Good Governance Day Message by Pujya Swamiji
Here is a beautiful, insightful and inspiring article by HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji on the topic of Good Governance on which He spoke also during the #SachBharatConf in Delhi recently.
Dear Divine Souls,
It is so wonderful that under the visionary leadership of our dynamic and dedicated Hon’ble Prime Minister, Respected Shri Narendra Modiji, the slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ is encouraging and inspiring every citizen to join these efforts of collective and sustainable development. The active participation and ownership of every stakeholder and every individual is truly the key to good governance.
However, I would add ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Surakshit Vikas aur Satat Vikas.’ I truly believe our progress, our development must not only involve all stakeholders but it should also have in mind secure (surakshit) and continuous (satat) growth, growth that is truly sustainable.
We must not only ‘Make in India’ but simultaneously ‘Make India,’ ensuring that issues such as access to improved WASH, increased use of renewable energy, protection of human rights, preservation of our natural resources and prevention of any form of slavery must be a part of this formula for progress.
For me, the ideal good governance mantra is to be global, local, social, vocal and digital. We must think globally, now more than ever, when the ramifications of climate change are of international concern and when natural disasters ravage our countries. With our global role in mind, we must act locally, creating innovative models of change in our homes, schools, businesses and communities.
I always say ‘Mohalla Badlega to Mahaul Badlega. Mahaul Badlega to Mulkh Badlega,’ meaning if we all start with our streets, our colonies and our blocks, taking responsibility and turn them into positive examples of change, then the atmosphere changes. Once the atmosphere changes then naturally and automatically the entire nation also changes.
Moreover, to impart this change locally we must become social and vocal. Not just making noise but inspiring and being the change, encouraging connection and diverse partnerships. One of the best ways, in today’s time, to be social and vocal is to go digital. In this age of technology, we must utilize this powerful tool not as a tool to create divisions and perpetrate violence but to spread, share and act in peace, uniting all of humanity in our efforts to make a better India and thereby a better world.
We must also ensure our youth who are attracted to speed must be given the right direction. For as Mahatma Gandhi wisely asked, “what is the use of that speed that has no direction?” They need to understand that in this incredibly digital and globally connected world, the nation and the world is looking to them to be the leaders, the green ambassadors of peace, of tomorrow.
I often share that it’s wonderful to take ‘selfies,’ but we must also engage and involve our self. Why can’t we make our ‘selfies’ an opportunity to share with our friends and families how we are creating a Swaachh, Swaasth and Samridh Bharat?
Let this ‘Gaon ki Selfies’ send a message that in order to make ‘Smart Cities’ we must make even ‘Smarter Villages and Towns.’ Furthermore, to make ‘Smart Villages and Towns’ we must educate and cultivate ‘Smart Citizens,’ who value health, sanitation, sustainability and shared values. Let us use this campaign of ‘Goan Ki Selfies’ not just to post pictures on our Facebook but to become instruments whereby we can change the face, and the profile, of our nation.
Lastly, we must each understand that we cannot remain idle, simply criticizing the system. We must join our dynamic Prime Minister in contributing to the system; only then will we have good governance.
There is no ‘Good Governance’ without us. We are the key. We must not only think “What is in it for me? What is this government policy going to bring for me?” Rather we must think, “How can I be part of the success of this policy. How can I be a tool, an instrument for making my nation truly clean, green and serene for my generation and for future generations to come?” As President John F. Kennedy said so beautifully, “Ask not what the nation can for you. Ask what you can do for the nation.” Lastly, as Mahatma Gandhiji illustrated with his life as his message, that this change can only happen when we are committed in our efforts and when we truly become the change we wish to see in our world.
With His love and blessings, In service of God and humanity,
Swami Chidanand Saraswati
President, Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh)
Co-Founder, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance Founder, Ganga Action Parivar and Divine Shakti Foundation
*Note: The banner image is from a recent massive clean up, led by Pujya Swamiji’s vision and leadership, in a village named Virpur, which is being developed, with the active participation and ownership of its members, into a model Open Defecation Free (ODF) village.