It was marvelous to watch the indomitable spirit and determination of thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana who were marching to Delhi protesting against the farm laws enacted by the Central Government. They braved the water cannons and teargas shells of the police in the biting cold weather. One could see the determination and indomitable spirit of the young and the old alike for a cause. They were ready to face even the bullets because they have the history of fighting wars to protect the borders of India.
While watching the film, ‘Delhi Crime’ based on Delhi gang rape case I was wonderstruck at the determination and commitment of a woman police officer, Vartika Chaturvedi who was playing the role of DCP of Delhi police. Her indomitable spirit and hard work with a small team succeeded to arrest all six criminals within a week in the midst of all kinds of adverse situations.
While both these events motivated me and affirmed my own convictions and way of life I was shocked in the evening to receive the news of suicide of Dr. Sheetal, social worker and granddaughter of legendary social worker Baba Amte. I recalled my meeting with the youthful and dynamic Dr. Sheetal every time I went to meet Baba Amte in Anandwan, Warora, 100 km from Nagpur. Baba was proud of Dr. Sheetal because she was dreaming of carrying out his great mission after becoming a medical doctor.
I always held the view that suicide is self defeat and it is the worst defeat. After knowing personally Baba Amte and has witnessed his noble works I had always held him with high esteem. Because of this reason we had been organizing youth camps, retreats for priests and religious in Anandwan to provide an opportunity to meet and learn from Baba Amte and his trend setting ventures .
After the death of Baba Amte I did not find the same warmth and inspiration in Anandwan. Dr.Sheetal who herself was the CEO of Anandwan projects had alleged corruption in their functioning. Conflicts and rivalries were reported between she and her brother who was also part of Anandwan projects. It is sad that such a dynamic and cheerful young Doctor injected herself with some unknown substance to end her life at 39. She did not have the mental and spiritual stamina to withstand the pressures of personal life and professional work.
Shefali Shah who acted as DCP Varitka in ‘Delhi Crime’ spoke how the role in the film emotionally drained and consumed her. She was portraying the struggles the dedicated people have to undergo when they are on a mission with absolute sincerity.
While defining education Swami Vivekanand spoke of developing strength of will along with character and critical thinking. It is a pity that many highly qualified people with degrees from famous universities in India and international institutes are not able to withstand the pressures in personal and professional life. The education has not equipped them with the essential qualities such as will power and stamina. Illiterate people in the villages are more educated because they don’t commit suicide despite facing struggles in life. They value character and refuse to make compromises.
The agitating farmers have developed more stamina and indomitable spirit than all the bureaucrats and law makers sitting in their luxury suits.
It is high time that the educational institutions give importance for developing character, will power and critical thinking so that they may be able to stand on their feet despite all kinds of opposition and hardships. Indomitable spirit and focus of the agitating farmers and characters like DCP Vartika should inspire us to face life without accepting defeat until we have realized our vision and mission.
Practicing daily review of personal life by writing journals with observations, insights drawn from them and applying these insights into life would be a great help to withstand the pressures and tensions. Introducing collective evaluation of the communities and organizations at the end of the day based on the vision, goals, policies and priorities would enable to create positive atmosphere to work as a team.