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The Dynamics of Togetherness
Swami Chinmayananda
(Published in 1970 Annual Number)
In short, a population living in a geographical area cannot in itself constitute a nation. A nation is born only when a people come to live in a given area on the globe. Therefore, population must become a people, and all efforts at social, political and economic progress have been, and shall ever be, a constant dedicated attempt to raise a people out of the available population.
Population is mere number. A community, wherein each individual lives his own selfish, self centred life, careless of others, unconscious of the disruptions he is creating around him, is not a community at all; it is only a crowd. In a community of sheer numbers, there never can be an intelligent progress. When members of a community discover the capacity in themselves to sink their mutual differences, and thus unite together and thereby come to live and strive for a common purpose or goal, there we watch the formation and the glorious achievements of a people.
We must pause for a moment, and watch ourselves and ask:
(a) “Are we really a nation?” “Can we today call ourselves a people?”
(b) “Is there in us a ready capacity today to sink our differences and prejudices in order to cheerfully strive for and arrive at a common purpose, which is acceptable to all?”
The political and the social sciences give no direct method for immediately reversing the disintegrating forces playing so relentlessly now upon the fabric of the community.
An economic vision may give an artificial look of integration, and to that extent we find a temporary communal integration on account of the natural enthusiasm of an age of planning or during any period of revolution, or in any era of war. This cannot accomplish an integrated full development of a nation, as this enthusiasm is never sustained long enough to yield any perceptible fruits. It is at such junctures in history that the available political system crumbles, the economic planning fails, the nation falls and the man decays.
As we have already indicated, a nation is not built merely by the great things we might possess, or manage to procure. It is essentially rooted in the texture and quality of each individual and his attitude towards the world around him.


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