state, what is your duty…….
Prof. Dr Anish Dua : A generation that is witness to dug-up roads; annual planting of new saplings during Van-mahotsav & regular uprooting of the old groves; is a testimony, in its true sense, to what is called a Developing Nation – always in the “process” and never at its “end”. It is high time that the processes are institutionalized and we as its law abiding citizens become familiar to what is expected out of us. Or, we shall be labeled as violators, when systems guiding us are dysfunctional or missing. Until and unless the couple is committed to make it work, this marriage between the Government and its people is not going to be a happy one, much less a sacred one. And elections after election are only going to be short-lived honeymoons that bring us back to the sad, boring and unproductive times every few years.
Urgency, more than the importance, for the reason, that we still are the practitioners of oral-traditions than the readers of what is written in the book. A country full of people, who cannot interpret the black & white, needs to be made aware of, what are the grey shades in between these lines.
Be it the issue of clean water; safe roads; right to education; environmental policies or the domain of fair & free representation for all, I am yet to be in a space of agreement that we as a Nation are the practitioners of “Just” practices. When the so called providers have not done their best in furnishing the basic amenities for its community, expecting a civil-conduct, (that is in complete accordance with the law of the land), is then a distant reality. It is a shame that seven decades have been a lesser time for us to be providing toilets and dustbins at public places and now we are in the need to have a Nation-wide campaign for a Swachh Bharat. Tax payers money shall be spent, campaigns carried out, but who is paying attention to the deeply-set & fixed attitude of people who still consider Government as a “non-self” entity.
It is high time that we all start working on something called a National character. I would be very happy to be living, to witness those days when world-over we shall be known for our clean cities, safe roads and a Nation full of commitment driven people. Or otherwise those who take pride in “Jugaad” shall take the ingenuity to a level where everything, literally everything can be twisted & turned to suit an Individual’s requirement, and that as the Indian signature. We as citizens have to learn what is expected out of us, rather than the way, where each one can interpret & practice rules to suit one’s own senses. Business establishments without an audit, drivers without a license, cities & townships without a policy on its waste disposal, are the signs and the symptoms of a disease or a disorder that we need to set right before it is declared that it is congenital, and nothing worthwhile can be done about it.
I see the solution through a completely reformed education system. Much more than a country of doctors and software-engineers, what we need to achieve is that before a student completes the 8th grade, he or she is familiarized with the basics of civil behavior that is not eroded the moment one passes out of school and the home-environment further complimenting that learning. And I am a believer of this, that it is possible in a democracy and you do not need a political-dictat on basic human values. We as a nation do not even know how to interpret the signs on food packets, medicine strips and dangerous chemicals as of now, what to talk about becoming its aware advocates. And enough of self-accredited free will in the name of democracy, where the rights are known and there is big shirking on part of one ‘s duties. There are better issues in the country today to address, rather than debating on the places of burial.
First, let us live righteously, graceful –adieu shall happen on-its-own.
The author (Prof. Dr Anish Dua) is a practitioner of life-skills, and a Professor in GND University, Amritsar