Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Trying to create a nation

It is 123rd birthday of Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru, first Prime Minster of free India. He had stressed that our country be a secular nation.Secularism is an ideal which we  tried to evolve in the building of the Indian nation. We were divided by various religious beliefs, we were ruled by ancient practises and we were constantly compartmentalising ourselves in narrow divisions of caste, race and faith. To unify India, we needed to secularise ourselves--to think beyond religion. We have kept the moral values which religion teaches us and we have discarded the negative Religion could not be deducted from our lives for religion is our way of life and defines our culture. Culture of the Indian nation binds us together. The unifying factor is culture which is a positive expression of religion.
Socialism which Nehru had advocated has not made much headway.Social justice and equality is still enigmatic, how to bring about greater equality?Our biggest setback is inequality---uneven distribution of wealth. We have the super rich and the super poor. And eliminating poverty is a war in which we are yet to conquer. Both rural poverty and urban poverty cannot be wished away overnight. We have schemes, like the Public Distribution Scheme( PDS card) and UIDAI card, MGNREGA, old age pension plan and so on. More important is the fact we must cut down expenditures by retiring the overpaid inefficient government officials who cause a big loss of our national treasury.Nehru would have never thought that Indian political class would become so corrupt as it has. Anyway we have other positive developments. We have an active media which teaches the public about the rights that they have. With increased computerisation, we can organise ourselves(egovernance initiatives) better and serve the people of India.Due to our strategic location, we are sought after by foreign allies who want to keep good relations in the neighbourhood. If we can implement projects more quickly, we can help countries like Myanmar in a more constructive manner. Our foreign policy could be shaped better, and we will be valued more. Countries like Bhutan and Mauritius value good relationship with us because we have made their government more effective. We have provided them with e-governance.If we do not help other developing countries, due to our slow pace of project implementation, we would not be liked. Other more dominant countries like China would take over centre-stage in this part of Asia. To be or not to be is up to us NOW

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