Prosperity has to be Shared Equitably: RSS Sarkaryavah

Guwahati:  The 8th International Conference and Gathering of Elders concluded on Wednesday at  Dibrugarh in northeast India with the graceful presence  of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Sarkaryavah
Dattatreya Hosabale, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu, and other dignitaries. The conference, which provided a platform for diverse cultures to converge, emphasizing the importance of preserving ancient traditions, ecological sustainability, and collaborative governance also adopted a resolution named ‘Dibrugarh Declaration’ with a three-point agenda namely reviving traditions, ecological knowledge, and collaborative governance.

Addressing the valedictory function of the four-day conference, organised by the International Center for Cultural Studies (ICCS) with the theme of shared sustainable prosperity,  top RSS leader Hosabale
commented that sustainable development can be ensured only through sustainable consumption. Prosperity has to be shared equitably. Earning and distribution have been the core philosophy of every
society which is governed by such ancient wisdom pointed out by Hosabale, adding that spirituality is the soul of our culture and tradition and, that all cultures have commonalities.

“The ancient traditions are the only ones on Earth to have recognized feminine divinity.  Also, these traditions emphasize family values and sustainable living in a common way of life. Reviving tradition,
ecological knowledge, and collaborative governance are very much required for shared sustainable prosperity,” said Hosabale, adding that this movement of global indigenous ancient traditions is
flourishing now. Highlighting the conference theme, he opined that prosperity should be sustained for a long time and prosperity must not happen at the cost of Mother Earth’s exploitation.

Hosabale gave an example from the take of Samudra Manthan, where Lakshmi, that is prosperity, came out of it after a lot of churning. Thus churning is required for prosperity. Conch (shankha) is the brother of prosperity. Blowing of the conch was particularly done while performing pujas. Our ancient elders communicated in a very gentle way through stories conveying this message to us that prosperity should be sustainable and equitable. The presence of divinity is seen in every being. The planet provides to everyone sufficiently. Now, it is our responsibility to preserve this divinity, he added.

Sarkaryavah emphasized three follow-up action points for the conference. Firstly, indigenous tradition and culture are not meant to be preserved in decorative museums like antiques.  Ancient wisdom and
belief systems are continuous living traditions on Earth. Nevertheless, these should be in the mainstream and not be marginalized. Secondly, indigenous cultures have been experimenting for thousands of years with individual and societal lifestyles, thus it is for sure that these are the only ways to save our planet. Thirdly, capacity building is required for each community for fine tuning progress and materialistic development.

Khandu, while congratulating the ICCS for choosing this theme, expressed hope that the adopted declaration will help create a harmonious society as India readies to show the way forward. He argued
that Arunachal has 26 tribes and they have lived in harmony for centuries. Our age-old traditions shape our lives and give us identity. They are the living encyclopedias of Arunachal Pradesh, added the young chief minister. The saffron leader declared that the preservation and promotion of indigenous culture remains the policy of the Arunachal government.

Talking about the newly inaugurated Itanagar’s Greenfield Airport, Khandu mentioned that it is named ‘Donyi Polo Airport’ respecting the indigenous tradition. In Arunachal, Donyi means Mother Sun and
Polo means Moon God as per the local indigenous belief, stated Khandu, adding that the government has established three Gurukuls to preserve the indigenous tribal traditions. The youth festival for indigenous
people has been organized every year. He also informed that Arunachal has already received GI tags for 12  products and applications for 16 more such products are also being given.

Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister  Chowna Mein, while claiming that the north-eastern region has preserved the cultural traditions for a long time, stated that the  State government has increased the
budget for development as well as for the preservation of cultural traditions. Localizing school curricula, digitizing folklore and folksongs, and reviving the system of tribal priests are the major themes of the government. He admitted that the indigenous peoples have preserved ecology and environment for everyone.

The valedictory ceremony of the conference, which was attended by 125 foreign delegates from 33 countries representing their ancient traditional wisdom,  began with an auspicious prayer by one Yezidi
elder glorifying Earth, Sun, Moon, Ocean, Birds, etc. Shashi Bala, president of ICCS, Bharat chapter, felicitated the guests and other dignitaries.  Earlier on the inaugural day (28 January 2024), a picturesque public rally was organized on the streets of Dibrugarh with various diverse traditions. Academic seminars, workshops, and cultural programs with their faith demonstrations were also organized during the conference.