Where Is That Blood?
The British, had initially come for trade but gradually took over the total administration of the country. At the strike of midnight of the August 15, 1947, India shook off the shackles of British raj and became free. It was a night of memorable celebration all over the country. Commemorating the day India attained freedom (August 15th ); Independence Day is celebrated with flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural event all over the country. The main program is held at the Red Fort where the Prime Minster unfurls the National Flag and it is saluted by guns.
The Prime Minister’s speech at the Red Fort in Delhi is a major highlight. Patriotic presentations by school children add colors to the celebrations. Delhi’s witness thousands of kites taking to the sky this day. Similar celebrations are held at all the state capitals also. The preparations begin a month in advance. Buildings of national importance are illuminated. We celebrate Independence Day. Since 1947, this is the best we can do to celebrate.
Not at all sounding pessimistic, my focus is to bring out the fire within. Till late 50s or perhaps 60s too, the flow of patriotism was on but gradually it waned away. Today at the peak of upgradation, two thoughts have come up well, but stands inversely proportionate that is corruption and patriotism. The economic situation has grappled patriotic enthusiasm. We still have that fire but we need someone to ignite that. A strong motivator, a good leader. We need a good leader. It is estimated that our population is going to overtake China shortly, and very unfortunate we have no leader.
Who can be a good leader? I personally feel a person who has compassion with a strong vision, and a path-breaker . He has that mettle to be a be a good leader. If you look back to those great people who have laid their lives for our country, pre as well as post independence, almost in all of them you would find humbleness and a great vision in there eyes. There life itself is a temple of learning. A mind with a wider horizon not the cheap party politics. Few politicians have shown their capabilities, they are good human being too but none of them are path-breakers or to say in better words we have none, the leader. In today’s politics that is very much missing.
Few personalities truly have a moving inspirational thought, a story to share with others. To begin with—Lal bahadur shastriji, Dr Radha Krishnan, Smt Sarojini Naidu, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, Raja Gopalchariji—their are many others, as this country has produced jewels. But few leaders could have been an excellence at par, since they have that spirit in built very strong but unfortunately victimised. The individualistic charismatic presence and the will cease to exist.
How unfortunate one succumbs to an end a little mistake one makes in politics. Therefore, a politician must be a good server, because a true server is respected by all. A person having such a bent of mind will have only followers, weather it is his supporting party or the Opposition.
TOUGH TIMES BEFORE THE YOUNG
Every Independence Day that India celebrates, brings forth references to the young of India by leaders who unfurl the National Flag at one place or the other. Apart from the official functions at the state capitals and district headquarters, in most of the schools and colleges, their heads perform the same duty. Does all this really motivate the youth of India in any manner? If not, then the root cause of such a situation must be explored in detail and depth.
The youth in Kashmir Valley are kept busy pelting stones and getting killed by the bullets of the security forces. In some 200+ districts that are Naxal-infested areas, young are getting an assurance of family pension if they sacrifice their lives for those who believe in the power of the bullet. These young men are attacking, under instructions, the convoys of the paramilitary forces and planting land mines killing their own brethren. Lal Garh is now a place of pilgrimage for the leaders busy in strengthening their support base. In other parts of the country, young persons are paying through their nose to get professional education. Government tells them affectionately that provision of loans are there, avail them without any hesitation. Only the applicant knows the realty of getting a loan for any purpose from Indian banks. Private and public schools have a field-day and so are the private hospitals. Today, the most urgent needs of the children and young persons are good education and health care. Both have become the most sought after sectors for investment and assured returns for those who have the lucre and the connections. In schools, some five decades ago, children learnt the proverb ‘Money makes the mare go!’. Not many of them understood its real meaning in their young days.
Now, every one, young and old, understands it. Nothing moves without the money; that extra money. The aam aadami need not remember the miserable position of India in Human Development Index or the Corruption Index. He /She know it as it is witnessed and faced all around. Has one ever met a person who purchases a plot from some state housing board, gets a hose build and did not dish out that extra money at least at eight to ten places? If there is really even one in this country, he needs to be honoured by all those, yours truly included, who had no alternative but to succumb to the ‘practice’ and look the other way!
During the second year of my eleven-year-tenure (1977-88) as the principal of the Regional Institute of Education in Bhopal, I addressed some six hundred newly-admitted future teachers, exhorting them to imbibe values of truth, peace, non-violence, honesty and all that principals normally talk on such occasions. One of them, afresh graduate from the rural areas of Maharashtra suddenly raised his and sought permission to interject. He confronted me with a dilemma that reverberates in my mind with far greater intensity now than ever before! He raised a very innocent query: “In my state, the rates for the appointment of teachers in government schools are fixed. Everyone knows it. How can I be honest and get a job? If my family takes loan on heavy interest, I have to pay it back. I shall have to be dishonest.” For a moment there was pin drop silence. As I appreciated his boldness, an unstoppable burst of clapping with a deafening noise followed. I already knew he was right. It is a wide-spread phenomenon! Even in admissions, things are easy only for those who can ‘manage’ needed initial inputs. Now everyone understands how ever-increasing privatisation of education is creating new set of values that fit in very well in the materialistic society that India never was in the past. If the initial capitation/donation/or secret cash transfer for a medical seat is over thirty-forty lakhs, the values of the future medical practitioner are decided on that day itself. In the year 2010, the central government finds 44 deemed universities unfit to be given the status, another 44 severely deficient in various aspects. And who approved these 88 below-par universities? Simple: the regulatory bodies that were created to maintain norms and standards!
