India at 60: Let us be the change

India has completed 60 years of independence. It’s time for some introspection and we should be the change to make India a better place.

How often have we said Iss Desh ka kucch nahi ho sakta (nothing can change in this country)”. But have you ever given a thought why you have said so? The answer in most of the cases is “No”. India has now completed 60 years of its independence and is it not high time that we do some introspection about where we are heading? I think that if everything is planned properly and we have an ambition to make India a developed nation, then in the next decade the biggest role will have to be played by us, the citizens of India. We have to change our attitude towards the various challenges that lie ahead of us and have to find a better way to tackle them as well. The problem with India is that the citizens are very passive and don’t have an ambition to change themselves. There might be various reasons for that but today we are the youngest nation in the world and now the youth should step ahead and “be the change that you want to see in the world.” We are a large country and are blessed with natural resources and highly motivated human resource. We have to prioritize our thoughts on national development and treat all other issues as “non-issues”. This will ensure focus and thrust for the development process. It will also prevent dissipation of energy and resources on non-productive issues. The citizens of this nation can change things dramatically for India to excel in every field. Let’s take a look at a few severe problems that India is facing.

Corruption

The causes of corruption are many and complex. Following are some of the main causes of corruption:

Emergence of a political elite which believes in interest-oriented rather than nation-oriented programmes and policies.

Artificial scarcity created by the people with malevolent intentions which wrecks the fabric of the economy.

Corruption is caused as well as increased because of the change in the value system and ethical qualities of the men who administer.

The old ideals of morality, service and honesty are regarded as an anachronistic.

Tolerance of people towards corruption, complete lack of intense public outcry against corruption and the absence of strong public forums to oppose corruption allow corruption to reign over people. Is it possible to contain corruption in our society? Corruption is a cancer, which every Indian must strive to cure. If each of us makes sure that we will not pay bribe or will not take bribe then corruption will automatically come down. What is required is a will from our side and if we are able to do so very soon we will have a corruption free society.

Political Participation

More than 50 per cent of India’s population does not take part in the political process. In a democracy if we don’t take an active role then what is the use of having the world’s biggest democracy. We reap what we sow. If we don’t vote in elections then we have no right to say that the Indian Parliament and state assemblies are full of tainted people and criminals. Democracy does not mean a government by the uneducated, elected by the badly educated. Here, the elected persons cannot be more ignorant than the electors because no matter how stupid he is, we are more stupid to have elected him in the first place. Uneducated and ineffective democracies result when the corrupt few are elected by the incompetent many. For democracy to be meaningful it must strive to be more than just an election time event; it must become a way of life for each citizen. Each citizen must understand his rights and the power of collective action.

Judiciary

The question about the accountability and transparency of the judicial administration in our country is rightly engaging the attention of the right people at present. The Prime Minister has rightly observed that the judiciary in India should seriously consider the prevailing deficiencies of judicial administration and should immediately find the remedies; any delay on this score is likely to adversely affect its credibility and structure. Truly speaking, the nature and extent of the “deficiencies of judicial administration” have reached such a low level that what is now required is the overhaul of the whole system of dispensation of justice, including the institution of the Bar. It is very important that when we reach at a position where we need to deliver a judgment, it is important that we are not partial to any side nor we succumb to any pressure. There must be a witness protection plan so that witnesses do not turn hostile. Such a plan would protect the innocent from injustice and bring the criminals to justice.

Role of Media

India has a free, fair and fearless media. Media is considered to be the fourth pillar of the society. The other three are the legislature, executive and the judiciary. It definitely plays an important role in the welfare of the society. It has the power to speak boldly against wrong. The media gives a voice to the poor people. When nobody listens to a man only the media raises his voice. But, of late the role of the media is also under scrutiny. Today television channels and newspapers are making fast money by cashing on news in a wrong sense and wrong manner. In the race to become more popular and make money they have broken all the limits media must follow while trying to build a healthy and progressive society. If it continues in this manner in the future then we people have to re-think about the role of media. I must say that media should criticise the performance and not the performer. In a moment they will create heroes and very next moment they will make him/her a nobody. (With reference to the criticism of MS Dhoni, Sania Mirza, Uma Khurana etc.)

Moral Values

The degree of corruption in any organisation or society depends on three factors. The first is the individual sense of values. The second are the values cherished by society and the third, of course, is the system of governance. So far as the first issue is concerned, today our society is in a flux. Thanks to modernisation and the tremendous impact of satellite television and the media and the policy of liberalisation, we are seeing the vigorous growth of consumer culture. In India, traditionally, the ascetic who gives up things was honoured. Today, the models before the younger generation are those who earn money by means fair or foul and have tons of it to splurge. Lifestyle has become very important. This consumerist culture is probably strengthening the philosophy of “get on, get honour and get honest”. Can we afford to give up our consumerist culture? I am afraid not. What we can do is to at least see that certain basic values like integrity, honesty are inculcated in the educational system. In any society, values, by and large, are inculcated by the parents. Unless we are well off morally we cannot prosper.

Hence there are many things where a revolution or change can be brought if we are willing to make India a better place. If we want to live with honour and see a better India then we must become a soldier of our Nation. A soldier is not only willing to sacrifice but is also ready to stop those who try to destroy the Nation. As author Shiv Khera’s says:

Life is not a spectator sport. The onlookers criticise, but they don’t want to get involved. They are free loaders. They want anything and everything for free. They don’t want to pay a price, and they don’t want to earn anything. My response to them is – either get involved or shut up!

Let us for a moment pause to reflect what it is for which we would like to be remembered by the future generations. Will we be remembered for how many churches our generation has added, will we be remembered for how many mosques our generation has added, will we be remembered for how many temples our generation has added or will we be remembered for how many gurudwaras our generation has added? No, not at all. We will be remembered only if we give to our younger generation a prosperous and safe India resulting out of economic prosperity coupled with our civilizational heritage.

I would conclude with a poetic verse:

Oh Almighty, create thoughts and actions in the minds of the people of my nation, so that they live united.

Light the minds of the religious leaders of my country to evolve a bridge among religions with compassion and love.

Embed the thought ’Nation is bigger than the individual or party’ in the minds of the leaders.

May God, bless my people to work and transform the country into a prosperous nation in a decade.

0 thoughts on “India at 60: Let us be the change”

  1. The article throws light on how we can change the system. It is important to note that we are the biggest part of this choking system and hence it is our responsibility to correct it as well.

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