By Sagnik Sarkar:
In recent times, one finds oneself in the company of a rather large group of individuals in this country who have, or are in the process of, attempting to define what the Republic of India stands for.
One need not be a rocket scientist to be cognizant of the fact that in the event when a large number of individuals attempt to define what one’s motherland stands for – the ethos of the country – it is more inevitable than not that there will be friction. This friction has raised its ugly, or should we say, hideous head in the Indian society in contemporary times, a fact any observant citizen of this country would be aware of.
In the backdrop of such occurrences, it pains me that some individuals, or groups of them, claim (in practice) the exclusive right to not only define but also enforce what principles, values and ethics this country stands for.
I believe this was a debate that was safely laid to rest a rather long time ago, which culminated in the framing and adoption of the Constitution of India by the people of this country. The principles this country stands for (justice, liberty, equality and fraternity; for the uninitiated) are conspicuously elucidated, in no uncertain terms, in the Preamble to the Constitution and the Constitution itself.
A plain reading of this supreme legal document of the land renders a rather clear picture of the ethos of this country: an image of a country that values freedom, and by extension, pluralism; justice, civil liberties, equality and dignified life.
This document has achieved the purpose of defining the ethos of this country. It’s a document we all owe our supreme allegiance to, by virtue of its adoption by a declaration from “We, the people of India” in its Preamble. In light of these facts, no individual can afford to claim the right to define and enforce the ‘ethos’ of this country. I am sorry, to my mind, such individuals are merely forcing their vision of the ‘perfect’ country upon the millions of others, often unwilling.
We must not offer the tiniest quantum of solace to such individuals who so denigrate the ethos of our country, which, incidentally, prevents them from doing so.
It is a fact that such aforementioned individuals happen to be part of our very own society. This raises the uncomfortable question of whether we ourselves are silent abettors to the rise of such individuals.
Every time we force our choices on another individual, every time we make ourselves believe that our point of view is superior to that of another; we are feeding this demon that lies in the darkest corners of our heart, nutrition which might, one fated day, enable it to find expression through our actions.
To my mind, this is an appalling evil we ought to abstain from. And if one is truly human, such person, without a doubt, possesses the ability to do so.