For most of the young persons, their dreams are melting away. Could anyone imagine in fifties of the last century that India would have caste-based regional parties in power? Could anyone dream of a caste-based census or reservations on religious Ines? In the country of Mahatma Gandhi, violence, bigotry and hatred manifests in so many ways and young persons fall prey to it. Jawaharlal Nehru made that famous and oft-quoted speech “Tryst with Destiny” before the Constituent Assembly on the midnight of August 14-15, 1947 which contains the following as well: “The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?” At that moment, the wounds of the partition were fresh and nation had different priorities. What followed in years ahead was a fragrant violation of Gandhian
values. Poorest people in several states are suffering under the cruel clutches of the Maoists and Naxalites and the white-collar exploiters of the system of governance. These sufferers had dreams. The exploitation of the tribals, their displacements, open and illegal mining and deforestation, killing of rivers by unscrupulous industries and poor civic administration in cities are legends that are ever-growing and apparently are beyond the powers of any one to check!
Even a cursory perusal of the volumes of the Constituent Assembly Debates would clearly indicates the values inherent amongst the leadership and it presents shocking contrasts with those of today. The successors of the members of the Constituent Assembly sit in the two Houses of Indian Parliament. They regularly need a hike in salaries and perks. Now they want more pay than the cabinet secretary to the Government of India and, rest assured, they would get it. Poor people in urban areas are withdrawing their children from schools as they can not afford food for them because of spiralling inflation. The Union Minister of Agriculture is worried: why is media talking about rotting of food grains? While young people are facing unemployment everywhere, there are lakhs of vacancies of teachers in schools, in railways and even in central universities, 35 per cent positions are vacant. This would not happen in a country that cares for the young.
India has made commendable achievement in several sectors and its presence in the global arena is now respectfully acknowledged. There are two factors responsible for this. One, the visionary planning in the initial years by those fully drenched with the values that prevailed throughout the nation during freedom struggle. This spirit vanished as that generation passed away. The other is the knowledge power projected by young Indians in sectors that matter; like their presence in NASA and the Silicon Valley.
The process of growth and development has uplifted the upper echelons of the society further but the deficient and the deprived stand left behind feeling ignored and excluded. Rural India and agriculture sector, and hence the rural youth; have remained neglected. The growth rate in agriculture sector is worrisome. In addition, most of the welfare schemes chronically suffer corruption which has penetrated every aspect of the process of governance and appears uncontrollable. When the neglect becomes intolerable, elements like Maoists and Naxalites, with the support of external elements have a field-day.
This is what is happening in Kashmir Valley. The entire nation should sit up and strive to remedy the conditions when even a single young life is lost to the bullets of our own security forces. The unrest even in small measures just cannot be ignored any more. What would happen to the youth of 23,000 villages which would be wiped out because of the express ways planned in UP alone? Youth of India, leave aside a small percentage of lucky ones, is unsure, uncertain and is looking for leadership. One could be sure that it shall also emerge from amongst them as their elders have failed them thoroughly as it is busy in the world of power, pelf and position, oblivious to poverty and the poor. Let it be remembered that none can remain happy, if everyone is not happy.
By JS Rajput
According to me, there are two sides of politics, the positive and the negative. In Hindi, former is the Raajniti and later Kootniti. A well known Master politician did kootniti with positive intention for the sake of country and for humanity only; he is none other then our great scholar Chanakya. He was a professor at the University of Takshila (located in present day Pakistan) and was an expert in commerce, warfare, economics, etc. His famous works include Chanakya Neeti, Arthashastra and Neetishastra. A product of this country, on this same land.
Today, we are following a path of a little different politics and which is directionless, completely wild. Present situation we are passing through is disturbing. Take any issue on growth and development; you will observe undesirable treat and the concluding part will be connected with controversies with big media splash and nothing less.
Delhi been a modern city has always under focus and has many things to offer, center is always an attraction, wide roads and new construction, now we have metro, excellent; but one heavy shower and the beans are spilled, people are on the run, beginning with, severe traffic jam, roads paving in thanks to metro, electric cable fault, certain areas flooding of roads, felling of trees a complete change of topography. To top it all we are having Commonwealth Games this year, which is an excellent feature but to a poor men plight all the cart-puller, hawker sellers are put to hold.
No one is spared, sky rocketing expenses are trimming a common man; consumption of goods intake and business has been hit down. But then the great news is our GDP growth rate is ever encouraging, we get to see it in the news. That is the only part fit for consumption, to be realised. We already have numerous political parties striving hard to create a news, so that next election they would see the good future. Shining India so called has a dark horse story to tell, cooking gas prices at Rs 345. What is shinning? The whole of the year we have festivals, yet such pathetic state of affairs. Who is responsible?
Desperately we need a good leader, to begin with and rest would follow gradually. A well-focused thorough planning is needed. The affluent class and the civil services executives need to be tapped. Both the segments have a significant role to play as per development and administration is concerned for this country. The basic amenities for survival should cost less.
Desalinating of sea water for potable water, to take up wind power or any other natural substitute for power generation a continues research work must be on, population must be well-tapped, some measures must be taken to bring up the underserved children (our future). It is a well-known fact that the entire gangatic plain is so fertile, that we can feed the whole world, such potential we command. Then why do we crib on petty politics. India is a great country; we must show that with our capabilities but not at the cost of a common man. Firing a rocket and enhancing your space programme that too on empty stomach, not at all justified. Similarly, empty stomach religion cannot be practiced as told by Swami Vivekananda, during an interview in New York.
A new well-defined India can be reflected to the world, provided we have a Leader with courage in his heart and a true patriot.
By Siddhartha Bose