India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters
I love my country, and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage
I shall always strive to be worthy of it
I shall give respect to my parents, teachers, and all the elders, and treat everyone with courtesy
To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion
In their well-being and prosperity alone, lies my happiness
I had to write this before writing down my concerns so that people waiting to send me to another country can understand that I am as Indian as them. I am as Indian as India itself. But that doesn’t mean that I will let my country continue to suffer from the problems which are in our purview to solve. There are certain issues that I know all Indians would love to talk about. They are something very basic, and more need-of-the-hour than the economic crisis, communal issues, media crisis or the sanity crisis which we are currently going through. We would like to change the condition of women, the condition of education in the country and the caste system prevalent in our society.
The condition of women is really bad in a large part of the country. It is said that now is a good time for women and feminism is on the rise but we are still stuck in a situation where women aren’t treated with basic courtesy, leave alone being treated equally.It seems that no women is safe at present, neither outside nor inside their four walls. Because even those walls are ready to crush her existence. During these difficult days, more and more complaints of domestic violence are made. Rape, molestation and harassment is also rampant. Everyone is suffering due to coronavirus but the ‘weaker sex’, as women are referred to are being tortured quite incessantly, enough to raise their voice against it.
What I mean here is that domestic violence complaints which are being made are not made after just one such incident. Women have a tendency to forgive, forget, and give innumerable chances to their male counterparts. Some of these women opt for death than taking any action against these men.
The same thing happens with regard to rape cases too. Even though nowadays rapes are reported but still some are hidden to cover the shame. And this is what makes the offenders so powerful. Powerful enough to ruin someone’s life. Even though this thought process itself is demeaning that due to rape, a women’s life is ruined, but unfortunately this is the truth that prevails in our society. The victim has to go through painful ordeals that make her feel ashamed to even file a complaint. So, shouldn’t we make these women feel comfortable enough to talk about their problems without judging them or making them feel guilty? Shouldn’t those predators instead be made to feel ashamed and guilty about their actions?
The caste system is another issue that is causing destruction in our country. Yes, we divide you by gender, then religions, followed by regions and further, also on the basis of your ancestor’s birth into a certain caste which was decided by the ancestor’s profession. It’s something which is known to all but still, people don’t talk about it and hence nothing much can be done about it. It is a problem that is continuing for ages and is deeply rooted and really needs to be eradicated.
The caste system is the most ‘untouchable’ concept in our Indian mindset. This caste system was made according to the professional backgrounds of people in Ancient India. And Modern India which has gone through so many changes couldn’t really change this. People take pride in talking about their education and their modern nature, but when you raise an issue about the caste barrier they would frown and turn away their heads. No one wants to talk about it. Because it is innate in everyone’s mind here. So much so that when hearing your name, they first clarify whether you belong to a certain caste or not. And all these caste differences even give people the liberty to commit violence under the guise of punishments, approved so-called upholders of law, such as the Khap Panchayats.
The stories which we hear about the sufferings caused by this caste system are nerve wracking and disgusting. A human being is convicted for a small mistake and then is subjected to unspeakable cruelties. Just because someone is born to a certain caste doesn’t make or break that person. The individualness and humanity of that person should be given precedence instead. But unfortunately, people don’t want to look beyond this created barrier.
And to do the needful in the above-mentioned cases, it is necessary to first improve the condition of education. Because only an educated mind can understand the above-mentioned problems, otherwise nothing can be achieved. The various problems which we are at present facing can very well give us an idea about what a lack of education does. A country as big as ours is sadly filled with uneducated fascists and that is the major cause of the upheaval we are suffering from currently. And only education can bring about change that brightens up our now gloomy and backward society.
For this to happen, the education system needs to be updated in a way that our students can stand on par with their international counterparts. The rat race in the name of education which has been etched out into our country’s psyche should really be reconsidered and made easygoing and relevant. Until and unless education is made available to all, the change we hope to see will never be achieved. Awareness should be created to understand the importance of education and the power of an educated person. We should make people understand that education is not just for being financially independent, instead, it is for giving us freedom from the malpractices and negativity of society. The only means to make Indians understand the essence of the national pledge is through education itself.
The image is for representational purposes only.