DEVELOPMENT EQUAL TO URBANIZATION?
WE HAVE A DREAM
Writer: Mrs. Varsha Pargat
|Drama: We have a Dream
Mahatma Gandhi &
Bharat, a young student.
Our project “We Have a Dream” is based upon the concept of Mahatma Gandhi’s “Gram Swaraj”. He once said “India is a country of villages, if villages perish India will perish”.
Our project discusses the social issues like corruption, crime, violence, discrimination and atrocities. The project also highlights the concept of “Sustainable Development”. We have put forth the idea of strong society which must be socially, economically, environmentally and politically sustainable. The project discusses about “Five “S” concept of Serene and Peaceful Soul, Sound Family Life, Sound & Cohesive Communities, Safe & Clean Environment and Secure & Peaceful World.
DEVELOPMENT – URBANIZATION ?
WE HAVE A DREAM
[BREAKING NEWS spread out everywhere. It was something unbelievable, thrilling, and exciting. People were dumbstruck. The Statue of “Bapu” opposite Parliament house in New Delhi went missing. All the Govt. authorities including Police were shocked! No one knew… How it happened? Bharat switched off his T.V. and went to bed, thinking…. everything is possible In India…]
Bharat was asleep. After some time he heard a faint, strange voice. He felt that as if someone was calling him. He got up and asked….
Bharat: [Little bit afraid] who is there?
Voice: You don’t recognize me … Bharat…? I am your M.G.
Bharat: [with surprise] M.G.? What’s that? I know 2G (spectrum)… I also know another 2G (Rahulji and Soniaji)… but I don’t know about M.G. Is it a new Scam?
Voice: [Laughing] No… no. Bharat… I am M.G. I am Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi…
Bharat: [Surprised] What…? What a surprise…? Mahatma Gandhi… Bapuji… at my house? How lucky I am…?
[Slowly the voice became stronger and stronger. Bharat saw a figure coming out of darkness. Bapuji… was standing in front of Bharat]
Bharat: [Politely]… Namaste Bapuji… How lucky I am to have you in front of me!
Bapuji: Bharat, have you heard the news… about missing statue! Isn’t it shocking?
Bharat: Yes, Bapuji… I saw the news and was thinking about the same.
Bapuji: Bharat I am totally disheartened, sad and grief stricken… My dreams are shattered… The Paradise is Lost…
Bharat: [with confusion] Bapuji… I don’t understand… what do you want to say?
Bapuji: You people have forgotten my ideals, thoughts and Principles. I think people have not understood the real meaning of freedom… and development, that’s why poverty, unemployment, discrimination, haphazard modernization… bigotry… sectarianism still prevails in the society.
Bharat: Bapuji… you are right… a very large part of population has not tasted the fruits of Independence and yet to see any development in their areas.
Bapuji: Yes… you have buried the values of love, sacrifice, honesty, truth, unity… In those days, I fought against the British people for freedom… but now I feel that once again I have to fight for Real freedom against my own people.’
Bharat: Yes! We all have to do that.
Bapuji: Yes… Now I will fight for freedom from fear, injustice, corruption, pollution, mere politics and superstitions…
Bharat: Yes! Bapu we have a dream. The dream, you and all our freedom fighters visualized. A dream of “Swaraj ó Ram Rajya”. And with your support we can achieve it.
Bapuji: Bharat… remember …
Bharat: Yes… how can we make that change happen? People must support and act…
Bapuji: Bharat… we have to make them aware, to shake them out of their slumber… otherwise you all will be in trouble… danger.
Bharat: Bapuji… we are already in danger… in the name of development we have endangered the mother earth and thus our lives…
Bapuji: Yes… development doesn’t mean only the modern amenities… development doesn’t mean urbanization alone… thoughtless development has made the situation worse… as it is said:-
Bharat: Yes… Bapuji… our greed is multiplying and causing the adverse effect.
Bapuji: You know Bharat… once I said, ‘If India wants to flourish… It should start developing villages first… If villages perish India will perish… the villages are still far away from development…
Bharat: What can we do now Bapuji?
Bapuji: You still have time… you can do better… the children are my only hope… we have to think, act and work together…
Bharat: How can I make the difference?
Bapuji: Someone has to start… you don’t have to be great to start… but you have to start to be great. Remember…
Bharat: Bapuji… I promise you that my school will definitely come forward for this noble cause…
Bapuji: [Assuring] I would like to analyze problems and probable solutions.
Bharat: Bapuji… It’s not so difficult… I have my computer… Google hain na!
