Prof. Javed Mughal
Let’s contemplate a while whether our country is still one piece intact which was handed over to us after independence by Gandhi ji, Patel and Azad or we have brought about certain disheartening changes in its character. Is it the same country and are we the same Indians who, once upon a time, set an invincible account of extending refuge even to the enemies; showing mutual tolerance and the unparalleled unity? Are we the same sons of the soil who, at times, pulsated in a single unison and flexed our muscles to extricate our motherland from the shackles of British Imperialism? If we look at the post-independence India, our heart stops palpitating and our blood congeals to find that the same land of matchless humanity has less or more turned into a slaughter house for many national figures so much so that the ‘Cold-bloods, and ‘thick-brains’ did not spare even Gandhi ji (who never fought for anything else than the cause of nation), Indira Gandhi and the statesman like Promodh Mahajan.
The land of happiness stands fully transformed into a valley of lamentations, innocent killings and panic prevailing all around. What has happened to us? Have we ever introspected? Let’s us make an estimate of our national character and think of what we have lost and gained so far. Are all of us true to our nation? Do we pay taxes and work for its fiscal progress. Unfortunately not at all. Let’s learn something from two laymen of Japan. One of the Indian Parliamentarians had to receive a slight scolding for counting the money- balance returned by a shopkeeper in Japan when she was over with the shopping, the shopkeeper retorted, “Madam, you should not have counted the balance. By doing so you have challenged my integrity.
We the Japanese receive Tax for the country first and then our profits from the customer with not even a pittance more than the genuine.” A Japanese young boy, when asked what he will do if someone abuses Budha, replied, “I will behead him” and when asked how will react if Budha abuses his country, he said, “I will behead Lord Budha.” See the extent allegiance to the nation. And of course it must be there. Nation is above everything else. But we are corrupt in the offices, non-serious in schools and liars at home. There was a time when every moment of an Indian’s life used to be governed by the dictates of moral uprightness and ethical values; when love and affection tropically pulsated in our body; when we extended refuge even to the enemies and used to be kind to the Youngers, respectful to the elders and friendly with the equals. That is why Romain Rolland’s empathy spills over to embrace India as its character compels him to declare’ “I am’ perhaps, at heart half an Indian” or “it will be very soon for my soul to find its true place for I have a feeling that in this incarnation I went to the wrong house.” When he came across the best account of our humanitarian and ethical behaviour, he would say likewise, “Never at any moment have I felt stranger. It was like my own treasure let buried and finding it again.” This was our country once upon a time that appealed to the heart and mind of all at home and abroad as well.
It was an abode of fraternity, fellow feelings, mutual respect, secular attitude, democratic way of thinking, Communal harmony, and above all unity in diversity. Diversity added colour to the beauty of our nation and unity infused strength in it. What has happened to the same nation today? What we are fighting for? Don’t we think even once that we stab our motherland by killing our brethren; we deprave the sanctity of our national character by dishonouring other faiths staining the image of our nationhood? We should not forget that we are proud Indians upholding the best of morality and humanity in the world. We have taught others to live peacefully and respectably. We should dislodge the certain amount of glaring and galling aberrations and distortions that have crept into our national character over a long period of time due to some mischance and revive our glorious values once again. I believe that the biggest chunk of our nationhood has all the best of head and heart enough to outshine any other nation of the world, with a small number of some ailing-brains but the tragedy is that the same small ill-bred segment of our country rules roost and decides the fate of the rest. Our nation, excepting a few of her naughty brains, is sober and silent like the deep sea; touching and turbulent like a hill stream; caressing and creative like Ganges. We are versatile in the art of living. But at present the sad spectacle of our country has of-course made our motherland shed blood-tears.
Some of the corrupt and opportunist souls have brought a bad name to the democratic fabric and centuries-old moral and ethical character of this nation. The entire India today is inextricably caught in web of sporadic violent eruptions in the name of races, region, religion and many more that is nothing but the handiwork of some of the cunning, crafty, manipulating and mischievous elements who can go to any extent for the ulterior motives. The recent political history of our country stands dotted with myriads of scandals, embezzlements, murders, anti-national dispositions of our own people; moral corruption, and what not. Even the dacoits and murderers have been placed on the high pedestal to influence the process of national development and so much so that they matter a lot in deciding the foreign policy of our nation also.
The people of our nation, on majority basis, are gullible and credulous and if the contours and curves of their character have undergone this perceptible change, it is due to the pulls and pressures of their social surrounding; political maneuvering and disloyal custodians of our governance. People generally complain’ that in the not very distant past, men and women were moved’ and motivated by a profound sense’ of duty towards the national goal of independence and eradication of mass exploitation and discrimination. But today degeneration in character has set in to such an extent that the Political Metamorphoses at the helm of affairs fail to see beyond their nose and unabashedly indulge in double-talk and double-deal. Gandhi had predicted well a short while after freedom that the concept of National Politics seems to be dwindling into the lust for Power-politics. Every one is busy with capturing power and to grab the ‘Chair’ politicians can go to any extent. Corruption has seeped into the blood of our system. The growing hiatus between their words and deeds; the nasty nerves between money-power and muscle-power, are sad commentary on the present state of affairs. Willy-nilly we have to swallow the painful fact down our throats that some people thrive more in hypocrisy than ‘in plain-speaking but the majority still believes that- this erosion’ of values and corrosion in character are only a temporary abrasion and will soon ‘disintegrate and disappear when the hollowness of excessive materialistic glitter and glamour stands vanished and the originality of our so-called ‘Netas’ gets unveiled to the wisdom and tenacious rage of our countrymen.
There is no denying the fact that our long history is replete with men and women of rare courage, conviction, commitment; men who for the sake of duty, personal honour and national integration and non violence, embraced the gallows, and left their marks on the sands of time as immortal legends of valour and chivalry. The saga of their lives symbolizes and epitomizes the best and the most virtuous vibration and vivacity of our national character. In the face of a grave crisis and foreign aggression, the most sublime and supreme passion of patriotism displayed by us will remain indelibly stamped on the portal of universe till the life pulsates and like a tornado it washed away the dirt and dust of petty politics and preconception from our biased minds. We should not only believe in our great ancestors but act upon their words too. It is the time to take a pledge to behead the demon of all mutual differences and restore the lost glory to our motherland. Let’s repeat the words of Guru Dev, “……where the mind is free and the head is held high…..into that world of freedom, oh my Father, let my country awake”.
Prof. Javed Mughal