By Dr Subhash Chandra
On August 9, 2017 we celebrated 75 years of ‘Bharat Chhodo’ call by Gandhi-ji. We also passed a unanimous resolution in the Upper House of Parliament which stated that we express and put on record our gratitude to the lakhs of people who gave their lives for freedom and also to those thousands who led the Freedom Movement. It further said that we make a pledge towards creating a Secular, Clean, Poverty-Free India in the coming time.
I was sitting and watching the Honourable Members speaking on the proposed resolution. Most were speaking as per the ideology/belief of their respective political parties. They also registered their grave concerns on today’s political situation, often indulging in party rhetoric. Some even reminded the august House as to how elders in their own families participated in the freedom struggle.
Hardly anyone remembered the sacrifices made by people like Bhagat Singh, Azad and many more. Also no one showed any concern towards the current situation. It seems each one of us (not only those present in the House, but in society at large) has become self-centred, no one thinks of the country, let alone make any sacrifice as made by those remembered. Today each and every one of us asks a question: Mujhe is me kya milega, ya mera kya faida hoga? Yeh mera kaam nahin hai, mein kyun apni jaan jokhim mein daalu, ityaadi ityaadi (What will I gain out of this? This is not my job, why should I put my life at risk, etc etc).
Do we remember that those who got us freedom never ever asked “why should I make this sacrifice?”
My congratulations to all my fellow countrymen on this 70th Independence Day. May God make all of us happy, healthy and prosperous. But I want to warn all, including my own family members, against a different kind of “slavery” we are going to have, and that is SELFISHNESS. We are heading towards self-appeasement, and that is going to make all of us ‘sick’ in a different way. And more than anything else, it will make us a very unhappy society.
Let us work towards the India of our dreams. Independent India may be a 70-year-old now, but in the comity of world’s nations she has just attained youth. And in youth I strongly believe – I think out of every thousand kids, two are prodigies. These two may be from a small village in Haryana or Telangana, deprived of all opportunities in life, barred from options that a Delhi or Mumbai-bred would get — yet smiling and braving the winds of adversity. They symbolise my idea of India — smiling, brave and facing every season of destiny with determination and dutifulness.
A ‘country’ can never be a ‘nation’ in the true sense unless there is a sense of belonging entrenched in its citizens. For the 1.25 billion of us, being Indian should be our first Dharma and our Nation the biggest temple.
As India celebrates its 70th Independence Day, we must resolve to put an end to the conflict between majoritarianism and minoritarianism. There are a lot of bright spots that can take India to the top, but one social issue that needs to be tackled is the conflict between the majority and the minority.
I have a strong belief: If a nation’s majority is made to feel insecure (in our case, due to parliamentary democracy, we do this all the time), then that nation’s minority can never be secure.
The key to this, in my view, lies in developing an economy which is all-inclusive: Let us develop a nation where there is no gap between demand and supply, let us develop a society which is based on trust and faith rather than mistrust and insecurity. I do believe that the FITTEST SHOULD SURVIVE in a competitive environment, but at the same time 1% of the population cornering 70% of the wealth, including next 9% or say top 10% population taking away 91% of wealth (data of 2000-2015) is not acceptable and speaks of connivance among the four pillars of society. This is result of widespread corruption in society. To my mind corruption is not only by way of bribery, but it is also triggered off when you and I and all of us waste our time, when we say “Chalta Hai”, when we say “Mujhe Kya” and so on.
Let us join our Prime Minister and take the pledge as advised by him and help him achieve what he has set out to achieve. My belief is that he alone cannot achieve even 5% of what he wants to. Each one of us will have to look through the lenses of these pledges and then compare our actions against these. If our actions are going in the opposite direction, then we will have to sacrifice our interests. We will have to sacrifice our wealth and much more.
Let us learn to understand our responsibilities (kartavya) rather than just demand our rights.
Let us follow the footsteps of our ancestors who, while performing their duties towards their nation, did not ask: “Why should I?”
Happy Independence Day
Jai Hind-Jai Bharat
(The author is Rajya Sabha Member and Chairman of Essel Group)