[Bharat starts his computer… Bapuji was surprised… rather he was amazed to see on computer screen India’s problems within few seconds… Bharat typed…. Urbanization in India… Bapuji’s expressions changed, he became nervous, sad, tense, and tears started rolling down his cheeks… Development and problems are going hand in hand, he read.]
INDIA BECOMING AN URBAN NATION:
India’s towns and cities are overloaded and under planned; the metropolis lack proper planning and basic amenities. Five of the 20 most densely populated cities globally are Indian.
|POPULATION AND PERCENTAGE (IN CITIES).||EMPLOYMENT…|
The cities and towns generate two thirds of the GDP and 90% of the Govt. revenues. Still an elephant or a human being or even an ant after maturity does not grow beyond its ‘Ultimate” size. If it does, it gets destroyed similar to the dinosaurs of the Jurassic era.
[Bharat in between asks Bapuji…]
Bharat: That means our cities and towns are going to be destroyed?
Bapuji: No… can’t say it now… but if due care is not taken… then can’t predict what would happen.
Bharat: [with curiosity] But why this happened?
Bapuji: This happened due to changing job opportunities, aspirations and lifestyles. This has driven the rural youth to urban Centers.
Bharat: Why the politicians, policy makers and intelligent people are not doing anything?
Bapuji: They might have been doing but today no government scheme will hold them back. It is a difficult task.
Bharat: But Bapuji… if you feel it is a difficult task… then we are common people… what can we do now?
Bapuji: Bharat… do not forget, people can change the nation’s destiny. Any Country can produce one or two great men, but this doesn’t guarantee that the Country will also be great. That may prove the Country’s potential… but unless the level of average men and women in a given Country is high, that Country cannot be said to be great.
Bharat: Bapuji… that means we all have to put in our efforts… for the real freedom. Will this be a new ‘freedom’ struggle…?
Bapuji: Yes Bharat, as I told you earlier it is also our new tryst with Destiny… Bharat… have you read Panditji’s Speech of August 15, 1947?
Bharat: No… Bapuji…
Bapuji: I still remember his words… the words echo in my ears, “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge… The future beckons to us. What shall be our endeavor? To bring Freedom & opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India, to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease, to build up a prosperous, democratic & progressive nation and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman’.
Bharat: Bapu, I am touched by these words… But what an irony today! India has set its foot on the moon but not able to reach to the common man living in villages and remote areas.
Bapuji: Bharat… can you show me the effects of too much urbanization on so called ‘Magic’… Google!
[Bharat searches – “effects and problems due to urbanization…..”]
EFFECTS OF DEVELOPMENT :
The adverse effects of haphazard developments are pollution, slums, garbage, water scarcity and unemployment. At present poverty in India is in dehumanizing condition. It is snatching away the right to necessary resources of life from poor people. Issues like crime, violence, corruption and gender discrimination have led to experiencing a variety of problems. In addition, in all fields and phases of life women are becoming the soft target of various kinds of atrocities. All these social issues need a careful analysis and demand rational solution to help the society grow in a balanced way. However social problems in India require deep insight into the rich cultural heritage of the country.
DEVELOPMENT AND ANKLESHWAR:
Ankleshwar is the Asia’s largest chemical industrial estate and one of the most polluted cities in India. It has a big task of controlling air, water and soil pollution. Thousands of workers from different parts of the country have come in search of their livelihood. Most of them work on contract or daily wage basis. They have inadequate facility and lack basic amenities.
[Pic. Pollution in Ankleshwar earlier]
[There was silence in the room. Bharat and Bapu both were dumbstruck. Bharat broke the silence…]
Bharat: Bapu, if development has brought these problems then what is the use of such development?
Bapu: Bharat, I am not saying exactly this happened due to development but one thing is true… that our people have still not understood the real meaning of development. The developmental focus remained centered around cities and towns only.
Bharat: Yes, Bapuji you are right. But the disastrous impacts have shaken the people. They are more aware now. Even in Ankleshwar the picture is changing fast. Many individuals and organizations have come forward to control the pollution. Ankleshwar Industrial Association, Ankleshwar Environmental preservation Society, Gujarat Pollution Control Board and Notified Area Authority combined together are putting efforts for keeping the environment safe and clean. See I can show you..
[Pic. Ankleshwar becoming green] [Pic. AEPS]
[Pic. Of BEIL] [Pic. ETP plant]
Bharat: Bapu, balanced development is important.
Bapu : Yes, if you make progress with modernization… you must develop intellectually, spiritually, virtually, economically. See I will show you what the real and sustainable development is….
