After our picnic party was over there was just too much food left over with us. We saw two tribal boys fighting to get hold of an empty wafer packet. Seeing their skeletal dark bodies we threw the food packet towards them from a distance. The whole group of tribals pounced on the food and it was a fight to watch out for. We kept on throwing all food packets one by one and they lapped it up with an inimitable glow in their eyes.
After around twenty minutes when the whole food was over we sat in our cars and were about to start driving. Just then an elderly person came with folded hands and had tears in his eyes. I lowered the window glass and folded my hands also in gratitude. He was not moving so I thought maybe he is looking for some money. I took out a Rs 100 note and offered him. He said no thanks. Then I asked what you want as all the food is now over. He asked “Sir you did not tell me your election symbol (Saheb aapne apna chunav Chinah to bataya hi nahi)”.
At a time when India is growing in stature and Bharat is yearning for opportunities, we are celebrating our 64th Republic Day on January 26 2014. Till India gained independence on August 15th, 1947 the country was a colony of Great Britain. However, the country did not have its own constitution and wholly depended on the modified colonial Government of India Act, 1935. Also, India was headed by King George VI, until the adoption of the Indian Constitution on January 26th 1950. The people of India truly experienced their freedom from British Rule on this historic day when the Constitution of India was officially enforced, making India a sovereign, secular, and democratic nation where all its citizens are equal.
For a whole generation born in independent India, the value of the bitterly fought independence and equality remains confined to history books. At times news tickling from parts of the world still fighting for independence and equality like Arab uprising and Tibetan protests does make us realise how lucky we are. The nature of celebration needs to be broadened and made more inclusive from just being official programs and parade to participatory ones from every citizen of this country.
We as a nation have made giant strides in the field of science and technology bringing material comfort and solace to a billion people. We are far safer, secure and prosperous what we were 64 years ago. But we have also seen deterioration of moral fabric and human values which were our hallmark for centuries. The sense of ownership comes only when we contribute. The sense of contribution comes only when we are committed to higher causes in life. When a person has a commitment to a higher cause in life, it brings a shift from gaining to giving. In society, if everyone keeps thinking, ‘What can I gain?’ rather than ‘What can I contribute’, then it degenerates into depressed and corrupt society.
We need to have this shift in our attitude, from ‘What can I gain?’ to ‘What can I contribute? If we care for each other from our heart, then we will have to wake up now. The battle against Agyan (ignorance), Anyaay (injustice), Abhav (shortage ) and Asuchita ( uncleanliness ) can only be won by involving one and all. We might not be born in the times of Mahatma Gandhi and Chandrasekhar Aajaad but like they laid their lives for motherland we can at least devote a part of our life for volunteering for a better and prosperous India.
Republic Day is also the time when exemplary achievements are recognized and rewarded throughout the country. Selected children are awarded the Children’s Bravery Awards on this day. Soldiers who have performed exceptionally are awarded the bravery medals, Param Veer Chakra, Veer Chakra and Maha Veer Chakra. Why not also honour people who have inspired others to contribute selflessly towards society. This day can be re invented as Seva Day nationally and an occasion to honour those who have made our society a better place to live.
When spirituality in our country was at its peak, its financial condition was also very strong. When spirituality fell, so did the economic condition of the country. Around two to three hundred years back, one third of the world’s wealth was in India. It is said, that the connection between spirituality and the economic health of the country goes like Lakshmi (symbolism of wealth) following Narayana.
Reviving the spiritual traditions and rekindling the spirit of service is the need of the hour. The nation as a whole has to become volunteer for a better India. Let each one of us take responsibility to multiply ourselves into groups of thousands of volunteers, to bring the message of a crime-free, corruption-free and just India. Let’s all serve together and smile together. Let us volunteer for a better India.