Friday, January 29, 2016
THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS TO NATION ON 25 JAN 16 :
25 Jan 2016 : Address by the President of India on the eve of the Republic Day of India 2016 (Para 8)
"8.There will be, amongst us, occasional doubters and baiters.Let us continue to complain; to demand; to rebel. This too is a virtue of democracy. But let us also applaud what our democracy has achieved. With investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, health, education, science and technology, we are positioning ourselves well for achieving a higher growth rate which will in the next ten to fifteen years help us eliminate poverty."
January 27, 2016, 7:59 PM IST TOI
I was shocked when I heard the President of India urging the one plus billion people of India in his Republic day speech: “Let us continue to complain, to demand, to rebel.” The last two words were especially inciting for a country that has 70% of its population under 40, who for years have been simmering as his Congress government did not do anything to create jobs for them.
Does he not know what happened in Malda; there was burning and pillaging and riots and the police bore the brunt of it. I would have expected an elder statesman — much admired by many — and one who has been in politics and governance for decades, to ask his countrymen to be more disciplined and work together for the country in a community spirit. God only knows this is what we need. He should have invoked President Kennedy’s famous lines: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for the country.”
This would have been more statesmanlike and that is why this line is remembered even today. Instead, we hear him urging the citizens to demand and rebel. The problem with India is just that: too many small rebellions and not enough discipline. This why we have the dirtiest cities in India; this is why we drive like maniacs; this is why there is no community spirit in India and it is each man for himself; this is why we have road rage—something we should be discouraging not encouraging!
The President thinks it is necessary for democracy to rage and rant and demand but he says nothing about what is expected from the citizens in a democracy. Sure they should demand for change from their politicians. Of course, they must inquire and question where the money for building roads or getting clean water and electricity has not reached them. For this we do have the Right to Information Act and it is doing wonders. This RIT also revealed that his party, the Congress, had done the most damage to the country in the last decade by scams going into billions of dollars, which if spent on education, skill training and infrastructure would have made India a much better place for the millions of youth wanting jobs.
Then the President goes onto to his pet theme – the acts of growing intolerance. He must keep bringing this up when he knows fully well that intolerance was always there and is in all societies and democracies. I have lived in three countries and worked in several others and I have seen intolerance first hand.
The saddest part is that the President says this not to unite India, as our Prime Minister Modi is trying to do 24/7 for the last 18 months without a break, but to divide us as his party has done for the last 67 years.
The fact is that if you keep up a drumbeat that there is intolerance then people will start believing it and becoming suspicious about anything and anyone. Then they react and then there are riots, bloodshed and mayhem. People are killed, buses burnt, police stations attacked and law and order goes down the drain. Do we really need the highest person in our land to say on the eve of a day where India should be one and united to give a televised speech to a billion plus people urging them to demand, complain and rebel?
I can say one thing my father would never had told me to do this. And I did think the President was too much of a statesman to keep bringing all this up again and again. After all the saying goes before you judge others first judge yourself.
But then he is beholden to a party that took divide and rule to frightening heights and created rebellions in the North East, Kashmir, the Maoists, Bhindranwale in Punjab, a Sikh pogrom in the capitol, sent troops to Sri Lanka and did just about everything for power.
So should we expect more from him? I had hoped so. But we do know he owes his present job to Sonia Gandhi, who by her birth is not even considered an Indian. If he needs to appease her still then all I can say: Reputations take a lifetime to build but can be destroyed in a day or perhaps I should say in a term.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own
(Source- Via Gp e-mail)