[Bapu asks for pencil and he draws a picture…]
|PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY|
Bapu: Bharat… leaders talk about strong society and nation… but they forget to fulfill the basic needs of society.
Bharat: What Bapu?
Bapu: Society stands because of family and family stands because of strong individuals and see what we find today in Society?
Bharat: Bapu, I am totally confused, what does it mean?
Bapu: Very simple, Bharat. The problem started with individual… then… family… society and nation.
Bharat: Bapu, do you want to see the reality?
Bharat: (excited) Come on… come with me.
[Both move from Bharat’s room to the next room… where his parents were sleeping… Bharat started talking in low voice…]
Bharat: [pointing towards his mother]… She is my mother. Highly qualified and working in big company. But she is always nervy, stingy, angry, tensed… Why? I don’t know… I feel she is in a race… don’t have time… Why? Can’t say…
Bapu: [Sigh] hmmm….!
Bharat: [Towards his father] and my father, he is also the same… both are working hard… earning but not happy. I doubt some time whether they are living or life is just racing ahead…
Bapu: [In consoling tone]… this picture is everywhere in our country… these are the ‘Gifts of modern life’… where are your grandparents?
Bharat: Bapu, they live in our village… they don’t like to live here.
Bapu: So… You are alone at home until your parents return back.
Bapu: Then how do you spend time and what do you do?
Bharat: I do my home work, watch T.V., play on computer… but sometimes I really feel alone… no one to talk to, share and play.
Bapu: Such things are irreversible. We cannot move back now… See come with me analyze the problem.
[Bapu and Bharat started reading an article].
Migration in large number has raffled out the ancient and long tradition of our Country i.e. ‘Joint Family System’. The urbanization gave birth to ‘Nuclear Family System’. It has changed the paradigm of relationship, love, sacrifice, mutual understanding, values and tradition. The nuclear families are self centered where husband & wife live in their own world of illusions. In times of crisis they have no one to fall back upon. In Indian household, the nuclear families constitute 70% and the joint families constitute merely 20% of all the households.
Children are also subjected to gender based discrimination. Still thousands of children roam on the streets of major cities for food and shelter. Contrary to above there are children who belong to the well off sections of society, but they are also not free from problems. They are facing a different kind of problems due to lack of adequate care or attention from their working parents.
In past children enjoyed security of a kind unknown today. Growing up under the joint care of adults made them feel secure and responsible towards all the members of family besides their own parents. Today there is a problem of elderly people and poor regards for family values are enough indication of the danger that the families and ultimately society is progressively facing in India.
To combat with continuing erosion of values there is a need to set strong, consistent policies to strengthen the Indian family system. Otherwise, India would be left with no choices, but to face the problems, which are being faced by developed countries.
Bapu: I think the future we want to see can be described in terms of “Five S’s”
- Serene and peaceful soul
- Sound Family Life
- Sound and cohesive communities
- Safe and clean environment
- Secure and peaceful world
Bharat: Bapu, now I understand what the real problem is?
Bapu: Bharat, in those days’ elders’ played an important role in the joint family and in the upbringing of children.
Bapu: Bharat, when I asked you what do you do when you are alone in the house? You didn’t mention whether you read books or not?
Bharat: Oh! Reading books! I really don’t have time for that.
Bapu: No Bharat, you have to read good books. We have the great epics of Ramayana & Mahabharata. They always teach us what is good and what is bad. I read such books in my childhood. I was greatly influenced by the stories of ‘Shravan’ and ‘Raja Harishchandra’. I learnt the lessons of selfless service and truth from them.
Bharat: That means first we have to learn, and then only expect the same from others.
Bapu: Absolutely right. First we, then family, society and Nation.
A strong and good family comprises…
[All of a sudden Bharat was struck with something. He remembered that his school conducted a program on the same concept of Family and its importance. He got up from the place and showed a circular of his school to Bapu.]
Bharat: Bapu, this is a circular of my school… and you know my school is based on your Principles and ideals.
Bapu: Oh! Really? What’s your school name?
Bharat: Shree Gattu Vidyalaya… take this circular and read.
[Bapu started reading the circular of the school…]
We the Change Agent
We are the change agent – For the expected change education is an important factor. Swami Vivekananda has said, ‘Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested all your life. We must have life building, human and character making assimilation of ideas’. In today’s education system there are certain lacunas. If we are dreaming for a developed nation then education or rather quality education matters.
The full development of a child with good value system can only come from education. To begin with; our school has carried out survey in the school. The parents’ meeting was held to know about their family, their relationship, problems and other related affairs. First we wanted to know how many of them were living in a ‘Joint family and Nuclear family’.
