Is the Indian motto “Satyamev Jayate” a glorified falsehood? Why or why not?

Answer by Shikhar Agarwal:

Rahul Dravid once said in his speech:

I got reading on the Chinese bamboo and learned that the tree takes 5 years, 3 months to grow to its whole height of 80 feet. Yet, for the first 5 years, you can only see a tiny green shoot, but in the next 90 days, it grows into a full-fledged tree. But in those first 60 months, it is growing its strong network of roots underground, to support the tree. In an era of instant gratification, we settle for shorter trees, but remember patience has its reward.

Satyameva Jayate translates to "Truth alone triumphs". It does not says always – it says eventually. So you might gain by lying in the short term, but that's equivalent of settling with shorter trees. This is not how great nations are built. A nation that has to reach the zenith cannot have a foundation that is built on lying, jugaad and shortsightedness. India is lucky enough that since its early civilization, the teachings of our great sages, mythologies like Mahabharata, festivals like Navratri, in fact the entire culture celebrates the victory of good over evil, dharma over adharma, truth over lying.

If we see, one of the major challenge that is pulling us back is corruption. It stops government schools from functioning, vocational institutes from operating, new industries from opening and so on. Truth doesn't refer to just "telling", it also encompasses being truthful to your work, to your relationship, to your body and so on. If each one of us today decides to be truthful to our work, wouldn't corruption be eliminated? Wouldn't be all healthy and following our passion? Wouldn't be all living a happy life?

So Satyameva Jayate is all truthful and universal, and is an underutilized strategy. But we have to realize that it includes being truthful in all aspects of life, to be truthful to oneself. It's a risk-free investment that is sure to return a large fruitful tree.

Is the Indian motto "Satyamev Jayate" a glorified falsehood? Why or why not?


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