Varsha Pratipada

Today is Varsha Pratipada, the first day of the New Year, according to the Hindu Calendar. I hope that this New Year brings all my blogger friends prosperity and happiness!

This year promises to be an interesting one- with general elections coming up next month. No doubt these elections are important for us. The impact of the global recession, increasing acts of terrorism, and other factors make it imperative that a government should be formed that will address these issues. It is important that voters come out in large numbers to vote. And that they vote for whom they feel is the right candidate.

However, I feel that just voting is not enough. In these tough times, does our responsibility end when we cast our vote? Is the government that we elect responsible for everything after that?

That is just not possible. There is a limit to what any government can do. In fact the answer to every social malaise cannot lie with the government.

Politics is a very transient area of social life. Currently, in these days before the elections, we see alliances form today and break up tomorrow. The promises a political party makes while fighting the elections simply fade away when it comes to power.

I feel that expecting the government to do everything to bring about social change is not realistic.

The New Year is a time for Resolutions. I think each individual should make a resolution to do his/her part- however small– for some social cause. Even the tiny squirrel did its bit to help Prabhu Ramachandra construct the Setu over the ocean to Lanka.

I feel that every one can find something he/she could do. Two young girls that I know live in a suburb of Mumbai. There was some construction work going on in the street where they live. Some of the construction workers had young children who did not go to school. The workers were to be there for just a few months, and did not think it worth while to go through the hassle of getting their children admitted to a new school for just a few months.

So these girls decided to conduct a ‘school’ for the children for a few months. Every day for a couple of hours they went and taught the children, so that they would not lose touch with their studies during the time they were in Mumbai.

If we keep our eyes open we are able to see many situations where we can help. If there are any NGOs active in our area, we can join in their programmes. If not, we can do something on our own, like these two girls did.

The important thing is to do something constructive.

Far too often we observe that people seem to think that being socially aware only means taking part in Protests and Marches. Protests are sometimes necessary, but I feel that constructive social awareness is even more necessary.

So, on this New Year’s Day shall we make a Sankalp (resolution) to be socially aware and and take an active role- however small- in working for the betterment of our society?

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25 thoughts on “Varsha Pratipada”

  1. Happy New Year to you to Manju! Everything you have said is so relevant.. We talk about voting as if that is the end of our responsibilty, but you are so right. There is so much each of us can do, if we set our minds to it..Wonderful Post!

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  2. Nav Varsha Ki Shubhkaamnaayein:)Have made resolutions :)am following them:)though its hard at times..may you have a wonderful year too:)thank you for the wishes:)

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  3. Aapka Nav Varsh mangalmaye ho!. Yes, “constructive social awareness” is what is needed. Symbolic gestures do have their place but we should not get lost in them and think our job is done. You remember the squirrel which does its bit, however small, not the one that sits on the side…

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  4. Very happy New year to you too Manju. It makes so much more sense to celebrate a new year in the spring than in the dead of winter like we do in the west 🙂

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  5. Weeble- I’m glad to see you here!You may have noticed from the comments that our New Year is called Gudhi Padwa here in Maharashtra State.Here’s a link that explains this-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gudi_Padwa#The_.E2.80.98Gudhi.E2.80.99

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  6. Solilo- We have a head start of three weeks on you then! 🙂 A friend of mine from Tamil Nadu told me that their’s was two weeks later than ours. It’s different everywhere, it seems.

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  7. wish you a good year!!that is a good thought. everybody should participate in the effort to achieve a better and peaceful life. they don’t even have to help others. it will be enough if they don’t try to pull them down…

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  8. Kavi- Yes, Happy New Year!Biju Mathews- Resolutions? Almost never kept for long, but at least we remember them for the first few days. :)Inder- I agree, far too often we see people trying to pull others down. Not to do so is a good resolution!

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