I would not want to repeat the cynical rhetoric about how bad things are, how corrupt the government machinery is and how miserably have our leaders failed us, because I don’t believe all this to be the complete Truth. We have stumbled because citizens have sought freedom from responsibility and leaders have confused self governance with independence. Here, I just want to verbalize a few anomalies and misconceptions in our thoughts and goals that in my opinion, have deviated our rudders from our destination.
1. We are a republic and have chosen democracy to be our mode of governance. The spine of every democracy are representatives that we elect to represent us in governing the nation. Our chief problem is we have not been able to find 600 odd suitable men from the nation of 1200 million people who are committed to make this nation a better place; we have always been short of true leaders who have burning desire to guide the nation on the path of progress. Who should be blamed? naturally, we the people who, at the time of elections do not see the merit and character of candidate but focus on either how useful he can be in getting our jobs done or the cast and religion that he or she belongs to. This approach has reduced the value of citizen to just a ballot paper, who can be used and thrown like a tissue paper. Besides, this approach has created pseudo leaders who truly are mob bosses who are just experts in forming nexus and cartels.
2. Our governmental decisions have been made with an attempt to create equality where as equality is never attainable without compromising individual freedom. Every human is free to aspire, dream and achieve his purpose of life. The attempt should be to create uniformity and to build a level playing field that ensures dispersion of benefits of prosperity to a wider cross section of the society without creating barriers for individual freedom and entrepreneurship.
3. We have somehow developed this habit of looking externally for everything that is wrong. Our education system and upbringing is tailored to pamper us into this misbelief, that it is always someone’s fault. Take corruption, it is burning issue, these days. Does corruption rain from sky? No it grows in and around us; this weed is able to survive because we intentionally or unintentionally feed it. Authorities become corrupt because we are willing to grease their palms to get our jobs done in quick and Hassel free way. No one is asking you bribe at the gun point. They take because you are willing to pay under the leitmotif that without it your job will not be done. I can with pride tell you from my personal experience that in my whole life I have not bribed even one rupee to anyone and even with my Non VIP status no one has ever stopped any of my job.
4. Somehow, looking at the world around us, it seems, the word freedom for an individual has come to mean a permit to do whatever one wants. People have misused their freedom by sitting on the railway tracks and blocking high ways for getting what they think , they should have got. We have forgotten that besides being the executor of our aspirations, we are also responsible for common good of a collective unit that we call nation.
Ironically, famous assertion of Rousseau that “man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains” seems more appropriate, as another Independence Day dawns. In a civic democratic society an individual is never free because he always carries the crusade of responsibility.
So, on the whole, you and I, my dear, are problem and you and I are solution…..