The nation lives on…

This is more of a reflective post. Yesterday, India celebrated 69 years of independence from the British crown. And it got me thinking. I thought about the small things and the big things. I just wanted to share some of thoughts, hopes, dreams and fears with you.

69 years? Actually, it’s not that long. I can name several people who are more than 69 years old, from people in my own life to celebrities. My thoughts wandered to 100! What about 2047, when we celebrate 100 years of independence? What will it all look like then?

My first thoughts about 2047 were about small things; about my own life. Considering my current age, I can reasonably expect to be alive in 2047 to see one hundred years of independence. But I would be really close to retirement. And then I realized that by 2047,  I will probably lose some of the most important people in my life, namely my parents. I wonder what the pain of that will be like. I don’t want to think about it, but there it is, waiting for me at some point down the road.

Then, I decided to have some happy thoughts. What will the workplace look like in 2047? Will it still have computers? Nah…I am willing to bet there is gonna be something infinitely cooler and more capable on my desk by then. In 2047, the youngsters will look at dinosaurs like me and wonder how people managed back in 2016 when all work had to be actually typed into a computer 🙂 Just think about it 🙂

But most of all, I began to wonder about how great and big the nation is and how small our lives are. The nation lives on, we live our little lives for a short little while and then we again become one with the five elements. Even the greatest among us are reduced to dust and covered under the sands of time. Time endures. Our land holds within itself the dust of thousands of these generations….and long after we are gone, there will be thousands of generations that will live their little hopes, joys and dreams in this great land.

Thinking about it this way makes us more aware of the great responsibility that democracy imposes upon us. It is this one motherland we have, handed down to us by thousands of generations before us…and the one motherland that we must pass on to the thousands of generations waiting in the wings of time. It belongs not just to us, but to those who came before and also to those who will come after.

But come to think about it: democracy means that the power to run this nation is vested in this generation alone. We are just one small number of stakeholders in the life of this nation. New stakeholders are constantly born and old stakeholders keep going away. Yet, WE …WE the ones in the present, get to do whatever we choose with it. Democracy is really a terrifying responsibility, if you try to think about it.

While reflecting on this responsibility, we may try to seek comfort in the idea that most of our lives will eventually mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. Will it really matter in 2047 if I spit on the street today?  Perhaps not, but the collective life of a billion people changes things in 2047..

And what about the “S” word? Superpower. This is the hope we have for our nation. Will we reach it in 2047? The eternal optimist in me always says YES. But, our collective lives and choices matter. A few years ago, I arrived at Guanajuato in Mexico, where the border control officer gave me a very ornate passport stamp. On looking carefully I realized that the stamp was celebrating 200 years of independence of Mexico! India has been independent for less than 70 years!

I remember thinking to myself. Two hundred years? Mexico has been independent for 200 years? And…well…while I love Mexican food and Aztec sites, I am afraid Mexico is a rubbish heap. How can an independent country go 200 years without achieving anything?

So, well, no…it’s not just a matter of time. It is the choices we make. If we make the wrong choices, we might still end up as a poor country in 2047…or even 2147. The nation lives on, but it will be what we make of it.

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14 thoughts on “The nation lives on…

  1. WOW a very reflective post indeed….that to regarding the future!!

    Exactly life is really short….that is why I never understood of those who amass wealth from corruption,and those who sell the country for money!

    I usually live in the present as I consider it as a gift!….as tomorrow is a mystery!

    As regarding India being a super power in future…there is no doubt…..you will be able to see it!

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  2. Must say this blog is much different from the sharp, invective, mocking and fiery tone of your daily posts. And rightfully so, since the topic you picked up was more of a happy contemplation about the things to come, almost like a prognostication. But yes, it is good that the young of the day believe in brighter prospects for the nation in the years to come.
    I too have been thinking something, but my thoughts were contrarian, filled with melancholy and suspicion. I detest to even think that such may be the future of this great nation of ours, hopefully I would not be alive to see this degeneration, the fall, the disintegration. I request all readers of this comment to pardon my unhappy, almost sadistic thoughts, a sad contemplation based on the present state of affairs.
    My thoughts go out to the state of increasing divide within Hindu community. Our society was infected with discrimination on caste lines, for many years. It is nothing new. The Dalits were oppressed, persecuted, insulted and manhandled, treated with inhuman behaviour for many many years. However, with independence dawned a period of social awakening, when people started thinking that this caste system is skewed in favour of the so called upper classes, is wrong, is ignoble and needs to be mended. For centuries, we have seen people quitting Hinduism due to discrimination based on caste system, and accepting other religions, Islam, Christianity and Budhism. After all no one can and should question these converts, because we let our religion degenerate in a manner that discrimination was unbearable. We caused insuperable and insufferable pain to this section, exploited them, insulted them, oppressed them, and even inflicted physical brutalities. They endured these brutalities for very long, but then their patience worn out and they embraced other religion. Fault them, who cares, they are out and away.
    But despite this reign of unrelenting discrimination and oppression, a section of this silent suffering community clung on to Hinduism, with a conviction in our religion, our traditions, our ethos. These people according to me were the staunchest of Hindus, who despite threats from within, and enticements from outside, remained within the fold of Hinduism. Now, this section is beginning to rise and assert, and rightly so. The recent incidents like Una, Mainpuri, and some others have infuriated this section. They demand justice, and they deserve it.
    Real problem starts now. While a majority of educated Hindus today believe in equality for all, there are bigots who still cling to their self claimed, hyped halo of superior birth. How many are these people. This miniscule minority is the greatest threat to Hindu community, because they are unwilling to shed their archaic beliefs and continue to practice their hypocrisy and dogma.
    But then who should attend to this rising desperation, resentment and disillusionment. Herein I believe comes the role of socio religious groups like VHP, HMS, RSS and the like. But are these bodies doing enough, are they trying to bring about a social transformation, are they acting as catalysts for change. I doubt. I am yet to see any social movement aimed at bringing about a cohesion in the Hindu society. These religious groups are expected to educate people and inform them the dangers lurking. Imagine a scenario when these disaffected, disillusioned brothers finally decide to quit Hinduism. Consider the situation. Do you think Hinduism, the Sanatan Dharma will remain. We survived the onslaught of Islam and Christianity, thanks to this dispossessed section of Hindus, due to intrinsic conviction of Hinduism in their elder generation, but let us not allude to the continued association of these persecuted section, let us not live in denial of the imminent danger.
    I shiver to think of the day when India, the oldest remaining civilization shall be taken over by chrislamics and Hindu religion will become a relic of the past, only to be referred to in History books as a pagan religion that once existed in India, before a more humane and rational religion cleansed the society of heresy.
    Therefore, I request all to rise to the occasion and try in their own way to educate the society and bring about a social unity and transformation, so that the society does not get further divided in the name of caste, creed, language or region.
    I request you CW to take up this highly disturbing and agitating issue in your posts and to do your best in bringing about bonhomie within our community.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rajinder Sharma very well articulated!

