“Be United, Persevere, And Achieve…”
Greatness is a choice made consciously, when you awaken every single day to the resolute aim of demanding a higher standard from yourself, in order to deliver a cause greater than yourself. The 30th of this month will mark a hundred years since the passing of a man who epitomised such greatness – a man reckoned globally for his fierce patriotism; saluted by the nation for his fearless stance towards liberating India from the British Raj; and hailed as the unparalleled cynosure of our community – the great Dadabhai Naoroji.
Fondly cherished as the ‘Grand Old Man of India’, Dadabhai Naoroji’s staunch belief in freedom accelerated the demand for ‘Swaraj’ or ‘Self-governance’ in India, and though he passed away before India gained independence, his contribution to our freedom is indispensable. Not only was he an exemplary Indian, he was a devout Zoroastrian who upheld the essence of our religious tenets, reinforcing his loyalty when he voiced his decision to take the oath of office on our holy Avesta, instead of the customary Bible, when he became the first Indian/Asian to get elected as a Member of the British Parliament.
He understood that India’s emancipation was a function of the unity of her citizens. In his words, “Be united, persevere, and achieve self-Government, so that the millions now perishing by poverty, famine, and plague may be saved, and India may once more occupy her proud position of yore among the greatest and civilized nations of the world.” Ever wonder how he would react to see the unfortunate state of his own community today, dwindling into its imminent extinction, yet unable to unite on a solution for its very survival; …or to see his belief in unity itself undermined by his own community which is up in arms against each other at the slightest provocation; …or to see the greatness of his legacy compromised by the community which was supposed to be inspired into further greatness following in his footsteps, instead of slouching into a lackadaisical lull of most, who seem content in resting on the laurels of our past heroes, marinating in mediocrity born out of a lack of will, necessity and purpose.
Wasn’t greatness meant to beget greatness? As a community, we are grateful and proud to have birthed many great men – Dadabhai Naoroji surely leads that valiant band, having united a nation of millions into freedom. They say great leaders can see the greatness in those who are unable to see it themselves, and lead them to their own highest, unknown potentials. Why then, are some in our community, intent on blowing off others’ candles to make their own shine brighter? It’s time we looked inwards and asked ourselves why we haven’t been able to deliver unity or greatness, in its true sense, as a community. And why are we unable to initiate or attach ourselves to a cause greater than our own?
It’s been a long while since we birthed greats and greatness – the like of Dadabhai Naoroji. Perhaps the answer to these questions can be found in the words of our Grand Old Man of India himself – “Be united, persevere, and achieve…”
Have a good weekend!
- જમશેદી નવરોઝ મુબારક! - 18 March2023
- From the Editor’s Desk - 18 March2023
- From the Editor’s Desk - 4 March2023