It is a common place that to the true patriot, his patriotism
is part of his religion. And we find that the duties
of patriotism, like the purely religious duties, are
often the easiest to neglect even for men who honestly
believe themse3lves to be patriots.
For instance, most of us do not fully appreciate the
noble truth insisted upon by the foremost Vaishanava
saints that a Shudra, who is a devotee of Vishnu, must
be held and equally pure and great as a Brahmana devotee
of the highest breed.
It is wrong to allow religious differences to divide
the patriotic amp. For instance, there is Prof. Sundararama
Aiyer who believes that a Brahmana without a particular
for of tuft and a particular kind of painting on his
forehead cannot be a Hindu. He fancies that if a man
went to Japan, England or America for the acquisition
of knowledge and, of course, dined with foreigners,
while there for, in Rome, you must dine with the Romans
– such a man is unfit to call himself a pure Hindu.
He thinks that if you took away the sacred thread from
Vasishta or Yajan-Valkkya, they would have ceased to
be Brahmanas and Hindus. I happen to differ from the
worthy professor, aye differ fundamentally, radically,
absolutely. I think that even we, Brahmanas, are men
and each man’s tuft or dinner is his own private concern,
not Prof. Sundararaman’s.
Now, on account of this difference, would it be right
on my part to obstruct the worth Professor in any patriotic
Endeavour that he may undertake?
True, patriotism must be spiritual, but that does not
mean that differences of belief concerning the nature
of the other would should be brought into the theatre
of secular nation-building.
Of course, we must have our religious disputes. Religion
is the one thing where conformity is more dangerous
that in any other. But, in the service of the Motherland,
we are all of one creed and one religion, one caste
and one colour, one aim and one ideal. In the temple
of the Mother whoever enters is holy.