The National Book of India
There already is a National Book in India. It is the Constitution which gives it the Rule of Law..
I have read the Bhagwad Gita many times in its English translation by the philoshper and second President of India Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and hold it in high regard as I do the Holy Quran, the Zen Avesta, the Guru Granth Sahib and others, which I have read in parts over the years, also in their English translations. I wish I could have read in the wonderful languages they were written it. I studied Hebrew for a couple of years, but that was not enough to be proficient enough to read the Talmudic texts in the original. Knowing Urdu is absolutely no help in reading the Quran in its resonating Arabic.
As a Christian, the Bible is the book of my faith, and holy for me.
There should be respect given to all books of faith, and not just in India. But our Constitution is our national book because I believe that it distils all the good the various books of faith contain in themselves – the sacredness and dignity of the human person from the womb to the end, the equality of all people, fundamental freedoms.
I fear that the erosion of our Constitution is taking place right before our eyes. In the past one month, government ministers and non-state actors have articulated their vision of an India of the future, and subtle but perceptible changes have already been brought about towards goal of a mono-cultural India which remains at odds with its vivid variety. This is a testing of waters for a more direct assault in the future. It could be a matter of time,
Thank God India is a not a theocracy. Theocracies have a nasty habit of not being very democratic, and eventually not very nurturing of the common citizen. We have seen this in our neighbourhood, and in many other parts of the world.