Anna is fashionable, but what I write today is not about new found "Annanomics". I am writing here about a quiet evening with my daughter and the contemplation that followed. I spent time with my school going daughter last evening, helping her prepare for her Social Sciences exam. Her Civics course has a chapter on the Preamble of the Indian Constitution. Under the guise of teaching my daughter, I re-learnt a whole new beautiful ideology upon which our Nation is founded. When I read the text, I could not but marvel at the simplicity of the message, the simplicity of the ideals upon which a nation was being built. The basic principle of equality and how everything else tied into this simple yet lofty ideal.
Our democracy is founded on the principle of equality. Some folks may call this impractical. Some folks may dismiss it as lost ideals of a different generation.. We then start blaming our corrupt politicians, greedy businessmen and slothful bureaucrats for the state of our nation. We start wearing our indifference on our sleeves. But then, you read the Preamble one day and you unknowingly contemplate what it means to you. You look deeper and you realize that you are part of the problem too. Do you really see others as equal? Are you not part of the new social divide that replace the older caste systems? Are you truly socialist? Are you as selfless as the past generations that you can share the collective growth of the society? Are you too individualistic that you think of just yourself and your nuclear family? Are you prone to the same greed, corruption and sloth of the machinery you blame, albeit in different ways? A lesser sin does not make you a saint. Look within to be sure you are fighting greed with selflessness. Look within to ensure you are secular in your mind and actions. Look within to ensure your mind is self governed and free of prejudices. Look within and check your tolerance meter. Look around and ensure you treat everyone with dignity, be it at the traffic light , in the long queues or in the daily drill and humdrum of life.
Start with yourself to reclaim a nation and in the process, reclaim your own self. Reclaim a nation , rescue a dream today. Here is the lovely Preamble to our Constitution. Hope it inspires you as much as it inspired me.
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.