India for Freedom- Can We… Start with Self?
Make an honest reflection on our thoughts, words
and actions... to modulate them for a better self... and making of a better
society and nation.
Himanshu K. Gandhi
The greatest challenge to India’s future
is not dwindling natural resources, or corruption, or divisively fractured
political establishment, but deeply pervasive abject indifference of a wide
swath of masses.
Those at one end of the pole with capacity and resources to make a
change continue to maroon the trust and fabric of nation for their own
unashamed lustful greed, scheming with corrupt bureaucratic setup for means
unto themselves with abject disregard for morality, ethics and making of a
While, for those at the other
end of the same pole, daily struggle to cope with hyper inflation can barely
make them ponder about the road ahead.
And, the growing glorified middle remains gruesomely detached from inner
circles of power, almost scared to pit their head in the smoldering pit of ever
growing underground economy with well entrenched politico-goons connections wielding
control at local government establishments.
If there is only one area that we have failed miserably, as an
individual and as a nation... it is, not
living by our virtues. As, how can a nocturnal enlighten anyone in his/her
circle of influence on beauty of a rainbow?
In India, like
any developing/developed places, intellect has mostly gone awry to service fear
or greed, or has succumbed to avarice.
Culture of sympathy, tolerance, forgiveness and notion of
for-the-greater-good need be taught, learned and practiced afresh. There is no
Can we... all who care to see our nation free from corruption... resolve
to not pay up into the demands of a bribe, and… resolve not to make way for our
gain by aiding or abetting any corrupt practices, and… resolve not to engage in
any transactions that cause or involve black money, or that are helped by
seeking or giving undue underhand favors?
Can we... all who care to see our nation respect women... resolve to not
pay up into the demands of a dowry, and… resolve not to engage in barter of
dowry, which remains a root cause for female foeticide and female infanticide,
and… resolve not to be entertained by sounds and images stocking carnal
thoughts and insidious behavior?
Can we… all who care to see our nation clean and green… resolve to start
with clean up of our own building, street, and neighborhood, and… resolve to
grow and save vegetation in our sphere of influence?
Can we... all who care to see our nation lead into better governance…
resolve to be more involved in public policy making institutions, processes and
be willing to cross to the other side to face the music?
Can we... all who care to see our nation succeed... resolve not to
disparage it and be part of the solution, and… resolve to pitch in with
volunteering hours and any resources that we can spare... to work on common
Unless, we are honest with ourselves and care to
start with self... we would have failed all of those that have sacrificed their
lives to make this nation. And more regretfully, failed our children to leave
behind a legacy to call their place a home… no matter where we live.
Extortion or any corrupt practices are a chase of those that feed on
their greed, and our fear. We cannot curb their greed… but can work on our fear.
What we can certainly not do
is to stoke those tendencies by essentially practicing in the same circle, for
our own benefit... for instance:
Corrupt practices are rife not only in public sector, but widely
prevalent today in private sector. Each and every honest businessperson in our
nation will recount the magnitude and stifling hold of common place norms of
deceit, vogue of black money and deeply ingrained culture of favoritism.
Large majority of transactions from real estate to purchase of goods
& services are facilitated by, or engender, unaccounted or black money.
Very few make deliberate and conscious efforts to distance themselves
from corrupt practices. In effect, make hay of them for own benefit, or
surrendering their plight without honest efforts to resist.
Diminutive forces drowning our nation will become
fearful once challenge to them becomes strong. Start inadvertently needs to be
from somewhere where we are most uncomfortable with... our self. Only then will
foundation of our challenge be strong enough to sustain long drawn on
struggle... for real independence, and reverting to our heritage, as a virtuous
About the author: Himanshu is based in Boston,
MA and is an avid follower of Jainism. He administers a
Facebook group ‘SSS… Solution Starts with Self’, where his effort is to support
thoughts that enrich the base ethos of simple, straightforward and honest
conduct, to break the pace of greed and vice, everywhere we see. To join the
group or any comments email him at email@example.com.