My culture is my pride

Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’

Proud and arrogance although these two words are synonym to each other, yet these convey different meanings when used in different context. We may say that the feel is assorted one.
We should not be proud of everything, but there are many things that we should feel proud of and the foremost among them is our culture, traditions and heritage. In order to make it more convenient to be understood, let me elaborate it as under.
It is pertinent to add here that usually it happens that we do not know much about our conscience or we do not wish to know it at all. We start feeling ourselves somewhat low without recognizing the power inside us. Although everyone has such a feeling at some time but a few only dare to speak the truth and many keep this inferiority complex within their mind to suffer at one point of time.
Now if we talk about cultural heritage, it is astonishing to note that whenever we read about or see the culture or civilization of other countries, we ignore their drawbacks and consider their positive side only. Our response is quite different to their cultural heritage as compared to our own belongings. It portrays like there are so many flaws in our culture that haunts us quite often.
To understand and explain this basic element, it is necessary to mention a story which proves our point of view in a better way. It has found significant mention in world famous epic Ramayana.
As the epic goes, Ravana, the king of demons kidnaps Mother Sita and imprisons her in his Ashoka Vatika. There is no option left with Lord Rama rather than to declare war with Ravana. But Lord Rama is quite intelligent and does not prefer bloodshed knowing that war will result in havoc for the both sides. He prefers to send a peace messenger to Ravana and pursue him to shun his misdeeds and set Mother Sita free from his captivity. Lord Rama who is stationed along with his monkey army on one side of the sea, far away from Lanka is in search of a capable peace messenger.
Now the monkeys present in the monkey army start guessing about their ability to jump across the sea. They have the opinion that some among them could jump up to one yojan (8 miles), some up to two yojans (16 miles) and a few of them could jump even up to 50 yojans to reach Lanka.
When the entire conversation is going on, Hanuman, the son of wind God Vayu, the ardent devotee of Lord Rama is quietly sitting in a corner. He is a bit suspicious of his capabilities and feels worried that he might not be able to cross the sea and enter Lanka. He has the apprehensions that how such a long and wide sea could be crossed? He is not aware of his divine powers at that time that he is not an ordinary monkey but had a part of Lord Shiva in him.
On coming to know about it, Jambavan also known as Jambavanta, the Divine King of Bears created by Lord Brahma to assist Lord Rama in his struggle against Ravana comes to rescue of Hanuman, the monkey God and inspires him that he is not only an ordinary monkey. When Hanuman is reminded of his might and strength, his body keeps on growing and soon he becomes like a giant. It is said that at that moment his head was raised above the sky and he easily crossed the sea and entered Lanka. What did he do as a Peace Messenger at Lanka is known to all.
What this incident from the epic Ramayana inspires is that everyone is indifferent at some point or the other in life. At that time he also loses his inner powers or what is called self-confidence. But if he is made aware of what is inside him, he can soon overcome his apathy and feel all confidence to gain enthusiasm to succeed at every step of life. Such a feel should be path breaking at odd moment so that one should always be in comfort zone as far as confidence is concerned which is possible only on realization of self esteem.
If we talk of our own culture and heritage, it is very important to have the same feelings so that we may feel proud of what we inherit from our ancestors.
We inherit culture and traditions from our past generations which are in fact our roots. We should feel proud for being inhabitants of a region called Duggar Pradesh which has rich cultural heritage. On a sad note, it needs to be incorporated here that we, Dogras are never concerned about our roots. That’s why we get to know about the anxiety of think tank regarding survival of our culture whereas the fact remains that they are just concerned without having a concrete roadmap to get rid of the psycho fear.
It is the need of hour that we should realize that we have all those traditions that have rich cultural values. These values need to be preserved. What is a matter of concern is that others are quite aware of the fact that connections to roots are must for their survival and we prefer to get scattered on identity crisis.
Our culture is actually a saga of our past. If it is called our roots, then it will not be an exaggeration because we grow from these roots. It is also said that our roots should always be strong, only then our existence dependent on them will be able to survive.
Whatever the past may be, we cannot escape from it. Rather, we should feel ecstasticy with a feel that our culture and heritage is so rich that it advocates humanity and harmony for all mankind. Our culture rightly portrays us as such human beings of religious nature, who, having faith in religion refrain from committing any sin. If we go astray, even if we do something wrong, then self conscious becomes a snare for a lifetime. We inherit such a nature from our elders that becomes our duty to pass on to our future generations.
We should be proud of our culture and our customs. This is our identity and it is the duty of all of us to keep our identity alive which should be fulfilled at any cost. Especially the young generation has a responsibility to propagate their culture and heritage by using different mediums and take it to every corner of the world.
Swami Vivekananda did it in the past and we need to follow his footsteps to realize his dreams. But before that we need to have self belief and a feel for our culture and heritage. Until we have a belonging to our roots, we cannot have its access to others.
We Dogras need to live up to basic characteristics like:-
Every inhabitant of Duggar Pradesh should be proud of to call himself Dogra.
He should have passion for conversing in his Dogri language.
He should have affection towards the culture of Duggar region.
He should be responsive to his heritage.
This is possible only when we explore our inner self and come out of that inferiority complex which is keeping us away from our own past.
Now is the time for everyone to say with full conscientiousness,
“I am proud of my culture.
My Culture is my Pride”