The Indian tricolor. Our pride. Vibrant with a message, what we are, what we can be. We are strong and courageous. Peace and truth are our virtues. We are a fertile ground, auspicious and teeming with positive growth. We are moving forward, progressive in our thoughts, actions and development.
And isn’t our preamble simply beautiful? That’s what I felt when we studied the preamble of our Constitution in school. We had to learn it by heart, and learnt it by heart we did. The preamble highlights the salient features of our Constitution. We can be the ideal nation, if we can just follow it with our hearts and minds. Peaceful, liberal, progressive, just, equal, fraternal, encompassing, inclusive, tolerant, righteous and virtuous.
Our National Flag and the preamble reflect the dreams of the founding leaders of our nation. India, the largest democracy of the world, a living example that it is possible to be remain united with diversity. They say that in India, language and water changes every 100 kilometres. And yet, the same blood courses through our veins.
It has been seventy three years since we became an independent nation and seventy one years since our constitution came into force. After all these years, we have only managed to reduce ourselves to a weak reflection of what our National Flag and Constitution represent. Today feels worse than when we gained our independence. Here we are, almost a quarter into the 21st century, still playing hate politics and societal brutalities in the name of caste, creed, gender, region and religion; tossing away in vain the sacrifices that our freedom fighters and ancestors made to gain independence. We did become independent from the colonial rule but we haven’t still got independence from our pinhole mentality. Prejudices and politics based on gender, wealth, religion, language, region, caste and creed superiority are still rampant. It is sad that our country’s leaders have sold their souls to the devil. But it is a sadder affair that the common man has sold his brain and sense of reasoning to such leaders.
India. My motherland. What have we done to her? What are we doing to her? I am scared of what has become of us. I am scared of what we have been reduced to.
When the three pillars of our nation – executive, legislative, and judiciary; where the constitution vests all power with the prime minister, parliament and supreme court respectively, fail the common man of our country, what can we do except become atmanirbhar, self dependent. Whom can we rely upon? Media, the so called fourth pillar of our democracy, the once so powerful friend of the common man, is today but a puppet in the hands of the mighty. Our supposed protectors have chosen to protect only the rich and powerful.
Nobody talks about things that matter anymore. Nobody talks about the economic de-growth of the country. Nobody talks that unemployment is at the highest. Nobody talks that people are losing their jobs and killing themselves of it. Nobody talks that their families are going hungry. Nobody talks that not every child is getting an education. Nobody talks that people are getting attacked, molested, abused, lynched and killed in the name of gender, caste, language, creed and religion. Nobody cares except the victims themselves and their families.
Instead of throwing light on these issues, the media is busy keeping us hypnotized with nonsensical matters, feeding us Bollywood, communalism, regionalism, racism, intolerance, hatred and negativity, without a break. Instead of propagating that what we need are more educational and medical institutions, more jobs, more stability and not more statues or places of worship, it is singing the praises of its benefactors and running their marketing campaigns. Social media, too, is full of hatred, negativity and bullshit, the dangerous aspect being that it has the persuasive power to control and convince people, especially young minds. Social media is openly being used to create civil problems as well as eye-wash the common man.
But in my heart, I believe this is not my India. I believe because I can see good people around me. It is the negative people, or who are being paid to do so, who vomit their poison all around us. But there are more good people in this world than bad. Unfortunately, the thing is that good people, people who care, people who can trigger change, don’t speak up. They don’t speak up openly because they fear of being targeted, of being labelled anti-national. They don’t speak up because they feel nothing will change. They don’t speak up because they think it doesn’t matter.
But it does matter! It matters because charity begins at home. It matters because we can raise our children with the correct notions of nationalism and teach them by example. We can choose to be kind, loving and emphatic towards our family, relatives, friends, neighbours, peers, acquaintances and even strangers, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, mother-tongue, gender, economic or educational status. We can speak up when we see injustice, unkindness and disparity around us. We can choose to forgive. We can choose not to focus too much on the negative news engulfing us every moment, but look for the positive news each day. We can look at things with logic and reason, instead of allowing emotional and mindless fools to be made out of us.
Let the good in me connect with the good in others, until all the world is transformed through the compelling power of love. ~Nachman of Breslov
We can always remember that as only light can remove darkness, only love can remove hatred. May be what I am saying seems like too much of an utopian path, but I believe it is possible. What our country needs right now are more believers. If we really love our country and dream of a beautiful and true India, each of one has to do our bit. For bit by bit is how a family, a society and a nation is built. We, the people, alone have the power to do it for we alone have the power to make a difference.
Happy Republic Day.