to do the media. "I knew the deed had been done."
He was later summoned by the PM who had told him that he had spoken to Gandhi the previous day and informed her that his position had become untenable. He also explained what had led to his offer to resign.
Baru says he had learnt Sonia had asked Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, to convince the PM not to resign.
Subsequently, the government was allowed to proceed with the deal and go to the international nuclear watchdog IAEA for securing nuclear waiver and the PM stayed on to win a parliamentary vote of confidence after the Left had withdrawn support.
Only the text of this articles is taken from DNA India and the images are taken from independent sources of which links are mentioned below the images.
[Source: Hindustan Times] When the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged on the Indian political horizon, the country was stirred by the prospect of young and dynamic leaders cleansing the system.
Although it began as an apolitical movement, I concurred with Arvind Kejriwal’s view that to cleanse politics, one must enter politics. For this reason, I have been telling the Naxals to move from bullet to ballot.
I was happy to see many young people participate in the last assembly elections in Jharkhand.
The coterie culture of established political parties has left the common man with little scope for participation in the system other than casting votes. The new party created high hopes in millions of Indians who were tired of corruption and criminalisation of politics.
Many signed up for membership of AAP, yearning to see a better India. Its people-to-people connection and sincerity of purpose made Delhi vote for it in a big way.
It was good that, subsequently, AAP formed the government with the Congress’ support. People expected the new government to take on corrupt leaders.
If the AAP government had fallen because of its positive action against corruption, it would have scored high on integrity. But the party was ill-advised to resign so that it could get out of Delhi and sweep the nation.
By doing this, Kejriwal showed himself to be no different from other politicians — the hidden ambition and agenda came to the forefront.
Cheap publicity stunts, self-contradiction, over-ambition and autocracy tarnished the positive image of AAP and soon many respectable people became disillusioned and left the party.
Now Kejriwal says that he is okay with a fractured mandate in this election and mid-term polls in two years’ time. This indicates a very callous attitude towards the nation’s economy and security.
He visited Gujarat for four days and hurled criticism without any basis at the state’s development. I have travelled through the length and breadth of Gujarat over the years. In the 1990s and early 2000s, to see a tree in Saurashtra was a rarity.
It was so drought-prone that people had to sell their cattle often. But today there is greenery everywhere. Electricity supply was scarce — hardly two hours a day. Today there is water and electricity in almost every village and the per capita income has risen.
While Gujarat may not be 100% corruption-free, I have no hesitation in saying that it is much better than what it used to be. Instead of being honest with facts, Kejriwal has chosen to put down BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on flimsy grounds.
If AAP is voted for a role in national politics and if Kejriwal does what he did in Delhi, it will be an absolute disaster for the country.
India cannot afford to take such a risk when the country is on a ventilator with most economic parameters vulnerably placed. We need a stable government at the Centre to put our economy back on track and spur development.
In a hurry to jump on the national scene, AAP has compromised all principles that gave birth to it.
AAP should have proved its mettle in Delhi and taken time to build up its cadre in other parts of the country. It should have gone to villages and contested panchayat and municipality elections and taken time to build a strong and committed cadre, trained in governance.
It could have forced other parties to rethink their strategy of giving tickets to criminals and corrupt people. With a strong foundation, it would have been a boon to the nation. But with so many contradictions, AAP has squandered its agenda of political reform.
When Kejriwal captured people’s imagination with his sharp activism during the anti-corruption movement, he was primed to give an alternative to Indian politics.
But after his recent antics, there is a sense of being let down even among those who were once his staunch supporters. He came to give the country a choice, but has left the country choiceless.
(Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a spiritual leader. The views expressed by the author are personal.)
Source: Hindustan Times (http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/analysis/analysis/article1-1203932.aspx)