Saturday, January 15, 2011


Hour before radiant dawn
P N Benjamin

Is the New Year going to be different from the old? Many in this country, millions upon millions, would certainly like to ring out the old and ring in the new with new hopes and expectations.

They would wish the spectre that haunted them in the past – natural calamities, impoverishment, unemployment, fratricidal clashes, caste, communal and terrorist violence – to disappear and not keep company with them in the journey ahead.
But, to begin the New Year with forebodings may sound like a pessimist’s pastime. But we must face it with buoyant self-confidence. And the stout-hearts among us should not lose hope.

Caught in the immediacy of the present we may be agonising over these maladies. But, there is still hope. This may be the darkest hour before the radiant dawn. God has not gone bankrupt. If past is any pointer to the future, there is indeed hope.

There is resilience in our people, which no combination of adversities can kill. Our ideals and principles might appear to be in eclipse. But, eclipses are short-lived.

In an atmosphere surcharged with cynicism on the one hand and despair on the other, we would do well to remind ourselves that our present predicament is not unique. India in the past has seen many a crisis. But, the country lives on. The present ordeal too will pass and the country will again resume the path of progress.

The old value system has collapsed, but already an intense search has begun for new values for the establishment of a new morality in public life. Dedicated men and women, sacrificing comfort and many allurements of the consumerist society are building a new India in the remote villages and hilly regions of this vast land of ours.

There abound in this country today men and women of finest moral qualities, experts in their respective fields seeking to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to serve the community by disseminating it to the public.

They are playing their role in the building of this great country and are sharers, in common with others, in the triumphs and setbacks that come their way. They give us reasons for hope. Hope, where there is despair. Light, where there is darkness. Joy, where there is sadness.

The New Year is upon us. Come, let us make it the hour before that radiant dawn. The present with all its unhappiness and misery will pass.

It is the future that counts and it is that future that beckons to us. Beyond the winter of our discontent and despondence, there is the Spring of Hope!

Deccan Herald, 31/12/2010