Agnipath and the Aftermath: what we can learn?

Recently, the Indian Armed Forces made significant changes to their recruitment procedure. Agnipath is the name of the new policy of recruitment. This led to violent riots at some places, causing damage to public property. This policy is being implemented with a national interest in mind. There may be lapses in communication and execution which may definitely need to be expressed in proper and peaceful ways and need to further discussed and deliberated upon.

Our current predicament

We are living in a complex and dynamic world. The economic and financial systems have become very complex and intertwined which is evident in the global supply chains and trade policies. An event like Russian invasion of Ukraine in a distant part of the world affects practically every country in the world. There is fierce competition among the countries of the world for political domination, economic domination and technological domination. A great deal of natural, economic and human resources get spent in maintaining the status quo in preference to welfare of citizens (BG 16.11-12). The administrative systems also have become complex. They need to cater to the needs of people of different age groups, economic classes, religions and cultures. It is not possible to satisfy all classes of people all the time.

The need for resilience

Individually, our life can be affected by factors beyond our estimation and imagination. The recent pandemic is a stark example of this reality. Our influence, on the other hand is greatly limited (BG 18.14). Definitely with that influence, we can try our best to set things right when it is needed and when it is possible. It is quite possible that many a time it is not possible to influence what influences us. We cannot influence a country going to war in a distant part of the world. We cannot influence heads of states and policy makers. Is this all to it? Is there no way out? We cannot change what is influencing us much. We can change ourselves i.e. adapt ourselves so that we don’t get influenced by what is changing. We can become resilient.

The way to become resilient

Resilience is possible when our values are not affected. If our values are only centered on getting things that the world and others can offer us, then our values will get affected by the ups and downs of the world. If we only base our happiness on the privileges we receive from government, our happiness is prone to get affected. If our values are centered on giving things to others and the world i.e. contributing to the world, then our values will not be affected. The form of contribution may change somewhat as per the dynamics of the world but the value of contribution can remain unaffected. By transforming our values from selfish to selfless, we can increase our resilience. Selfishness is related to modes of passion and ignorance. Selflessness is related to goodness. The process of Bhakti-yoga can help us to reduce passion and ignorance and enrich our goodness (SB 1.2.19).