Jan Gan Man Adhinayak Jay He Bharat Bhagya Vidhata.
Our national anthem is a prayer to the almighty, calling him ‘ Bharat Bhagya Vidhata’. Our democracy also envisages that the leader of the nation should be able to listen to the wishes of the last man in the hierarchy. Despite Well documented in our preamble to the constitution yet I always wondered whether it’s really possible?
The author is delighted to see it happen now.50 years ago,a dream was expressed as a poem ‘Rajpath’ by great Hindi poet Neeraj to see Rajpath becoming Janpath. Hindi article published in Uday India Hindi on 2 august concluded with the expectation that the Rajpath will connect to forest trail as well.
Bharat bhagyavidhata and ‘ PradhanSewak ‘ have gone one step head, Transforming Rajpath to Kartavya Path will be a great motivator. I visited the kartavya path recently. The landscaping and modification have done wonders.
India gate lawns used to attract crowd in the evening but now it was full of visitors in day time that too on a working day. Selfless leadership is not only building the infrastructure and GDP but it’s working on the ethos of “karmanyevadhikaraste “ . One has a right to work, the real spirit of the kartavya path has been in our constitution as fundamental duties.
The More one gets, the more it demands. The mind has started thinking how to take it to the level that it becomes the conscience of the nation.
This article will explore the positive impact ‘ kartavya path’ can have on the psyche of our nation as well as the future course of action.
To see Bharat becoming better and better, my mind knows no limit and our Sanskrit literature provides ample fuel to keep the flag flying high. People groomed in western tradition may not be able to appreciate the divine superiority of ‘ kartavya path over rajpath’, let’s explore the benefits.
One of most powerful Sanskrit shloka I have ever read, says,
‘नीरक्षीरविवेके हंस आलस्यं त्वं एव तनुषे चेत।
विश्वस्मिन अधुना अन्य कुलव्रतम पालयिष्यति क।।
Sanskrit literature depicts the bird swan for its wisdom and skill to separate milk from water, the poet of this shloka is asking the Hansa, “ o swan if you give up your quality of discriminating milk from water then who will fulfill this family tradition of yours,if wise people will abdicate their duties then who will remain impartial in this world. India prospered till its people kept duty above their rights. Whether it was going to the lord of death ‘Yama’ or going to exile for 14 years or giving up one’s own life and body to protect the world, Indians never thought twice in following the path of sacrifices to uphold the call of duty. This is the reason that hundreds of invasions and rule of so many different invaders failed to destroy our culture when all the other civilisations vanished. The poets from the courts of these invaders were forced to praise our culture.
Preserving the symbols of oppression!
Many critics claim that changing names will not improve anything! These critiques have to answer one simple question. Does retaining these scars on the conscience of the nation improve anything? Nowhere is that legacy of oppression more visible than in the names assigned to roads and cities in india. Despite India gaining independence,these name plates squat on the roads of our towns and cities as if awaiting the return of their Cruel and exploitative masters. 75 years have passed since we got freedom, and that British or other empires do not exist any more. So why should India , which has no cultural connection with the Erstwhile rulers, live in their shadows ? Why Should we not get rid of these symbols of exploitation, oppression and cruelty?
Rajpath was a ‘shameful homage to British raj’,the people who believed that they owe their being prime minister to mercy of Raj tried to preserve every sign of slavery as memorabilia. Whether it was vertical red stripes that symbolised the Cross of Saint George on naval flag or to remain a commonwealth country despite getting freedom.
How many Indians know That the prefix ‘VT’ stands for ‘Victorian Territory and Viceroy Territory’, which is the nationality code that each aircraft registered in India is required to carry. It is very humiliating that we have surpassed the British economy yet we are still flying the colonial baggage high on our own planes to all parts of the world. Till 2017 Dalhousie road ( now Dara Shikoh road ) was adjacent to Rajpath while the road named after the great Rani Jhansi was in a far flung area.
Rajpath being the simple translation of the then existing ‘ kings way ‘ was the most inappropriate name to have in free India. While 26 th amendment to the constitution eliminated privy purses being given to erstwhile kings in 1971, yet the name Rajpath survived.
This feeling of being a king, among the elected representatives or administrative servants has ensured that these people behave like owners of the nation, despite being senior servants only.
