Pandit Parmanand: Prisons as Homes for Long Periods for India’s Freedom
ASIA--PACIFIC, 23 May 2016
Brief of Interaction between Great Patriot Global Man Pandit Parmanand and Dr. Surya Nath Prasad
For independence of India, Pandit Parmanand of Jhansi was a very strong freedom fighter, great patriot and renowned revolutionary. He was in the prisons, including in indecent Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Andaman Islands, for the longest period nearly 33 years, in comparison with Nelson Mandela, who was in prison for about 28 years for peaceful, nonviolent acts of defiance against the then South African government and its racist policies. Pandit Parmanand was a very brilliant speaker. His fiery speeches influenced the young and old. Anurupa Cinar, author of Burning for Freedom wrote about Pandit Parmanand in her Blog on August 28, 2012 saying, “Pandit Parmanand of Jhansi was a volcano!” Pandit Parmanand declined addresses of welcome when he was released from Lahore, and at the reception he said he was not’ ‘worthy” of all the praise as he looked upon himself as a ”defeated warrior” who had not been able to achieve his purpose. Up on this, Mahatma Gandhi commented that he had found a ”real brother”.
A Perfect, Ideal, Strong, Patriot and Global Man: Pandit Parmanand
Even at the age of about ninety years, physically Pandit Parmanand was strong and healthy; vitally he was full of vigor, energy and refreshing; mentally he was very stable and sound; intellectually he was giant and spiritually he was cosmic and global. Over all, he was a perfect and an ideal man, and those who came in his contact would have been certainly inspired.
Pandit Parmanand told that his whole life had been full of struggle, and he had been fighting against wrong traditions. He, who was a highly learned and educated person, was a global man also, because in his view, every human being is a national as well as a global. According to him, nation means people, world means people. In his opinion, no person or nation is privileged, all are equal, and deserve equal opportunity to develop, and take part in governance. And they are equally entitled to get the benefits of development. He believed in the ideas written in Chhandogya Upanishad (an ancient Indian great book), according it, man (human being – male and female both) is able to declare, “I, indeed, am the whole world.” He believed also in the ancient Indian view of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the whole world is a family – Maha Upanishad). He believed in the happiness, welfare and peace of all, again as expressed these views in the ancient Indian scripture like this:
May all be happy,
May all be free from diseases,
May all attain welfare,
May none be in grief,
Om peace, peace, peace.
Hinduism as Universal Religion: In View of Pandit Parmanand
In dialogue on the topic of Hinduism, Pandit Parmanand was very clear about the global nature of Hinduism as a universal religion, which is the way of life and helps people to realize God in every man and woman. Pandit Parmanand considered Hinduism, like Swami Vivekananda, who told in the Parliament of Religions at Chicago (USA) in 1893, as a religion which will have no place of persecution or intolerance in its polity and will recognize divinity in every man and woman. However, he also considered Hinduism as perpetual extension of thought.
Pandit Parmanand: A Believer in Perpetual Learning for All for Neither to Be Slaves by Anyone Nor to Enslave Others
Pandit Parmanand was in favor of education based on Yoga and Spiritualism, and for this, the effort of the nation- the people was needed. He was in view of that the change in education could be brought by the people-the nation, not by the government. Pandit Parmanand was staunch believer in perpetual learning for all for neither to be slave by anyone nor to enslave to their own fellow-beings, and to be true patriot and global men and women to serve the nation and the world-the people and peoples. Upon his global views on the benefits of perpetual learning and extension of knowledge by all, Dr. Prasad quoted a saying cited in the Chinese Classic – The Great Learning in this regard, which he agreed with:
“The extension of knowledge consists in the investigation of things. When things are investigated, knowledge is extended. When knowledge is extended… the mind is elevated. When the mind is elevated, the personal life is deepened. When the personal life is deepened, the family will be regulated. When the family is regulated, the State will be in order. When the State will be in order, there will be peace on earth.”
When he was asked about his advice to the people of the nation, Pandit Parmanand told that India was free from the British rule but people of India were not free because they were ruled by the their own elected persons with the help of their appointed bureaucrats, who were professionally trained, skilled and merely learned but not educated, which led them to be unjust and corrupt. And this practice would continue till all people would be educated. Hence, he advised to the people of India to learn perpetually about their selves till the end of their lives to unfold their treasure of knowledge within to be manifested which would enable them to be just, and to be able neither to be ruled by the elected nor to rule the electors, and the elected would treat themselves as servants of the electors (people), and both elected and electors would enjoy the freedom, and true democracy would emerge, and good governance would be in practice. To be perpetual learners, he told that learning in schools, colleges and universities, to which all would have no access, would prepare learners to be skilled in certain professions lacking behind knowledge about their selves, hence both who were in schools and out of schools needed the learning about their selves, and for this, he advised to study Vedanta (Upanishads), and to start with the reading and study of Vedanta Vyawahar Mein written by Swami Vivekananda to know themselves for unfolding the treasure of knowledge within to be human.
