By Salony Satpathy:
Thousands of protests. Lakhs of cries. Crores of woes. It is destruction we are talking about. Destruction of a dream called ‘India’. How did it all happen? What caused it to tumble? Where is “that heaven of freedom”, in the words of Sri Rabindranath Tagore, when is our country supposed to awaken? I guess these are the questions that have no definite answer and the reason is quite evident: WE DON’T CARE! And why do we not care? Because it is not we who are at the receiving end. If some girl is raped at some corner of the country, how does it affect us? If Swami Nigamanand fasts onto death, why should it bother us?
Well, to be very frank, these are the situations that should have brought us together as a country and not just in quantity, in quality too because it is our country and our people we are talking about. Only a mass mental revolution can cause a change. If corruption has to end, it can only end if we, the citizens, stand together by feeling for the cause. Anna Hazare or Baba Ramdev can make nothing happen if a horde of people follow them just for the sake of “doing something” in their free time so that passing time is easier. And certainly nothing is going to change if people sit in their living rooms, discussing each news as if they are on fire and that is all that they do.
It is saddening that the affairs of our country have reached such a level that mending it will take a great deal of time and patience. One of my teachers once mentioned that the days have gone when things could have been repaired in India; those were the days right after the status of independence was granted to our country and it was declared a republic back in 1950. Now is the time to cause less damage to overcome the havoc that will otherwise be unleashed.
So what is to be done? Certainly, things cannot be left as they are, else we will have to live in “hell”, forget the “heaven”. The first and foremost thing is to start liking the country; it obviously has no future if the people living in it hate it. Love your country, love its surroundings and its seas and oceans and hills and meadows and rivers and sands. Just waving the tricolor on Independence Day or Republic Day because that is what is “supposed” to be done, is seriously not going to help anything. Loving and respecting the national flag is the need of the day.
Apart from that, it is essential that people understand the need to pay the taxes on time; it is ultimately for the benefit of the nation. If people argue that a majority chunk of the tax money goes into the bank accounts of the corrupt officials of our country, and refuse to pay the taxes, they should understand that by not paying, they are in fact increasing the count of corrupt people in the country as violating the governance is also a form of corruption.
Joining a good NGO with the aim of service to the people, and not a dream of increasing the size of the pockets, is another way to contribute. Reacting to situations in the right way is the need of the day. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is not happening. It is appalling that when a candle light vigil was called on account of the Jessica Lal murder case, there were a lot of people who went just to pass their time and to be in the limelight. But there were also people who cared and it is these people who are to be thanked and respected as these are the people who had the right hand in the delivery of justice.
People have to understand that there is a country because it has its citizens, and there is democracy for them. If they have to exercise their rights as citizens, they have to repay through their duties. The first duty is to feel for the nation; to feel Indian.