      As long as politicians and media stoke the fire and continue to benefit by keeping dalit in the same state ….we will not see much change !

      ‘I request all to rise to the occasion and try in their own way to educate the society and bring about a social unity and transformation, so that the society does not get further divided in the name of caste, creed, language or region.’….defiantly, I have been doing this whenever chance permits.

      The “bhangi” caste , scavenger , untouchable caste was created by the white invaders!

      There were no toilets inside houses before the white invaders came to India and 60-70% of our population still enjoy the open air performance (It must be 99% open defecation in 15th century.)

      The white invaders must have built toilets without proper drains and created a new caste “Bhangi” to clean their toilets. Some rich native people with some social status might have followed the British style of building toilets in homes.

      The mahars used to take care of animal carcasses in the towns. Dealing with human shit was primarily not their business. 

      The bhangis were even glorified with “Valmiki” “Balmiki” title in North India … doesn’t this add insult to injury?? How mean and diabolic these white invaders could be!

      I clean my toilet,I don’t allow any body else to clean.

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    2. Thank you Rajinder Sharma for this beautiful comment. Indeed, I always wanted to write posts reflecting on the big issues. And here I must admit that most of the time on this blog, I choose some small topic and make mocking comments about that. This is easier than writing deeply on the real issues.

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  3. Actually Mexico is worse off now than how it was after 69 years of independence. It is the choice they made. Instead of putting enough emphasis on education, drug cultivation got encouraged by the corrupt politicians. We have our vast Vedic culture to guide us. If and when we will stop worshiping Goddess Saraswati, we will start heading Mexican way.

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  4. Chaiwallah has opened up pandora’s box. Typical Hindus bred in last thousand years are ready to self pity, guilt, stereotyping, wailing and whinning. The fact of the matter is Hindus were not in charge and there was no way they could have collectively done anything without political power. The hangover for seventy years is also understandable given the context of transfer of power. If you have wisdom for far sightedness, you can solidify Hindu social system. If you have unrelated fault of lethargy, negativity, suicidal divisiveness, your days are numbered.

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  5. Wonderful post. Here is a small passage from Swami Vivekananda’s works where he compares India to a ship. Vivekananda has a message to the secular press (even before it came into existence)

    —————————————————————————————-

    This national ship, my countrymen, my friends, my children — this national ship has been ferrying million and millions of souls across the waters of life. For scores of shining centuries it has been plying across this water, and through its agency, millions of souls have been taken to the other shore, to blessedness. But today, perhaps through your own fault, this boat has become a little damaged, has sprung a leak; and would you therefore curse it? Is it fit that you stand up and pronounce malediction upon it, one that has done more work than any other thing in the world? If there are holes in this national ship, this society of ours, we are its children. Let us go and stop the holes. Let us gladly do it with our hearts’ blood; and if we cannot, then let us die. We will make a plug of our brains and put them into the ship, but condemn it never. Say not one harsh word against this society. I love it for its past greatness. I love you all because you are the children of gods, and because you are the children of the glorious forefathers. How then can I curse you! Never. All blessings be upon you! I have come to you, my children, to tell you all my plans. If you hear them I am ready to work with you. But if you will not listen to them, and even kick me out of India, I will come back and tell you that we are all sinking! I am come now to sit in your midst, and if we are to sink, let us all sink together, but never let curses rise to our lips. – Swami Vivekananda (My Plan of Campaign; Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Vol 3; Page – 207)

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    1. Hi Srinivas, I posted that article late at night from a crappy airport internet connection. I must have selected some wrong option. Sorry about this and thanks for alerting me. Meanwhile I have put up another post below which you can leave your comments on the Angshukanta Chakraborty post.

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