The editorial in Organiser talks about celebrating Hindu festivals. Although it takes a swipe on “legal instruments… being used by certain forces against Hindu traditions and festivals” in the wake of the ban on firecrackers, the editorial urges not to “to react to attacks by vested interests”. The editorial says: “Despite restrictions on firecrackers, the celebratory mood will remain upbeat. There is also a talk about denigrating or defaming the Hindu festivals and sentiments under the garb of various pretexts. From Dahi-Handi to Deepawali via Jallikattu and Holi, all legal instruments are being used by certain forces against Hindu traditions and festivals that are grounded deeply in the geo-cultural context of this land.” However, the editorial argues, “The problem lies in our apathy towards our integral philosophy that is rooted in the Dharmic traditions, which is dynamic and still profound. If we are conscious of our cultural roots and ways to preserve, nurture and promote it, then we will not get carried away by the question of how to celebrate but will focus on what to celebrate.”
The editorial says people need to explore the underlying scientific meaning and geographical context of each and every festival. “The essence of Hindu ethos is rooted in the sacred geography and unravelling of the universe. The perfect astronomical understanding and its impact on our lives made our sages to come up with certain customs and traditions that can be practiced by common masses. In Bharat all our festivals are fundamentally rooted in the climatic cycle. That is why you see different ways of celebrating certain festivals in various parts of the country.” The inherent philosophy behind it was the same, it says. “The people not having philosophical roots in Bharat, sometimes under the influence of external forces, play politics around these apparent differences with which masses get rattled. That is why making sense of the inherent cultural unity rooted in geographical diversity is a pre-requisite for national reconstruction,” Organiser advises. It adds that the celebration of festivals is not the only tool to protect our culture; it is just an expression of the core values.
In defence of swastika
An article in Organiser laments how swastika, which has “great significance in all Vedic or Hindu religious rituals and sacraments”, is misunderstood by “Hindu elites educated in western institutes” and how “the new generation of Hindus born and brought up in the western world have a wrong perception about swastika symbol as they were taught wrongly in their schools and colleges”. The author argues that “swastika” is seen by them in the context of World War II and its association with Hitler, the Nazi party and the Holocaust. The article claims that “they have never been taught about ancient history and the importance of swastika before World War II”. According to the author, “due to the anti-swastika propaganda, they are suffering from swastika phobia along with the people of western world, who has been connecting and blaming the swastika symbol in the context of Hitler and his Nazi regime without any other logical reason except that it was being used as a symbol by Hitler and his Nazi party to persecute Jews and other ethnic communities and to wage a war against British imperialism and other states of Europe”.
According to the author, Hemant Padhya, a UK-based management professional and a columnist on cultural issues, swastika, “the universal and most revered and powerful symbol of auspiciousness, good luck and well-being, has been portrayed as the symbol of horror after Hitler and his Nazi regime perverted the positive and true meaning and standing of swastika and had given it a bad reputation and name”. Padhya argues that the presence of swastika is evident in various civilisations including the Egyptian, Mayan, Roman, Greek and Celtic. Swastika has migrated across many cultures, civilisations and religions.
Padhya concludes that the Nazis and their mighty power were destroyed because “they inflicted inhuman atrocities on innocent people and spread hate under the symbol of swastika”. “We, the lovers and worshippers of swastika, must make a resolution to educate and eradicate the ignorance prevailing among the people of western world regarding the swastika and make them realise the sacred, glorious and pristine image and status the swastika symbol has enjoyed since millennia.”
For Lakshmi to stay
The editorial in Panchajanya talks about the joy and the message of Diwali. “People see Diwali as a festival linked to prosperity. It is right because Goddess Lakshmi provides wealth and prosperity. This night is also for her worshipping,” it says. The editorial says there has to be the right usage of resources for it to stay. “But more than the display of prosperity, this (Diwali) night is about intense worship and sensible utilisation of resources. If you use intelligence only to make wealth, that money has no worth. Lakshmi is bubbly and she does not stay at one place. Money stays with cooperation, coordination and dedication. If you are dedicated, Goddess Lakshmi will stay, the editorial urges.