We become what our motivators and mentors inspire and influence us to be.
I have had the unique privilege and opportunity to be in touch with one of India’s ardent nationalists of this era for over a decade.
The rendezvous with Ram Madhav ji took off when we invited him for a guest lecture at IIT Kharagpur in fall 2003 under our fledging Students’ Forum for India’s Heritage. The theme of the talk was chosen as ‘Emergence of the Indian Era’.
Before the emergence of a grand nation like India, could be discussed and talked about, we had to make sure the emergence of common interest amongst the student community about this talk.
There was a sinister sensation across the campus which boldly elucidated on its main building ‘Dedicated to the Service of Nation’, that the Official Spokesperson of RSS is coming to address KGPians.
Being an enthusiastic band of passionate youngsters determined to explore the objective foundations of Indian Nationhood, we went further to hear as to what the most versatile nationalist organization of India had in it to offer.
Till then, I personally was an uninitiated ‘Sanghi’ as is the popular label accorded to those who dare to love and admire the vast landmass of 32 lakh square kms spread from the majestic Himalayas to the mind boggling Indian Ocean and its innate intrinsic variegated cultural and spiritual ethos.
My quest to synthesize my vaishnavite spiritual moorings with my feeble but dominant sense of belongingness to my village, town, state and country couldn’t be satiated by any of the mutually competing and warring spiritual cults prevalent on the campus.
My inability to grow beyond the national boundaries into a true universal self, something which was so very easy to accept and accommodate for a lot many of my friends.
I was thereby condemned to sustain and survive as an outcast having eccentric ‘ebola’ type ideas.
It was this rendezvous with Ram Madhav ji which comforted me that I was probably not the only odd man out.
The content of the talk is not very vocal on my memory, but the overall impressions of that small but significant interaction somewhere gave me an anchor and a much wider window to explore and quench my inner moorings to synthesize spirituality with nationalism.
A spark is what is needed to put you on charge. It somewhere happened automatically while being in touch with a man who had stood and lived for his convictions.
In a bid to link up the well meaning and wide base thinking student bodies across premiere institutions of the country and spread the contagion, we ended up meeting with Ram Madhav Ji all over again within a year in June 2004.
This was incidentally just after graduating from the comfortable confines of the campus. A lot of issues of national concern were duly discussed and the various reasons behind the same were explored as well.
One key central message which got impinged on my inner consciousness were the words of Ram Madhav ji again that India needs to build up a Nationalistic Intellectual Movement as this is the most wanting ingredient for national resurrection. It’s from this fountainhead that the real and effective solutions to Indian problems would emerge.
Carrying the additional burden of these guiding words, I entered into the School of Life and somehow or the other couldn’t continue for long away from my fascination and conviction to make some meaningful difference somewhere.
During my stint to contribute to restore the pristine glory and grandeur of Braj Bhoomi and thereafter with my initiation into the field of developmental and educational journalism in an entrepreneurial mode, whenever I was in doubt about the chosen path, a direct or indirect interaction with Madhav ji used to reinstate the conviction.
Till then, I had encountered and met with and worked under a lot many people of eminence, nobody could provide that anchoring effect despite the elaborate interactions which even a word or a line of Madhav ji would induce.
Somewhere or the other, the dispassionate approach and an all encompassing architecture of his scheme of things, used to catalyse that comforting confidence.
I am still in the process of unraveling the nuances of this approach which comes to you in times of your strenuous times when your self gets quite heavy.
The ascendance of the nationalist aspirations of the country in the form of a majority government under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, somewhere created the rightful platform for evoking and accelerating the building up of a Nationalistic Intellectual Movement, something which was duly espoused by Ram Madhav Ji a decade back in front of some fascinated youngsters entering into the school of life.
Today, when I am present at the valedictory session of India Ideas Conclave, I can very well sense the resilience and doggedness of this man of few but forceful words. He invited, communicated and met with the same dispassionate but contagious affection.
It dawned upon me that it requires this level of grit and determination to influence and contribute to the national life. I got a chance to laugh, contemplate and forgive myself for my youthful fallacies during my very little journey so far.
The Quintessential Ram Madhav somewhere represents that innate intrinsic spirit of man making and motivating youngsters like me to a directed path to channelize their energies to make some meaningful difference somewhere and give some relevance to their existence.
I can say with responsibility and confidence that I certainly have found a definitive life goal and path to tread on, thanks to the rendezvous which took off a decade back and still continues.