There is a beautiful story of the Buddha. He went to meet his father after he became the Buddha and his father thought his son had come home… but Buddha told him, “your son Siddharth is dead, I am not your son.” His father got really angry and shouted at the Buddha “how can you say that ? Cant I recognise my son, my own flesh and blood?” The Buddha calmly said “Your son Siddharth is dead, I have the same body, but am not the same person.” What Buddha was trying to communicate was the physical birth is the first birth and when you realise the truth and get enlightened you are reborn. Is it only for individuals on the path, seeking Moksa that two births are possible … or can it be true also for nations??
I would really like to celebrate this day as the 2nd Independence day of India. India’s first birth as a nation was on Aug 15th, 1947 and then it was 67 years of establishing our identity in the world stage…. some things we did right, like choosing democracy over autocracy or communism, focussing on agriculture to become self sufficient, expanding the rail network etc. But we obviously allowed the dynastic streak to continue and for nearly 54 years out of these 67 years, we had one family rule us. In retrospect, it seems unimaginable in this day and age. Incredulous India !! Nothing wrong with one family rule, it just meant that we really were not a genuine democracy nor were we benefiting from different ideas. The ten years of Dr. Manmohan Singh were truly the last straw on the proverbial camel’s back.
I can never forget the Aon CEO’s visit to India during that time. Kashiana and I went with him and a few other leaders during the trip around Delhi and we had a tour guide in the bus with us who explained about the various historical monuments. As we drove past the Prime Minister’s house on Race Course Road, the tour guide turned around and said, “well, thats our spineless, ineffective Prime Minister’s house. He doesn’t speak and is controlled by someone else.” Kashiana and I tried our best to bat for Dr. MMS talking about his being a great economist and from oxford etc etc but the damage was done. I felt very small … and very sad that my country’s Prime Minister was described this way. I am sure that tour guide will now stop near the PM’s house and point it out with pride and say, that is our PM Narendra Modi’s house and chances are, the Aon CEO would already know his name and probably would have a meeting lined up with our PM !!!
Yes, am an unabashed fan of our Prime Minister, but not an uninformed emotional one.
Here is why I think this day should be celebrated as the second independence day every year –
1. Never before in the era of the British and American hegemonies, there has been any other Prime Minister or head of state, who has got the kind of attention that Modi has on the world stage and for all the right reasons, and consequently the attention India has got. I don’t remember any other PM who was on first name basis with so many world leaders and I KNOW of no other leader who had the gumption to stand on the Chinese soil and say that the border issues have to be sorted before we can be true partners !!! I am not going to quote numbers as to how much FDI has increased in this one year or how many different countries have come forward to invest, because all the readers of my blog can access it anywhere.
2. When the dark ages of the CONteam government were on, the one thing I heard everywhere is the reason China has grown so rapidly is because their leaders have a single point agenda, they wake up in the morning thinking about developing their country and go to sleep thinking of the same thing. India on the other hand, did not have such focussed leaders. Well, we DO now. Tell me one other Prime Minister who has worked without a single day off and made public every engagement, activity that he spends time on? … Am absolutely sure that every PM has loved India as PM Modi does and have done their bit, but a lot of their time also went in many other parallel agendas. I am deeply disappointed, especially with Dr. Manmohan Singh, because he is genuinely a great man who allowed himself to be reduced to a puppet. The CONteam of the likes of Chidambaram, Sibal and their ilk, did not even have the decency to be respectful to Dr. MMS and the icing on the cake of disrespect was the dodo scion not even attending the farewell :(:(. I just love the way PM Modi communicates and is super focussed on a one-point agenda – making India the best country in the world. Vishwa-guru? Why not? We atleast have 5000 years of great thinking and spiritual awakening which mankind can benefit from.
Hey, all those who run down our 5000 year old history remember Yoga and Ayurveda have survived and are being proven right one limb at a time, while your new age Colgate Palmolive has flipped and flopped back to salt in the toothpaste in less than 100 years after thousands got ill with fluoride – Erin Brokowich anyone ?
3. The third and most important reason this day has to be celebrated is because for the first time, you have a PM who is willing to kick your “entitlement” mentality in the butt. Sorry if my graphic description hurt some of your sensibilities, you are “entitled” to feel that way ! Every government from the British Raj has ensured that the poor remain poor and they are “entitled” to dole-outs. The rich, remain rich and get richer because they are “entitled” to run the government from the corridors. Well, for the first time, you have a PM who has booted out the power brokers and thats bothering many an eminent entitled business magnate and he has suited the government welfare schemes for the poor in such a way that they get the opportunity to not remain poor – there are no dole-outs, but “help” is available. The world’s 3rd richest man with a $71 billion bank balance says “the poor aren’t poor because the rich are rich” … sure Mr. Buffet, I agree. But have the rich made opportunities available for the poor to get out of their poverty? Its easier for the rich to get richer because they have the opportunity and the capability, the poor have just the capability… and without opportunity they ain’t getting out of their hole !!! Probably the word that Indians are more used to is “appeasement”. Its the swear word of Indian politics. For the first time, the PM is not scared of saying he is Hindu or that he likes the Buddha or follows Swami Vivekananda. He is secular in action, not in lip service…
Remember the most famous quote of John F Kennedy ? For those that might not know much about America, let me state it here, John F Kennedy said “ask not what the country has done for you, ask what you have done for the country”. Great man, and a great insight. But I wonder why, when a Vadnagar born man, without a silver spoon, who because of popular mandate gets elected fair and square and says the same thing in Hindi – we don’t like it !!! Modi cannot clean the ghats of Varanasi and did not, but he inspired Temsutula Imsong, a native of Nagaland, enough to get Prabhu ghat cleaned up … so all those that sit around searching for stories on the internet that say one bad thing about the PM’s hair and immediately post, re-post and re-re-post it, don’t waste your time finding fault with him, pick that broom up and clean the street in that time, and sweep that “entitlement” mindset out of your head while you are at it. You are “entitled” to not like him, but stop wasting time on that feeling and do something good for the country. Feel free to use your vote against him in the next elections. Just this sunday we were out cycling in the Raahgiri in Gurgaon and a well-to-do cyclist, pushed the traffic cones aside and cut across the road the wrong way to go home to Regency Park or Hamilton court. No PM can fix this mentality .. except you and I and the traffic cop. But we are busy asking what the government has done, which also we should, but can we also ask what we have done to make India better?
My heartiest congratulations to BJP and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi on completing 365 days of great governance. May your efforts bear fruit for the better of India and the future generations. There is much much more to do, but well begun is half done.
And all the Modi-baiters, set aside your fangs for the day and without bias review the past 365 days of yours, not Mr. Modi’s…. have you done enough for the country? Have you atleast bought the Rs. 12 Jan Suraksha accident insurance for your maid ? If not, first go do that and start the second year well. Jai Hind.