12 March 2016

Thougts from my heart: Direct Dil Se

This article by Barkha Dutt (Most of you have already decided about the article !!!) explains my views about the current events to a T. My core belief is that the government of the day should do the right and the fair thing. In the age of mundane decisions, rarely you will get an opportunity to do the right and fair thing when the whole country is watching. At that time you can decide not to do what is right and fair, and it may fetch you some small victories, but in the end the country will definitely end up the loser!! How do a citizen know that the government has done the fair and right thing? They know 'Dil Se'. They feel proud in their mind about the decision. Every government should try to give as many proud moments to the citizens. 

Let me explain. When PM Modi lauded the contributions of Islam to the cultural development of our country, I felt proud. When PM Manmohan Singh, got the nuclear deal from US against opposition from left, I felt proud. When India eradicated polio I felt proud and I felt proud when we became a net exporter of Milk. I felt proud when Vajpayeeji initiated the Golden Quadrilateral. I felt proud of my country when the Pakistan Taxi Driver who drove me around in Dubai told me that he wished his children were studying in India. I felt mighty proud when Air India ran their first non-stop long distance flight entirely manned by women crew members.

When did I not feel proud? When Manmohan Singh did not stand up to DMK in the 2G case, I did not feel proud, I felt ashamed. When CWG happened, I did not feel proud, I felt ashamed. I felt ashamed of all the corruption that happened during the previous regime. I felt let down when a poor muslim man was lynched in UP under suspicion of eating beef (Modiji had an opportunity to stand tall and condemn this incident and show that he was above it all, but he missed it). I felt unhappy when VP Singh passed the Mandal bill, not for the bill itself, but the ulterior political motive behind the bill. 

I am a secularist. I believe that secularism is the only option for India (especially India with our huge diversity) with its level of diversity of cultures and beliefs. While we can preach about secularism, leaders get a once in a lifetime chance to walk their talk. Rajiv Gandhi, in the late 80s got one such opportunity in Shah Bano case. The case was widely discussed, went to multiple courts and the Supreme Court finally gave it ruling. The country felt that the ruling was just and fair.

This was one of those once in a life time opportunities for RG to do the right thing. All he had to do was to allow the ruling of the court to be implemented. Country was waiting for the leader to do what is fair and just.

And he failed. Looking for a few votes, RG played politics with the court ruling and the idea of secularism had suffered a major wound and the country was the loser.

I am also concerned about the recent attempts to divide people along 'Nationalist' lines. Any one who disagree with some views are considered 'Anti National'. While this started some time back, recent incidents of Kanhaiya and WCF has brought this into prominence. I watch with dismay as television channels decide who is 'National' and who is not. I get distressed when spokespersons brand opponents as Anti National? I get frustrated when GVLN Rao says that if you do not raise your voice against Maramon Convention (Christian Convention in Kerala) but say that a government agency has found fault with WCF, you are somehow 'Anti National'.

I am very sad and frustrated about the tenor of discourse in our country now. This is one such 'Once in a life time' opportunity for the leadership to do the right thing. I cannot define what is the right thing. But I will know the right thing when it is done.

That is the one that will make me proud and happy.

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