Until when would we ask the government, the bureaucrats, the RBI, the activists, or for that matter our bosses to bring in prosperity in our lives? We, the citizens of India, are all human beings, with almost similar senses to construe things; however our approach towards life can be dissimilar. And this is essential too. Else, all of us would dream to be an entrepreneur, an artist, or even the Prime Minister of India. On the contrary, India embraces people with versatile talents and hence we have made it to the top of the list of developing nations. Developing- Until when? In case you have delegated all the tasks on the shoulders of the new PM, expect nil advancements. Not because the new PM lacks that ability, but because change cannot be brought single-handedly.
Of course, we have played a key role in electing a worthy squad that is to administer the nation for the next five years. But the role doesn’t end here. For instance, the task of maintaining cleanliness, if conferred upon just a handful of men deputed by the authority, what about those industries that drain their hazardous waste in rivers, and what about those numerous men who in the name of religion toss over the remains in sacred rivers? Are we expecting the authorities to employ all men and machines in this job? Then what about running other government departments and executing nation-building schemes? ‘I’ represents the common Indian man and also embodies ‘India’. It is then very much evident that the ‘I’ of India will have to play a prominent and liable part in the process of nation-restructuring.
Hereunder, I am enumerating the fundamental duties of all Indian citizens as prescribed by our Constitution. Let us read these one by one, assess our past deeds in accordance with what was expected out of us, and also decide our future actions.
- to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
- to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
- to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
- to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
- to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
- to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
- to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;
- to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
- to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
- to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement;
- who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years
Have we abided to the duty of protecting India’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity? Just stop blaming those so-called secular politicians for disturbing communal accord. Rather, accept the fact that unless we sanction these leaders to attain their unlawful goals in search of pity benefits they are nobody to trouble our peace. Haven’t we overlooked the fact that the ultimate sufferers in the end, for instance what followed the Muzzafarnagar riots, are those who rarely are jealous of other communities? And when national service is talked about, how many of us have been a contributory? The spirit of inquiry and reform- Are we concerned? Many of us do not even know the names of suspects in 2G, commonwealth, and Coalgate scam. On the contrary, we even cast our crucial votes in favor of such culprits.
I will quote two instances. One, when I was on my way to office a couple of days back, one of the roads was blocked as an old man had collapsed. I could see people getting down from their luxury cars, two-wheelers, and even auto rickshaws to help the man regain back the consciousness. For a while, even a millionaire businessman disremembered the gap of grade. Second is the depressed case I came across while reading a newspaper. A Dalit teen girl was burnt alive in one of the provinces of the country by 8 men and no one dared to approach for help. Of many cases of eve-teasing, many occur in public areas, yet no one cares to retaliate. Are we expecting our policemen to appear supernaturally at all places of crime? Let me remind you of the quote “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi.
Not at all this is challenging. As in most of the cases we just have to be non-functioning rather than being operative. For example, when a religious leader or a politician urges for support on communal lines, stay unmoved. While traveling to a place of cultural legacy, refrain from disturbing the status-quo. When blessed with a baby girl, steer clear from negativity; rather remember the works of Mother Teresa, Kiran Bedi, and Margaret Thatcher. When asked for any support in an endeavor that is aimed at upsetting nation’s sovereignty, uprightness, or unity, just remember that the ultimate victim will be your own motherland. When called upon to benefit from something that lawfully belongs to some other cluster, remind yourself of teachings of Gautama Buddha. And when tempted towards easy and early perks, do not forget that if all Indians pursue the same path, nation will fall into the trap of catastrophe.
Of course, being functional is needed too. Laws ranging from Right to Information Act and Consumer Protection Act to Prevention of Corruption Act and The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act call for apt action from us. Remember, tolerating/ hiding a criminal conduct is equally sinful. If every commuter pledges to obey the traffic rules and to cease from bribing a law-protector, not just our road fatalities would decline; our roads will become a better place too. Herein, we shall reminisce that the task of safeguarding India’s progress and also enhancing it manifolds lies on our shoulders; hence any activity that can disrupt the going has to be curbed. Being honest at work, helpful towards all, vigilant towards nation’s safekeeping, and the first when it comes to rendering national service are the attributes expected from all of us.
