Buiding A Nation


Happy Independence Day! Today was the day 63 years ago that we broke the shackles of British Imperialism that had binded us since more than 200 years. It was the fruit of the labours of the countless millions who dreamed of a free India, believed in the dream and strived forward to achieve it. So a grateful thanks to them.

Many claim that freedom has no meaning today. I have read many bloggers writing about why we are still not free. May be in a way we are not. We still have to fight against a lot of social injustice. Our constitution defines a set of fundamental rights that are available to everyone who claims to be a citizen of India, but only a handful enjoys those rights. India is the oldest continuously habituated civilization and has a history unmatched by any other nation. We have come a long way since the first man laid foot in this triangular sub-continent and we still have a long way to go. No nation is perfect by default, but as citizens it is our duty to ensure that it becomes perfect. Without the people, a nation is just a piece of land. India will be what we make out of it.

Destroy the Wall

This had been a major problem here since a long time. Before the British came and conquered India, we were not a nation. For most of history we were a congregation of small states ruled individually by small kings. In between, for short periods of a couple centuries, a larger dynasty like Guptas, Mauryas, Mughals etc appeared and brought a much larger part of the country and along with it most of the population under one flag.

We may have a common flag now, but we are still divided. We are divided by religion, region, culture, language, caste, sect….and the list goes on. Why was India invaded so many times? Because we were divided. We never let the other person into our fold. To become strong we need to destroy these walls we have created over thousands of years. We need to mingle with others and accept the different cultures. For long major part of the population has been sidelined from all types of economic and social growth. They need to be brought closer.

Change is NOT a Demon

Caste systems, prejudices based on sex and creed etc have to be broken. Khap Panchayats are just an example of the medieval mindset that still haunts majority of the nation. Traditions are fine but we have to change with time. Why did India survive while the rest of the civilisations perished? It is because our ancestors accepted change. And they accepted the culture of the different invaders. I know I am contradicting my own statement in the previous section. But both the statements are true. We accepted the cultural change from the victors, but we are not ready to accept the culture of our own fellow countryman.

Everyone one that came to India became part of India and added on to the countries rich treasures. Each invader that came to India left some good thing and we have till now used those gifts to grow further as a nation. For example the English left their language. If it hadn’t been for the English language, we could never have communicated that easily. Central, South, North, East, and West India would have been different regions alienated from each other.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

But why are we so afraid of change now when we accepted it previously? Or is it that we can only accept change when it is forced on us? Khaps exist, women are still treated badly, caste system is alive and kicking. Change is universal and a mind that changes and grows betrays intelligence, whereas the one that refuses to change and sticks to old thoughts stagnates. As William Blake said, “The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”

If as a nation, we wish to survive, then we have to bring about a change. A change in ideas, in thought, in the way we treat the fellow citizens, in the way we look at and feel for the nation, in our action and inaction, in our acceptance for social injustice, we have to stop remaining a silent spectator to everything.

Everyone is Accountable

For everything that happens, bad or worse, everyone is accountable. The government is made up of common people selected by us to represent us. We selected them and they are accountable to us. The beurocracy, the public services, everyone is accountable for their actions. Even we are accountable.  We have the biggest right i.e. the right to vote, we have the right to say no to corruption and no to injustice of all kind. If we don’t practice it, then we have no right to blame the government. But these are big things. We can begin small.

Charity begins at home and by inculcating minute changes in our daily life, we can make huge differences. We can start by following rules and respecting them. By not jumping red lights, wearing seat belt/helmet and following the right of way while driving. By using a dustbin and not spitting and littering in open. By refusing to give bribe. By voting for the right candidate. By respecting the people around you.  By helping the fellow citizens and not being a silent spectator. By not defacing our historical monuments and respecting them. There are endless things that we can do.

Small actions when combined together can become a huge force.  It is just that we feel it is the other person’s job. We too are accountable for our actions because it is we who make the nation. Moreover the young population learns from us and what we do today makes an impact on them.

The Idea of India

We have to believe in the idea of India. We are still divided by many things and we need to destroy the divides. State and region superiority is still an issue. Yes, we should strive forward to take our states forward, because the progress of the nation depends on the progress of the individual state, on individual regions. But in achieving that objective we should not forget the Idea of India. Better co-operation between states and better understanding will ensure this.

Instead of looking at every opportunity to fulfil our individual desires, we should think of how our actions would help the nation, the region, our colony, our family and how it would affect the poorest person in the nation.

This idealistic idea can be achieved only when everyone in the nation feels safe and has pride in calling himself/herself an Indian  and does a bit everyday for the nation. It can be teaching a few poor children for free, cleaning the surroundings, helping at a hospital, volunteering for a social cause….anything. Just look around and you will see opportunities everywhere, where you can do some good.

Poverty, Illiteracy and Hunger

Most of the nation still lives in poverty. They are still illiterate. I don’t count writing your name as literate, the government census may. As tax payers we should be aware of how our money is used. It is for building the nation, not to fill the purses of the corrupt. Accountability is also applicable here. Funds are misused everywhere, food grains are rotting while children around die of hunger. People in power misuse their authority to stake claims on things not theirs. Naxal movement is a thing that we created. Riding over the tribal people. Disrespecting their rights and land. Now the demon threatens to devour us.

Let us give them opportunity to rise, to grow forward. They will not believe in India till they are fed. A hungry man doesn’t give two-hoots about any religion or region. He cares for food.

A proper education would help ensure this. It will make them aware of things and they would not be exploited. Let us create opportunities at the lowest levels of economy. The big cities are full and cannot hold forever. Let an economic, social and educational revolution start and let it start at the grass root level.

Conclusion

The revolution has to begin and this time it will not be a spark like Mangal Pandey that will start it. But a slow steady kindling, in which we will begin small changes within us and within our surroundings. Changes which will start from the grass-root level. And then with time and effort grow to engulf the whole nation.

Jai Hind!

P.S. Have registered for the contest at Blogadda sponsored by Pringoo

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Comments
8 Responses to “Buiding A Nation”
  1. Happy Independence day !
    Proud to be an Indian

  2. RS says:

    Hi Snowleopard,

    have written something similar.

    you may like to read it at

    http://restlesssouldier.blogspot.com/2010/08/my-country-right-or-wrong-patriotic.html

  3. Sapna says:

    Great thoughts Patty!!!

  4. Gaurav says:

    Great thoughts and a great post.

    Its high time for a change now..change will occur, but gradually.

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