Written by Rakesh Kotti
Thoughts of peace and progress are quarantined, as the sane ones cower into a corner, too afraid to think. Ignorance and lassitude permeate the world as we muddle through life in ignorant bliss. And die in darkness.
In the long history of our land, often shrouded in darkness, there have been flashes of light. Men and women whose luminescent lives enlighten generations. They sow seeds of peace, lodged deep in the recesses of the mind, despite all the rhetorical bombardment from warmongering demagogues normalized by a media that feeds off corpses.
Peace, that comes from prosperity. Peace that drives progress. Peace that comes from the congress of ideas and not from artificial uniformity. Peace that can be passed onto posterity. As little flashes of light that ignite minds. Those it has impacted have burned out. They never fade away. They burn out. Some as luminaries, bringing light to dark lives. Others just burnout from exhaustion, trying to enlighten a race that doesn’t realize its existence is an insignificant flash in the infinite expanse of time and space. We are mere specks. Often blemishes. But indelible nevertheless.
And amidst the muddy waters, despite the muck that’s thrown at them, they remain pure. Just as the lotus blooms untarnished by the muck around it. Such pure souls are revered and the lotus has become sacred, symbolizing purity. In the multitude of tongues in our ancient land, the lotus is called Rajiv. True to the name, Rajiv radiated compassion, which drove him to strive for peace.
In a flash, he altered the course of our history, guiding us towards modernity, towards enlightened peace. As we marched into the future, paradoxically, we went back to an era of enlightenment our land was known for. After all, modernity is a state of mind. The luminescent one once said, that “development is about people. The goal is material, cultural and spiritual fulfilment for the people. The human factor is of supreme value in development”.
It is these words that flash in our hearts, decades after he was taken away from us in a flash of light, by diabolical forces that hinder the progress of our ancient land. These evil forces find their voices in people who stymie our national progress. Voices that are divisive; voices feigning unity but that actually deepen social schisms; voices that speak progress but are actively regressive; voices that are against diversity and mock the congress of India’s diversity. Voices that seek to drown our democracy. Voices of the devil cloaked in the lexicon of ‘Vikas’, which we shall resist and protect our land from.
Rajiv is now the eternal flash of light; he’s a star in the firmament; the ignition spark in our minds; a guiding force and a moral compass. Our gratitude transcends the material comforts he brought to our people; it goes beyond the gadgets of modernity he ushered in. We thank Rajiv for eternity he gave us in a flash of light. We thank Rajiv for the inspiration he always he. We thank Rajiv for teaching us that modernity is a state of mind. We shall continue the fight and we shall work to realise his dream—the dream of an India Strong, Independent, Self-Reliant and in the front rank of the nations of the world, in the service of mankind!