The failure to ‘serve’ is the main reason that the benefits of freedom could not reach the last person of the society. The habit of increasing personal benefits of legislators every now and then without having any empathy for the plight of the public has led to distrust and lack of respect. Our democracy did not result in ending the exploitation. It has only replaced the white exploiters with our own Indigenous versions. Walking on Rajpath the legislature along with bureaucracy became new maharaja and zamindars and the poor public neither got social nor financial freedom. VIP is the most cherished word, and these VIPs will not pay taxes, tolls, or many other dues, yet they will claim first right on national resources. Pensions and other allowances will keep on increasing and still they are better protected against investigations and prosecutions. The people who were supposed to be saviours became exploiters. It took 70 years to provide basic amenities like water, electricity , and banking for poor citizens of india.
The president of India is heading the Indian civil services and the three armed forces. He is the ceremonial head of the nation. When the spirit of Indian civil services is in ‘service’ the road leading to RashtrapatiBhavancan not be rajpath, it has to be sewa path or the best is Kartavya Path.
The spirit of kartavya is reflected in Section 51 of Indian constitution,which talks about 11 fundamental duties. These include respecting the constitution,protecting the nation, its environment,public property and women, promoting harmony,education and scientific temperament and striving towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activities.
Despite being part of the constitution, No serious efforts were made to create awareness about fundamental duties. The leaders also failed in setting a good example. As a result, violations of fundamental duties are very common not only by the public but by the very people who were supposed to teach the public. Judiciary enjoys more holidays than the common man can ever think of. Legislators fight for patty interests wasting huge national resources, corruption is being detected everywhere. The Indian ethos of DeenBandhu, Deenanath went for a toss, the leaders created walls not the bridges.
As a result We have created a situation where everybody wants to have their rights without performing their fundamental duties. How can one think of getting the rights when nobody is performing his duties. Can a nation grow without building the national character? And how can we build the national character without performing the fundamental duties? For the last 75 years, our leadership has failed to create this awareness, it has failed to educate the citizens about the importance of the fundamental duties. They have failed to inculcate the spirit where every citizen performs his fundamental duties.There are few exceptions like Dr Rajendra Prasad and LalbahadurShastri Ji but one rose here one rose there, does not make a garden.It has led to miseries to the fellow citizens. SadguruJaggiVasudev wrote once,” India needed a politics beyond self-interest and entitlements”
The Prime minister has recently said,”In the last 75 years, we only kept talking about rights, fighting for rights and wasting our time. The issue of rights may be right to some extent in certain circumstances, but neglecting one’s duties completely has played a huge role in keeping India vulnerable”
(pmindia.gov.in 20 jan 2022)
This has led to our youth falling easy prey to anti-social elements,jihadis and enemies of our nation. This lack of commitment to fundamental duties creates such a big void that any agitation with the best of intentions is exploited by these negative forces to create violence ,destroying public properties and dividing the society.
Globally great emphasis has been laid on citizens’ duties. Article 29(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.” The word corporate social responsibility has done wonders to uplift the society,it is high time we develop the habit to take our fundamental duties seriously. The growth story of Singapore has been powered by the flawless pursuit of duties by its citizens. Singapore has been a story of a less developed nation becoming a highly developed one in a very short span of time.
It is high time that we invest our resources in spreading awareness about the importance of fundamental duties.The beautiful and majestic kartavya path can be the best place to start with .The newly developed area has excellent landscape,public amenities and it will have maximum footfall for tourists visiting the national capital. This can be used to promote the spirit of fundamental duties, 11 specific places can be created to emphasise the importance of these fundamental duties. Statues of leading Indians depicting their work in promoting these duties will go a long way.
The national mall in Washington DC U.S has similar memorials which include Abraham lincon ,Thomas Jefferson, Washington ,Roosevelt, Martin Luther king and Einstein etc. It also has memorials for Second World War ,Korean war and Vietnam war.
We have our own heroes like babaamte,MSSwaminathan,dashrathmanjhi ,metro man Sridharan, HomiBhabha ,SN SubbaRao,Sindhu tai sapkal, Nana jiDeshmukh and so on.
Tallest among these,NetajiSubhash Chandra Bose has already taken his rightful place under the canopy at India gates lawns. let future generations know how these heroes helped the nation by simply performing their duties.Who’s who of our growth story is to be displayed to sensitise the young minds of our children . Our culture understand this much better than the rest of the world.
Padampatrasthitamtoyam, dhattemuktafalshriyam ||
For whom is the company of great people not beneficial? Even a water droplet, when rests on lotus petals, shines like a pearl.Let 138 crore Indians ( as of 2020) shine in the company of our national heroes who promoted the spirit of duties. Let every metro, city, town and village should have a kartavyapath.this will make sure when a common man from the remotest place visits delhi he feels at home and develops a conviction that fundamental duties are for all. The same will hold true for a top leader visiting the remotest place.
By Rakesh Kumar