So arrives the 60th Year of independence and as usual I am feeling more patriotic than the other days of the year. I should have done something extra today but it was not to be. Afterall it was a national holiday and the government gives you an off to watch Pradhan Mantri’s sandesh to the nation, though it also means that it gives you an off to watch zillionth re-run of Border, LOC, Gaddar, Haqeeqat or premier of Jo Bole So Nihaal on the telly.
So over the years after seeing so many of my Pradhan Mantri’s messages to the nation, I thought let me take this opportunity to give some peice of my mind to my nation as well. Bear with me will you!
I start by reciting the lesser know National Integration Pledge.
“I solemnly pledge to work with dedication to preserve and strengthen the freedom and integrity of the nation.
I further affirm that I shall never resort to violence and that all differences and disputes relating to religion, language, region or other political or economic grievances should be settled by peaceful and constitutional means.
In their well being and prosperity alone lies my happiness.”
The more I analyse our National Integration Pledge, the more devoid it makes me feel. To start we pledge “to work with dedication to preserve and strengthen the freedom and integrity..” WORK? but aren’t we supposed to be on a holiday on the Independence Day? First of all why a holiday on Independence Day? It was a momentuous day for sure, but why do we take this as a country wide off. I know Americans go for a week’s holiday and you may feel whats wrong with a day off for us in comparison. However, IMHO, Independence Day should be made a working day and every Indian should work harder on this day as a gesture to the world and our erstwhile masters that we are going to overtake them soon and by working on this auspicious day even sooner.
“I further affirm that I shall never resort to violence and that all differences…” Father of our Nation would be glaring down at us from the heavons above in pale horror at what we have done with this part of our National Integration Pledge. The HAVEs flex their muscles to bend all the rules and laws, the HAVE NOTs are mute spectators of the plight of a common man on streets, courts and Meerut Parks. The religious extremist go berserk in the name of Religion, the leaders of our country run it mafioso-like, and self appointed moral torch bearers pulls down posters, break glasses and shed blood in the name of ethics (their own not withstanding). And the “aam junta”, well “aam junta (I included)” wait for our deliverer to get rid us of all our miseries without us doing anything. We surely must be reading different National Pledges.
“In their well being and prosperity alone lies my happiness.” Need I say anything about this? Yes? Aaj ek Bharatwasi apne dukhon se utna dukhi nahi hai jitna dusaron ke sukhon se hai. 😦
OK! So you must be cursing me now, calling me a negative character who only sees shadows when the sun shines. To some extent you are right, magar bhai kissiko to shadows bhi dekhna hai. No doubt we have progressed. We did well economically, SENSEX crossed 10K, World was prepared to see India in a new light, Cricket Team created a record of consecutive Wins batting second, Amreeka increased the allotment of H1Bs to India, Prince was rescued from 60ft well and Jessica Lall’s murder trial was re-opened. In fact we have done tremendously on all the economic, development and technology indices, but we have made very little progress in Human Development Index. Which points to the fact that the common Indian is still not prepared to stand up and demand his/her rights, is not prepared to question their Government on why PSUs are still not performing, and is resigned to their fate and destiny. I think with the 60th Year – our highest priority should be Justice and Rights, the sooner we start demanding these the sooner the public sector and their office bearers will become accountable to the Public. And of course, with so much money flying around in the economy we need to also start working on that 35% Poverty figure and people who lie below it.
To end my “Desh ke Naam Sandesh..” from the altar of my Desktop, I would like to recite these four lines of our General Pledge:
“India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters.
I Love my country. I am proud of its rich and varied culture. I shall always strive to be worthy of it.
I shall love and respect my parents, teachers and elders.
To my country and my people I pledge my devotion!”