TYesterday, Amar Ujala, a leading Hindi Daily, did a story on the career prospects in Indian Army. The title of the feature was: Career in Indian Army — Safe Borders, Secure Career. A day before Independence Day.
Today we Indians are celebrating our 67th Independence day. Today is the day to think about things which make us feel good about our country. Today is the Day when we must talk about our own behavior which has somehow stagnated and blemished the true character of our Nation.
Some anomalies are there in every Nation’s independent years. But still if a Nation managed to walk 67 years on its own, then it’s no meagre achievement. Let’s Congratulate our Nation for giving us so much, which we can never ever be able to return in our life times.
So Let’s confess to our Nation, things which we did consciously or unconsciously, that we think haven’t helped our dear Nation.
11-15 Things to Think about on India’s 67th Independence Day! – Part 3
11) Plain Rhetoric and Statements that matter: Only yesterday, BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi in a speech in Gujarati tried to draw a parallel between his Independence Day speech at Lalan College in Gujarat and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Independence Day address from Red Fort. Mr. Modi exhorted the nation to compare the two speeches. In his words, while his speech would give people dreams and hopes, that of Indian PM would be of despair.
Both the speeches have already been made today. And obviously, the Nation listened to the one made by the PM from the Red Fort.
There’s a big problem with people who fancy themselves as great orators. They most of the times forget an important difference between plain rhetoric and statements that matter. Narendra Modi may be a brilliant speaker, he may also be PM material; but unless he’s the real PM, no one in his/her sane mind will ever compare his speech with that of the Nation’s PM.
The PM of India can’t indulge in big words, as his position doesn’t allow him of such a behavior. A person who is not the PM (not holding an important position) can say anything he wants to, and promise even the Moon to the Nation. No one cares.
Should we segregate Plain Rhetoric from the Statements that matter?
12) Need to Relook at the definition of Minority: Of late, Muslim Appeasement has become a popular phrase in India. Speak a word in support of muslims in India, and the entire statement is trivialised as Muslim Appeasement. If the governments want to take some affirmative steps for the betterment of the Muslims in the country, the steps are instantly tagged as Muslim Appeasement or Minority Appeasement. Interestingly, the question of appeasement never arises when the minority in focus is Sikh, Jain, Buddhists, Christians etc. This makes one assume that the Nation needs to relook at the definition of Minority. Else, the country will have to stop doing any positive for the minorities.
The hate for minorities is quite natural. This hate emanates from the majority’s reluctance to share resources with minorities. Given an option, no majority in any nation will ever acknowledge the right of minorities in the resources. Still, good nations do acknowledge the rights of minorities in the country’s resources.This not only acknowledges the good work done by minorities in nation building, but also gives minorities a fair chance to grow & not get overwhelmed by the majority group. Nations do so by reserving a certain percentage of resources — jobs, admissions, scholarships etc. for the minorities. Even in USA, Indian migrants avail quota, as their right as a minority group or less privileged group.
India as a nation has a demographic advantage. It has the biggest percentage of Young people in its population. In an increasingly aging world, these young men and women can be a big asset for India. Only problem is – A large section of this demography is being indoctrinated to hate minorities. If said in other words, young men and women who belong to majority groups have started Thinking Like a Minority. They have started believing that minorities are the cause of their problems, and if minorities are encouraged, they will lose jobs, and everything to them.
This perception has no logic to it. If people who are most numbered in a country, fear a minority; then imagine what the minority, with no number advantage, may be feeling about the majority.
Practically speaking, People lose their jobs, not because of minorities, but because of their lack of competence. Jews, a minority in most nations of the world, made a place for themselves in almost every country’s richest people, as they are highly educated and had competence. They are hard working as well. Jains in India, make for a miniscule share of India’s population, but account for one fifth of India’s total Wealth. Parsis and Anglo-indians in India may be insignificant in number, but they created India’s biggest and most respected businesses. If seen the other way, minorities seldom take jobs, if given opportunity they create jobs, just like competent people in majority group do.
Hate for minorities among a section of young men and women will not help india, if it wants to benefit from its demographic advantage. If Indian youth has to establish big businesses in India and abroad, become great academics, world leaders, become competent, then they have to come out of their ‘Hate for Minorities’.
