The Message and Ministrations of Dewan Bahadur R. Venkata Ratnam, volume 2/Chapter 7

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East and West, the Spiritual and the Practical, the Speculative and the Active, are, at the present time, contending over the soul of India. New thoughts and new ideas, new hopes and new aspirations, are fast springing up in the Indian mind. The old order is daily changing, yielding place to the new. A mighty bloodless revolution is occurring all around us. Far as the mind can view, two strong but opposing currents of thought are at work; and the result is that some are carried away by one current and some by the other. But there is, thank God, a small but daily increasing band which holds that the two seemingly conflicting elements might, with a little patience and forethought, be made to aid and further each other. And holding this view, we will express our humble but honest opinion on every moving topic of the day.

The sum of human happiness is contained in that single word, Religion. The basis of every human concern is Religion; which is, indeed, the greatest boon that man enjoys. But the religion that we ill plead for to the utmost of our poor capabilities is, not the religion of hostile creeds and clashing churches, nor the religion of rites and ceremonies, of rituals and sacraments, but a faith and a hope that are.

"Lofty as is the love of God,
And ample as the wants of man."

And in commending this religion, we will touch upon every topic of interest and usefulness. We will deal with questions of Education, Society and Morality as, respectively, the planting, the growing and the harvesting processes of Religion. In Religion, we will advocate love; in Morality, justice; in Society, liberty; and in Education, culture. As a rule, politics we will not deal with. But questions of policy may never be divorced from the demands of morality. We will, therefore, as occasion many arise, discuss important political topics from the stand-point of justice and righteousness.

None is more alive than ourselves to the utter, inadequacy of our capabilities. The aim is high, the performance will be commonplace. Feeble hands have taken up a great task. But every man has a mission. We will, with the help of God, honestly attempt to accomplish ours, to the best of our humble capacities; and "who dares do more is none." We will, as our name implies, be the Fellow-worker of every honest and faithful servant of God. Rama's hosts were building the bridge across the southern channel; a poor squirrel felt it her duty to help the righteous cause. She dives into the sea, rolls on the shore, and shakes her little weight of sand on the bridge. She catches the eye of the hero; who deigns to acknowledge her services by tenderly passing his kind fingers over her back. Such will be our small service in the holy cause of Truth; and such, we hope and trust, will be the kind patronage of the public.

  1. To introduce The Fellow-Worker, Madras, January 1886.