(Satyameva Jayate, na Asatyam)

Anu Chandrasekhar grew up in Srirangam and earned her M.Sc degree in Chemistry. She came to the USA in 1987 after living for five years in Switzerland and Germany. She lives in Penn Hills and recently earned her MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. 


(Satyameva Jayate, na Asatyam)

It was the 15th of August, one of the proudest and most poignant days in India’s history, the day of the country’s independence. I was a freshman in high school. The principal was addressing us explaining how lucky we were to be in a free country and detailing the struggles the freedom fighters had undergone to liberate India from the British Rule. I could not control the tears of joy rolling down my cheeks when the Indian national flag was hoisted and we sang the national anthem.Then the mayor of the city delivered a speech that was very lucid, eloquent and simple to understand. He narrated the story of Harishchandra – a great King in Indian legends who was revered for his unflinching adherence to truth. The Gods tested him, cruelly at times, driving him to adversity and exile, even bribing him to tell a lie so that he could regain his kingdom. However, all the sufferings he had to endure, losing his wife and only son, did not change his stand on truth. Satisfied, the Gods restored him to his former glory and gave him back his wife and son.

I was so enthralled by the way the mayor told the story that it made a lasting impression on me. He warned us that the price one sometimes has to pay to uphold truth may be heavy but in the end, the rewards are sweet. He ended his discourse by reminding us of Mahatma Gandhi who exemplified the motto of India “Truth alone Conquers, not Untruth” and challenged us to follow in his footsteps since there has never been an instance when falsehood has resulted in a lasting victory.

Though I was impressed by the teaching, in many instances I got into much difficulty when I told the truth. When I was in middle school, I was selected to participate in a school play. My mother did not want me to stay after school for anything other than school work. I did not like to drop out of the play; so to keep my mother happy I told her I had to stay after school for school work. It never even occurred to me that I was lying. But when my mom came to know the truth from a friend of mine who was proud of my getting the leading role in the play, she screamed at me for lying to her and asked me to promise never to tell a lie.

By Anu Chandrasekhar, Penn Hills, PA

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