In our survey we found that out of 85 to 90 families, more than 60 live in nuclear family and 25 to 30 live in joint family. Among the 60 nuclear family parents, they agreed up to some extent that joint family system had an upper hand over the child’s emotional development.
Out of 60 nuclear families nearly 20 to 23 families had both the parents working. After that we arranged a meeting with them. We discussed various topics related to child’s growth, needs and their efforts. As a parent they felt helpless in not giving enough time to their kids. According to the discussion the children do have problems.
Common Problems of Children
Another survey was carried out by us. We talked with girl students and asked whether they are treated differently in the family – as a girl. From 50 girls 38 girls agreed for that. Our study revealed that we are still not able to break the barriers of discrimination. This old and orthodox tradition has given birth to the problem of killing female fetus, sexual abuse and increase in the cases of rape.
In the study we realized that most of the children do have problems at home. They don’t share their emotions and feelings, getting angry easily, aggressive, having stress, not able to get solution and lack proper guidance and strong emotional support. When in such situation the child enters the school, he feels that school is the only place to vent his anger, depression, feelings out of his mind.
As we wanted to know exact psychological problems of child, we contacted the famous psychiatrist Dr. Ashfaq Ansari in Ankleshwar. He discussed with us in detail about their problems and solution. We interacted with parents particularly mothers. A counseling session was arranged to give practical solution. We invited the famous Child psychologist Dr.Rais Maniyar from Surat to guide the mothers. In the same manner a special session is continuously going on in the school through “Adinath Counseling” from Baroda. This has helped us in knowing the problems of children and to work upon solutions. We visited other schools in G.I.D.C, Ankleshwar like Sanskardeep School, Lions school, Gurukul Vidyalaya. We talked to Principals. They also shared the similar feelings.
[Bapu completed reading. He thought for a moment and said…]
Bapu: The modern tools and techniques in education might have enhanced learning process, but remember the important goal of education is to help people analyze and understand the basic difference between truth and falsehood.
Bharat: You mean our education is still not focusing on these values?
Bapu: Up to some extent it is true. The education system should focus on what kind of place we want to live in, what kind of people we want to be, what kind of World we want to live in.
Bharat: I want to see a World full of happiness. That is my dream… your dream.
Bapu: Bharat, I am happy to see, at least you think like that. Otherwise today everyone is thinking for himself. No one cares for others… No one is ready to take responsibility…
Bharat: Yes Bapu, even my teacher also says like this. The people have forgotten the moral values, ideals and principles.
Bapu: Yes… Your teacher is right in saying so. This is a crucial period for all of us. Terrorism, bigotry, sectarianism are threatening our culture & civilization.
[Bapu stopped in between. His voice became feeble. Bharat saw his face. It was tensed and felt that Bapu was completely absorbed in his own thoughts. A lightening idea came to his mind and he shouted…]
Bharat: Bapu… if we decide to do something would you help us for that?
Bapu: Yes… why not?
Bharat: Ok… then… We will start a new Movement… ’A New Freedom Movement’
Bapu: [with surprise] A New Freedom Movement?
Bharat: [Happily] Yes.. Freedom from fear… corruption… pollution… violence… poverty! A New beginning… a new dawn! Bapu… at the stroke of midnight I promise you that we will start the work and will continue till our destination is not achieved.
Bapu: But Bharat… what exactly you are going to do?
Bharat: I will ask my school, friends and parents to join our movement… you told me, someone has to start… we are going to start…
[Bharat got up from the place and went to his bed giving a promise to Bapu. Bapu also promised to meet again. On the very next day Bharat went to school. He requested his Principal to do something so that the young students should get inspiration, learn good and moral values and share their role in the real development of Nation. An urgent meeting was called and in the meeting it was decided that the school will start awareness program. Bharat got involved with his work. Meticulous planning was done. Notice was given to all the students. The day and date was fixed. Bharat was eagerly waiting for the dawn of 1st August 2012 …]
1st August 2012
(In the assembly hall all the students were gathered. The stage was ready for the program. The photograph of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was kept, The Principal came and paid homage to Lokmanya as it was his death Anniversary. The school took the charge of taking inspiration from him.]
[Bharat came to the stage and said]
Bharat : Respected Madam, teachers and my dear friends… We all know the big roar of Lokmanya ‘Swaraj is my Birth Right and I shall have it’… now today once again it is the situation where we have to take oath to transform swaraj into suraaj.