Is Indian majority being indoctrinated to Think Like a Minority?
13) Going overboard on anything is Bad… Including Patriotism: Yesterday, Amar Ujala, a leading Hindi Daily, did a story on the career prospects in Indian Army. The title of the feature was: Career in Indian Army — Safe Borders, Secure Career.
Why you think people join Army? Patriotism is there, but the decision is also a career decision. The way, many of us want to be bureaucrats, doctors, engineers, teachers, scientists, businesspersons… some like to have career in Indian Army.
Another question which can be asked here is: Those who are not in Army, are any way less patriotic?
The answer to this question is, no they are not. Irrespective of our profession we do have loyal feelings for our nation.
Like it or not, the decision to go to Army is first a career decision and then patriotism. If India starts a 10 year war with some country and soldiers start dying in big numbers, then enrollment in Army will decline.
Amar Ujala’s story on the career prospects in Indian Army, with the title: Career in Indian Army — Safe Borders, Secure Career, unknowingly spoke the same fact.
Of late, a section of Indians is going overboard with patriotism. Indoctrinated by the Indian Electronic media (who has its role model in Western Media) , whenever a soldier is killed, many Indians start criticising everyone from Government, to PM, to Defence Minister, to Indian Diplomacy. A soldier trained to fight for india and handed over a gun, can sometimes get the bullet too. This doesn’t mean one should go berserk and start blaming the elected Government of the Nation. Today we have the Congress Government, may be in 2014, we have the one of BJP. Blaming the elected Government on a soldier’s killing will be equally wrong then.
In 2006, when Officers of Indian Army staged a protest on the question of salaries at Delhi, the then minister and now President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, expressed his sadness at Army staging a protest. He called it a politicisation of Army.
We as responsible citizens of India don’t wave the patriotism flag so much that it derails us from more important issues the nation is facing. That apart, an always non critical attitude towards our Army, Paramilitary and Police also makes them laid back and encourages corruption. And that’s not good for India.
The soldier casualty on job to Army strength ratio for India is not very bad. This means that the country’s conflict resolution policy with its neighbours is correct. Waging a war on one’s neighbour, can never better this ratio. Wars take the lives of soldiers in a big number. In recent times, we saw Kargil. the number of soldiers killed in the span of two months was significant; when one assumes that the situation could be controlled without a War.
Thus, even though the death of a single soldier at job, is unfortunate; it’s inevitable. And that’s what the soldier is trained for. Every country has to see the unfortunate instances where its soldiers get the bullet securing the borders.
Are we going overboard on patriotism?
14) Bickering on small issues: What is the test for patriotism? Saying Vande Mataram?
What if someone doesn’t say Vande Mataram? Will that make him/her less loyal to the nation.
Although Hindu rituals, like lightening of lamps, breaking a coconut, Saraswati Vandana have become a part of even Government functions in India; but what if someone chooses not to participate in such rituals or slogan chanting? Should we bicker on such instances?
We know that even an Arya Samaji doesn’t worship idols; and a Shaivite doesn’t worship Vishnu. Do we bicker then?
That apart, those who say Vande mataram, seldom say Inqalab Zindabad or Hindustan.
Slogans serve a political agenda. So why bicker about them? India is a multi ethnic, multi religious nation, why not respect each other’s beliefs?
Are we bickering on small issues?
15) Are we judging Corruption by its shade and scale: Political & Ruling establishment in any country is Corrupt. This corruption is fueled by enormous power, contacts and discretionary decisions, political & ruling class has at its disposal. But are we judging Corruption by its shade and scale?
In recent times, whenever we have a political corruption debate in India, it gets reduced to an exercise where in the participants start judging the corruption by its shade and size.
That’s a corruption of Rs 1 crore is much lesser a crime than one involving Rs 100 crore.
How the corruption in the current Government is much harming than the one in the previous Government.
Isn’t it true that the corruption of even a single Rupee is bad?
Isn’t a person embezzling Rs 100 today, is likely to embezzle Rs 1 crore tomorrow. Isn’t it all about opportunity?
Are we judging Corruption by its shade and scale?
This was the Part 3 — 11-15 Things to Think about on India’s 67th Independence Day! You may agree or disagree with these five points. But agreement or disagreement is not the objective here. The objective is to Think.