(Please go through the article first)
ON THE POSITIVE SIDE: (Nine points are mentioned)
ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE:
While launching Five Year Plans for raising the Standard of Living of our teeming millions, we failed to simultaneously plan for raising the Standard of Life.
Our population, in absolute numbers, is growing enormously - we will be one billion by the end of the century - and thereby all gains of progress are either being neutralised or our developmental plans are rendered ineffective. The result is, with large outlays in the various sectors of the economy and their ineffective utilisation, a steep rise in the prices of commodities and services.
The number of people living below the poverty line, in absolute terms, shows no signs of any significant decrease.
Unemployment is increasing and it is compounded by the rise in prices, both contributing to the misery of the people.
We are getting deeper and deeper into a debt trap, the annual interest payment alone (Rs.60,000 crores) being as high as the fiscal deficit for the year 1996-97.
With no clear majority for any single political party in two successive national general elections, unstable governments at the Centre are left with the Hobson's choice of perpetuating themselves in power through money and even muscle power, playing a major sinister role in luring Members of Parliament from one party to another - the despicable phenomenon of Ayaram Gayaram; creating vote banks and exploiting the vile instincts of Communalism, Casteism, Linguism and Regionalism leading to endemic increasing social conflicts, violence and bloodshed.
Corruption, rampant and widespread, and, worst of all, loss of character, has robbed the polity of all values, particularly the most cherished of them all - Satya and Dharma, Truth and Righteousness. The national motto, taken from the Mundaka Upanishad, Satyameva Jayate is mocked at almost every moment of our national life, in every segment of our society. We have come to be looked upon as the biggest nation of sanctimonious humbugs and hypocrites. What a fall my countrymen!
* * *
Yatha Raja Tatha Praja: As the ruler, so the people. Has not the Indian leadership of the post independence era progressively failed, decade after decade, the people of this country?
The vital question is : How shall we guard the guardians?
- "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
Pitirim A. Sorokin, who fought Czarism shoulder to shoulder with the triumvirate, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, points out that "social reconstruction, animated by sincere sympathy, competently planned and systematically carried on, turns out to be more successful in curing social sickness and improving the well-being of society than hate inspired violent measures". Yet how much of violence and hatred are being generated by the general run of our selfish, power hungry, politicians? (Sorokin, disillusioned by communism turned into a great sociologist later--Foot-Note, abridged by me.)
"Every people get the government they deserve" is an age old adage. Are our leaders alone responsible for the reprehensible state of affairs of our mother-land? Are not we, the people guilty of dereliction of duty as responsible citizens? How many of us can absolve ourselves from the unenforceable charges of gross indifference, neglect and undue tolerance of patent misdeeds and mismanagement of national affairs by those whom we have voted to power?
............The prime Minister of the country has to give the lead, by precept and practice, in providing inspiring leadership to the people.
(Words in Block style are exactly as those in the original article)
These are the exact excerpts from the article "Forty-ninth Swaraj Day Reflections" by S. Rama Krishnan, published in the "Bhavans Journal", Volume 43; Issue No.1 dated August 15th, 1996--also the journal's Annual number. Please debate, if the relevance of the points raised in the article has 'reduced' in any way, after another 15 years thereon or has the state of affairs deteriorated further!
Think & Act!