Shall I not add the current PM’s ‘Margdarshak’ role in my writing? From day one, he has been addressing the citizens in an altogether distinct manner, urging for unified endeavors and explaining the vitality of basic duties. Right from promotion of girl child to advancement of our education system, he aims at those uncovered aspects that are far more crucial than the rupee-dollar conversion rate or SLR/ CRR limit set out by the RBI. And the labors needed are from every Indian citizen, rather than just the ministers or government departments. Remember, our over-spending is the reason why RBI resists to lowering the interest rates, and our support is the reason that India is in the grip of corruption and scams.
To end with, let us share those uncomplicated ways that can add to our, India’s, and above all, every Indian’s sustainability.
Education- What remains unattained is past. It is time to pay heed to the education of our little ones, boy or girl, rich or poor. Herein, you may have a single or multiple roles to play- Parent, Teacher, Activist, or a Volunteer.
Cleaner India- Clean Ganga cannot be achieved in one day. But, clean roads, clean schools, clean government as well as private offices, clean public places (railway stations, airports, and bus depots) and clean surroundings demand just for our vow that the waste will be disposed of only at designated sites. The Kashmir flood-disaster is attributable to us all, equally. Plastic and solid wastes choke the sewage system, which we later expect the municipality to take care of. Cleanliness is a basic. From your own home to the city and the country, any calamity is more or less an upshot of our deeds.
Power Saving- Coal and fuel crisis is known to all. Then why expect just the ministry to better the milieu. Just make sure switching off electronic devices when you are finished using them. For more valuable suggestions, visit the NTPC website.
Water Conservation- Though we have been relishing this very basic natural resource since ages, near future projects challenging circumstances, and it is even said that the next world war may be the outcome of universal water crisis. Issues of drinking water are prevalent in our national capital even today; however those having the same in abundance never think twice while wasting it during brushing teeth, shaving, bathing, and washing cars. Let us today take a pledge to conserve this source of life by checking for any leaks in pipes, using low-flow faucet aerators, keeping the taps closed when unwanted, and by undertaking rainwater harvesting.
Communal Brotherhood- Our country embraces multiple religions and languages. And the national resources belong to all. Then why expect pity benefits in lieu of upsetting communal harmony. No one, yes, no one can dare to create disorder unless backed by us. The magical words of Swami Vivekananda when he addressed the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago are to be recollected here.
National Service- Contribution towards nation does not just mean to be a part of the army, air force, or naval defense squad. A loyal businessman, a responsible housewife, a truthful government employee, a committed student, and every other common man pursuing his/ her work diligently add to nation’s dexterity.
Proud Indian- The land that has been the basis of our survival seeks our lifelong inputs in the process of nation-building. India, for sure, can be opted for as the place of work by those intellectuals who are lured to work abroad. Herein, NRIs too can play their part in distinct ways.
Should I also not count our share in calling natural disasters owing to negligence and many a time voluntary contravention of social laws? When a city is absorbed in floods, are only the authorities liable? What about our free diffusion of plastic and waste in the sewage system? What about those unlawful constructions, breach of building by-laws, and zero heed to others’ safety? Drains get choked, water stays, and miseries happen just because we rarely follow our basic social duties.
Finally, let’s pledge being unruffled during illicit aggravating endeavors, and also being a whistleblower during damages. I can assure that when ‘I’ and ‘India’ will go together, will pursue same goals, and will be the supportive pillars for each other, ‘developing’ will soon be replaced by ‘developed’. Hereunder are the vows India expects from us all.
- To whichever caste, or religion I belong, India is my motherland.
- All Indians are a part of my family, and I will strive for the prosperity and wellbeing of this family.
- I will initiate the change I expect from my government.
- Water, power and fuel conservation, communal brotherhood, and clean India are my elementary duties and I will abide to them.
- I will retaliate to all misdeeds aimed at my nation’s sovereignty, and will render national service whenever called upon.
- I will treasure the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekananda, and Gautama Buddha.
- For me, India’s democracy, parliament, judiciary, and all other assets of national vitality are the areas of trust and respect.