Dr. Prasad’s Contact with Pandit Parmanand
The author of these lines, Dr. Surya Nath Prasad, came in contact with this very tall personality Pandit Parmanand in 1973 at Madan Mohan Malviya Degree College, Bhatpar Rani (affiliated to Gorakhpur University) where Dr. Prasad was a Lecturer in the Department of Education. Pandit Parmanand was invited as one of the Guest Speakers in his College where All India Conference on the theme: Cow-Service, Revolutionary Saints and Education was organized from 15 to 19 February 1973. Pandit Parmanand gave his brilliant and very inspirational speech on the theme.
In the evening, Dr. Prasad met with Pandit Parmanand at the Guest House of the College where he stayed to present his very small book entitled – Education: Mental Health and World Peace consisting of three Papers, viz. Education and Mental Health, Moral Education in a Secular State, and Social Development in Children: A Global Need for World Peace presented in 47th All India Education Conference in 1972. Pandit Parmanand appreciated highly and whole-heartedly the ideas contained in the small book and commenting on the revolutionary ideas contained in the book, he doubted how he (Prasad) would stay there with these orthodox and conservative people having his free ideas, and so he offered and invited Dr. Prasad to contact him at the time of his trouble and need.
The author of these lines Dr. Prasad met with Pandit Parmanand again in 1978 at Freedom Fighters’ Home at Gole Dak Khana, New Delhi (India) and he stayed with him about two weeks. He (Dr. Prasad) interacted with him to collect his ideas, views and opinions for his newly launched an international journal Peace Education (which is meant for free distribution and dialogue) on the different issues of education, culture, religion, democracy, youth, poverty and other social and political problems, and his answers, solutions and advices were very clear, modern, appealing and feasible to follow and apply.
Dr. Prasad’s Meeting with Bhai Mahavir and Shri Gopal Godse
During his stay there, Pandit Parmanand took Dr. Prasad to the residence of Dr. Bhai Mahavir (son of Bhai Parmanand of Punjab, (an Indian nationalist and a Founder Member of Gadhar Party) to introduce him, who was then Principal of D. A. V. College, New Delhi, later he became the Governor of Madhya Pradesh, a State in India. We had a lot of discussion on nationalism and Hinduism. On the same day, he took him to the house of Hindu Mahasabha, New Delhi, adjacent to the famous Birla Mandir, where he introduced him with the members of the Sabha, who were there, and with Shri Gopal Godse, who was present there at that time, and we had conversation on the issues of development and peace of the nation.
Opportunity for Dr. Prasad to Listen Parampujya Shri Golwalkar Guruji
Before meeting with these great personalities and dialogue with them, Dr. Prasad had an opportunity to meet with and listen to Parampujya Shri Golwalkar Guruji in 1960 at the Malviya Mukhya Shakha of Rashtriya Sewak Sangh (RSS) in the Campus of Banaras Hindu University, where he delivered his illuminating speech and enlightened the attendees of the Shakha.
Impact of Great Personalities’ Views on Dr. Prasad’s Thoughts
Dr. Prasad’s meeting with these great personalities and their views on nation and the world left much impact and impression on his mind, thinking and behavior with the knowledge and understanding about true sense of Hinduism, which is a way of life, a religion of universe and God in man (human), which claims the manifestation of perfection already exists in man (human beings), a religion of perpetual verifiable truth for discovery, that is Hinduism, now he (Dr. Prasad) is able to understand, follow and practice it. Regarding common views in all the major religions, the author of these lines Dr. Prasad would like to share his knowledge and understanding with the readers of the Transcend Media Service.
According to Encyclopedia, religion means to bind with God. Now question arises where God resides. In view of Hinduism, man (human being) is abode of God, Aham Brahmashmi (I am the God). As stated in Christianity, “The kingdom God is within you.” And in Islamic thought, Insan Allah Ka ek Kunba Hai (Man-human being- is the family of God). This wonderful similarity in thoughts about man (human being) and God in different religions shows a great harmony in them. However, Hinduism is not merely a religion but it is a way of life. In view of Hindu tenets, there is essential unity in the understanding of religion and outlook on life. Hinduism is perpetual extension of thought which makes Hinduism a very tolerant, non-violent, peaceful, liberal, flexible and universal. These are the basic features of Hinduism
Dr. Surya Nath Prasad is M. A. (Sociology), M. Ed. (Experimental Education), M. Phil. (Nonviolence and Peace Studies), and Ph. D. (Education). Dr. Prasad is a recipient of Honorary D. Lit. (Peace Education) at the hands of Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma then Former President, Government of India. . Dr. Prasad has taught for three decades as Assistant and Associate Professor of Education in India. He is Former Visiting Professor of Peace Studies at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies in Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea. He is Former President and Currently Executive Vice President of International Association of Educators for World Peace. Dr. Prasad is Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Peace Education: An International Journal. Dr. Prasad is a recipient of several peace and human rights awards to the cause of peace and peace education. One may reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 23 May 2016.
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