A Note for Consideration
By Ashit Sarkar
I have attempted to analyze the SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities Threats) of the current situation of the Brahmo movement. My analyses may be reviewed, modified, increased or corrected.
- Very non-controversial and logical belief that respects all religions and faiths.
- Possibly the only faith that permits accepting changes with altering environment.
- It attempts to result in leading to very good ways for life/value systems without demanding anything in return.
- Present virtual gatherings/discussions provide easier participation by masses.
- Severe lack of financial strength, other than possibly in Kolkata.
- Lack of leadership in structured hierarchy for all the Samajes to plan compositely to take continued action that gets the results for achievement of goals.
- Disunity amongst Brahmos, and factionalism.
- Lack of long-term commitment, dedication and hard work, poor organization and non-involvement of youth.
- Many leaders concentrate on high-flown philosophy in purer language during prayer meetings rather than in common everyday understandable language. As a result the orations are not accepted or understood by the younger generation – who often consider it boring and a waste of time.
- Unlike other faiths demanding their next generation to observe and follow the religion fairly successfully, Brahmos are often unable to get the involvement of the next generation.
- Limitations of the present working leaders due to other work priorities. Very limited ability to propagate the faith to the masses as a part time activity.
- Consequently, there are no exclusive full time Brahmo leaders who can devote all their energies towards propagating the excellent faith.
- Like the Unitarian Church, failure to encourage non-brahmo’s to participate & contribute.
- We lack external communication of the Brahmo faith for general public awareness.
- Revival of Brahmo Samajes and extending them to more locations.
- Involvement in education & in social causes to spread the Brahmo faith.
- Use spiritual messages for self-realization to work for the greater societal cause.
- Increased holding of visible non-serious functions specially to attract the youth.
- Using digital technology to help increase in participation and communication at low cost.
- Develop new leaders from the younger generation – vital for long-term growth of the Brahmo movement.
- Unlike the past, today’s youth have so many other alternatives that interest them in comparison to religion, or philosophic pursuits.
To start with, I feel that firstly, we severely lack sufficient resources to carry out major activities with vigour and consistency and secondly, the kind of structured organisation with quality and effective leadership essential to meet the decided goals for long term. The lack of centralized planning and funding hampers the activities at different locations. We lack any CEO for the Brahmo organization for managing activities (other than prayers). For this:
- We must develop the structure of the entire organisation with laid down lines of authority and responsibility.
- We have to find ways and means to increase the funds situation.
- There must be consorted effort to unify the different branches and Samajes (although minor differences may remain)
The above will be difficult and will require all Samajes to co-ordinate and participate. The opportunities provide planning to overcome some of the weaknesses and make the Samajes more effective by interactive co-operation. The digital technology has made it easier and less expensive to do so in much greater scale than in the past.
External awareness of the Brahmo faith is extremely low and we should try to advertise or communicate it to the larger public in some positive way. The above considerations must be kept in mind in order to make a holistic planning for the revival of the Brahmo movement under the present scenario of our country and the world.
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