Thoughts for August 15: The India We Dream of
By Hemanta Pande: India celebrates the 66th Independence today. It is indeed a proud moment to every Indian staying in India and in different parts of the world. On this auspicious occasion, we should remember the words of our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
In his speech to the Constituent Assembly on the eve of our Independence at midnight of 14th August 1947, Mr. Nehru says, “That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfill the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means, the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.”
After 65 years of our independence, we have travelled much on the path of development and have seen many successes in various fields. We essentially look at building our country as a developed nation with a key focus on growth rate. However, there are persistent questions about how growth and resources will be shared in a more equitable manner. The wide gap between the rich and the poor that exists today, need to be disappeared. Our foremost priority is the removal of poverty, hunger and malnutrition, disease, illiteracy and ignorance among our countrymen.
Moreover, economic prosperity alone is not enough. We want a scientific and technological outlook in our people. We need to build an India, where there is equal freedom and opportunity for the common man. We have to combat various extremist elements. We need to establish an environment of communal harmony. We need to strive hard to build a prosperous, progressive and vibrant democratic nation, which will ensure equity, justice and fullness of life to every man and woman. And finally, we look towards India to emerge as a substantial global power.
We have a population which is predominantly young. The government needs to facilitate quality education and training to be capable of finding their livelihoods. There is a need to create employment opportunity with dignity to all our youths. Moreover, education and health services must reach to every section of our society.
Our agriculture, industry and service sectors need to be working more efficiently, with greater scientific inputs and more inter-linkages with each other. Women need to be drawn fully into the national mainstream. Gender discrimination needs to be corrected. Social evils like female foeticide, child marriage and dowry must be eradicated. All social welfare programmes by the government must be implemented in a true letter and spirit in order to achieve fast, inclusive and sustainable growth.
However, in recent times, the problem of corruption has emerged as a big obstacle in taking forward the social and economic agenda in our country. An alert PRESS and an aware citizenry can be very helpful in the fight against corruption. Both government and private agencies involved in the delivery of services should have a strong sense of duty with responsibility and work culture in a transparent, corruption-free, time-bound and accountable manner. We will also have to improve our justice delivery system.
In this era of globalization, no country can exist in isolation. Every country is dependent on others in one way or the other. In recent years, all nations – developed and developing, are facing the impact of global economic instability as well as problems of unemployment and inflation in varying degrees. India needs to fight such challenges with its own domestic policies and friendly relations with others.
In fine, our age old values, the ideals of our freedom movement, the principles of our Constitution, and also our unity in diversity definitely encourage us to take India to its destiny. The road ahead is long and challenging. However, the goal for our beloved country can be achieved if we demonstrate a sense of responsibility and a show of unity and determination among all of us.