let’s think

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Aug 2018 13:00:19

THE message that emerges from the speeches of President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on the occasion of Independence Day should make every Indian think seriously and soberly -- beyond politics and ideological divide. Both the leaders showed a good awareness of the critical cross-roads at which India stands today. They also showed the consciousness that their every word was being heard and pondered over by the whole nation. That was obviously the reason why they made a cautious mix of a sense of achievement and a sense of responsibility towards the unfinished agenda before the nation. Let alone the political tall talk some people might accuse the Prime Minister to have made, but it is clear that he also expressed the real national concerns that we must address. The President also did the same -- which makes it imperative for all of us to think together as sons and daughters of India rather than allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by our petty and partisan political issues. It is time, the Indian nation did some frank and non-political thinking together. 

When the next general election is not very far and when the national economy is showing some good signs -- despite difficulties and despite some dangerous signals as well -- it is quite natural for a Prime Minister to mix his political agenda with the national goals. Yet, Mr. Narendra Modi highlighted the enduring national issues such as overpowering poverty, enduring social security concerns that embrace food security, energy security, health security among others. He also talked of the philosophical bereftness which the political community demonstrates time and again to further respective political goals.

In his own ways, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, too, engaged himself in a more or less similar exercise, thus staying in tune with the national reality rather than just making a rehash of the Government’s policies. It was certainly sobering to realise that the President expressed social concerns in no uncertain terms. He insisted many times during his pre-I-Day evening address that the task to convert the country into a truly welfare state had many challenges that needed to be addressed.

The consciousness which the two leaders showed also reflected certain references which Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, too, had made in his famed ‘Tryst With Destiny’ address at that golden ‘mid-night hour’ when the world slept and India woke in freedom. He had said clearly that the vision of Mahatma Gandhi -- to wipe every tear in every eye -- was a very difficult goal to achieve. Yet, he had also insisted that the effort would go on. A similar sentiment was available in the addresses of Mr. Kovind and Mr. Modi as well.

At this juncture, it is also time to tell our national leadership that it would do a lot of harm to the national cause if it chose to hide behind the facade of impossibility of the goals and sought concessions from the people. Much to the contrary, it is time for the national leadership to shun all excuse-seeking and address itself to the avowed goal of creating an enduring value in the concept of a genuine welfare state.

It is this aspect that the people have found wanting in the governmental effort for the past seventy-plus years. The people do have faith in their Government, but they are beginning to question themselves for keeping that faith intact. This could be a very undesirable stage for the nation, let alone the people in power. Hence our word of caution that we as a nation -- that is the people and their Government -- should stand as one entity and think what we actually need at this stage by way of our mission and vision plus action. For, at this stage, it is necessary that we must take our national ideals beyond political ideologies that have an unfortunate divisive effect on us.