Patriotism and Religious Differences
[C.S. Bharati]

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.

New India
18.05.1915

Website Designed by Bharathi Sangam, Thanjavur