BJP surely cannot use their old slogan to garner votes this time around..!
What does a nation of 1.1 billion people need to indeed shine? Political Clarity.Economic growth, A safe society etc etc. Of all, the basic aspect necessary is to try to uphold the principles of its constitution.
Lets look at each of the parameters that we promised to give ourselves, and then see how good we are keeping promises, even to ourselves.
The Preamble of our constitution states:
“We, the people of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN, socialist, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; in our constituent assembly this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do hereby adopt, enact and GIVE TO OURSELVES this constitution.”
This term means that there is a political system which is free from external control.
In India, the political system allows multiple parties to form a government through coalitions. There is a set of ruling parties, and a set of opposition parties; who don’t hesitate to defy their fundamental principles to come to power. A very good example of this situation was demonstrated last year when the UPA govt almost fell from power owing to its take on the Nuclear Deal. Ultimately, when something good seems to happen in the interest of the people, either side wants credit. The opposition meaninglessly opposed the nuclear deal citing “submission to US dominance” instead of looking at its positives. Apart from this, there are kingmakers in every state who decide the functioning of the political system there.
India needs a two-party system in order to have healthy politics, instead to opportunistic politics.
Secularism advocates religious tolerance. India is also called Hindustan [Land of the Hindus]. Indian history speaks of innumerable foreign invasions, but also boasts of the fact that no Hindu ruler has attacked a foreign land in the interest of territorial/religious expansion. On paper, secularism is loud and clear, as Hinduism is not the state religion. All religions are the same to the constitution. But, do we see it the same way?
The Babari Masjid issue is one of the many nails in the coffin for secularism. Babar built this mosque, supposedly after bringing down the Rama temple at Ayodhya, in the early 16th century. This was obviously a huge blow to Hindus then and it still is now. But is it right on our part to bring down the mosque after 400 years?
There is a controversy surrounding the Taj Mahal. For those of us who aren’t aware, the place where the Taj stands today was once a Shiva temple. Shah Jahan brought it down to make room for the Taj Mahal. The lower chambers of the Taj have evidence of a Shiva Idol and a temple, this place is obviously not open to tourists. This shocking fact was discovered by Prof. Oak in the 70s, who authored a book called “Taj Mahal: the true story”. Fearing political backlash, Indira Gandhi’s government tried to have Prof. Oak’s book withdrawn from the bookstores, and threatened the publisher dire consequences.
The Taj, in all its glory, is an architectural masterpiece which every Indian should be proud of, none of us would want to bring it down to restore the Shiva temple on which it is built. The present Govt can acknowledge this fact in public, as Taj Mahal is an epitome of secularism: A Muslim monument built on a Hindu temple which none of the Indians would want to destroy.
Liberty and Equality :
The latest outrage in our minds will be against the girls who were assaulted in Mangalore, by the Sri ‘Ram’ Sena. This act not only shows how immature our leaders are, but also tarnishes Lord Rama’s name..! The motives of the Ram sena are to revive Hinduism, there are many ways to do it, why stop women from drinking. Hinduism doesn’t approve of men drinking either. And this is when the constitution promises “liberty and equality for all”. Leaders like Muthalik are seeking to gain public attention through cheap means. To start off, revival of Hinduism can be done by maintaining the pilgrimage centres properly. It pains me to see the photos of dead, bloated bodies floating on the Ganga at Kashi, one of the holiest places a Hindu should visit in his lifetime. I would never think of going to Kashi, forget about bathing in the Ganges.
There is a protest against the installation of Charlie Chaplin’s statue near Udupi as it is supposedly “hurting Hindu sentiments”. How much more absurd can this get? Firstly, I don’t see why a Chaplin statue is required in a small town of Karnataka. Even if it is required, it doesn’t cause any harm, so why protest against it? We aren’t installing a Veerappan statue, are we? Another reason cited was that this was “Christian, but not Indian in spirit”. Does that mean any non-Hindu prominent in his/her field shouldn’t be entitled to have his/her own statue? In that sense Einstein, Newton, Edison are all anti-Indian. Am sure the erection of a statue of Kalpana Chawla or Sunitha Williams will not have any opposition. The latter just has Indian roots, she didn’t even do her schooling or college here. But she has made India proud [I sincerely don’t know how]; and this will be Indian, not Christian/ pro-US.
There is still complacency in us. The right people aren’t getting elected because the right people aren’t voting..! If people with proper discretionary abilities do not go out to vote, right leaders can never be elected. And yet, this is our Democracy.Unity in diversity, and national integration are just fancy phrases that are used off and on in any social event. There is much more to being Indian than just cribbing about the system and not doing anything about it.
We’d better start being a part of the solution; for we already are a part of the problem…