How Can We Be Nation Builders?

Posted on January 18, 2010 in Politics

Siddharth Viswanathan:

We have always gone around saying that politics in this country is a gutter. Our politics is often described as short sighted, communal, regionalistic, chauvinistic, dogmatic and a whole host of other adjectives to blend with it. On our part, we the citizens, have been accused of not participating. In India, some writers have stated that there is a lack of a leader for the masses, or in general the whole population, who can galvanize them into one and also build an identity of one people, one nation.

So, what should be done? Considering the kind of ‘mess’ that our country is in, citizens are regularly questioned by the media and peer groups about their commitment to nation building. Many citizens will even ask whether we need to build a nation. It follows our timeless cultural mindset of being happy with the things that there are. What can be the patriotic duty of every Indian? What is the platform from which nation building can be achieved and ordinary citizens can change the course of society or nation? The answer to this would be to join Politics.

Yes, the salvation for society to come out of its apathy and also to shatter the mindset that we are still developing is to actively join politics and become the change. All of us know that the political system is based on contacts and influences, and without any influence you go nowhere. If you have contacts at the highest places, then you can move along in the system. All efforts at starting citizen based political groups has proved ineffective due to citizen apathy and inhibition to become part of the system. No one can blame citizens. After all, it is through generations, and through a very potent popular and mass cultural medium that citizens have been bombarded about politics being the gutter of the nation.

Entrepreneurship, Cutural Icon, Sportsman, Social Symbol, are all the sub components of a nation’s identity. The real broader framework is joining the political process and reconnecting physically with each and every citizen. This would involve, not rath yatras or padh yatras, but a personal one to one meeting of a large group of citizens to determine their future. We have all seen how couch and TV politics have played havoc with citizen decision making, now it is upto the citizens to ensure they participate, so that some concrete actions can be taken