[All the students in one voice supported Bharat. Once again in the night, Bapu was back in Bharat’s room. Bapu, asked Bharat…]
Bharat: Bapu, we are celebrating ‘Independence Day’ in a very different manner.
Bapu: In a different manner… differently?
Bharat: Bapu… normally on every Independence Day… we hoist the National Flag and celebrate… but this time we have planned it differently. You will come to know on 15th August.
[It was 15th August 2012, the team was ready. They carried out a Peace March appealing to the people to live with harmony and love. After the Peace March, students took the Pledge to do their duty for the sake of nation. Bharat narrated the whole incident to Bapu.]
Bharat: Bapu, you know we organized ‘Quit – India Movement’ in my school.
Bapu: What ‘Quit – India Movement’? How? What you did?
Bharat: Bapu… A new ‘Quit India Movement’. When we gathered at school we raised the Slogans like ‘Corruption – Bharat Chhodo…’, ‘Pollution – Bharat Chhodo…’, ‘Terrorism – Bharat Chhodo’. Then we took out a possession and made our people aware of the evils prevailing in our society. We have also decided to boycott plastic and polythene bags.
[pic.Our “New Quit India Movement March]
[pic. Tree plantation] [pic. Distribution of neem saplings]
[pic. A class of Nirman Balwadi]
Bapu: [Happily] This is a great idea… you are going on the right path my dear.
Bharat: Bapu, my school has started “Nirman Balwadi” to teach the children of poor workers and laborers. As they migrate the children even don’t have the basic education. So we are doing a bit for “Sarvashikha Abhiyan” and Bapu… you have more and more surprises…
Bapu: That sounds interesting!
Bharat: Bapu, apart from education we have also started a campaign for “Right to right food”. India is still struggling with malnutrition.
Bapu: It’s very sad to see that most of kids in our country are not getting right food!
Bharat: Bapu, we undertook a project of community working on construction site laborers. The children looked healthy but were lacking proper nutrition. So we started a balanced diet program. The result of this program is encouraging and the children are showing proper growth.
Bapu: How disheartening for me! The children, the future of our country, and our countrymen are not able to fulfill their basic needs.
Bharat: Our project was to provide nutritional food to these kids and measure and assess their progress. The encouraging results are as under:
[Fig. GRAPHICAL ANALYSIS OF SITE ANJALI HEIGHTS]
[fig. GRAPHICAL ANALYSIS OF SITE PETROFILS CONSTRUCTION]
Making a positive change amongst the students and society, the school celebrated a Week long program as ‘Gandhi Week’. It gave an opportunity to students, parents and society to peep into the life of Mahatma and learn the principles like Truth, Honesty, Non-violence, Co-operation, and Unity.
[pic. Our Peace March]
[pic.Banner of Gandhi Week] [pic. Students as ‘three Monkeys’]
[pic. Book exhibition] [pic. A book Review on My Experiments With truth]
[pic. Identifying picture competition] [pic. Dandi March]
On account of ‘Gandhi Week’ we specially organized a ‘Book Exhibition’. We exhibited the books related with Gandhiji’s life and his principles. It was an effort to make the students and parents familiar with Bapu’s ideals. Students from Class V to IX performed drama reflecting different events from the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
We decided to recreate the memorable ‘Dandi March’ for students and make them realize about Non-cooperation Movement. Mahatma Gandhi carried out ‘Dandi March’ on 12th March, 1930. We decided to depict the same route, by creating the places in the city.
[pic. Dandi March Route 1930] [pic. Dandi March Route in GIDC}
One of our students played the role of Mahatma Gandhi, students were welcomed by the people of Ankleshwar. When the ‘Dandi March’ reached Sanskardeep School a Warm Welcome was given. The March proceeded forward and reached Shree Gattu Vidyalaya which was the last stop, i.e. Dandi. Our ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ picked up a handful of salt and broke the “Salt Act”. The students shouted the slogans like, ‘Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai’.
[pic. Dandi March Sabha] [ pic. Our Gandhi Breaking salt Act]
The school made an effort to mould and direct the thinking of Young ones. It was “Childhood Sowing Change” and the school took up the responsibility.
[When Bapu saw this, his eyes blinked with hope. He started talking with Bharat]
Bapu : Bharat, there is a hope because of children like you! That’s why it is said every dark cloud has a Silver lining.
Bharat: That’s true Bapu… but it is not enough. I know a lot of work has to be done.
Bapu: Yes… I can see that poverty, food security, unemployment are daunting task.
Bharat: Is there any solution?
Bapu: Bharat… every problem has solution. The necessity is to work on that. When we got independence, I strongly advocated for connecting rural development to economic development.
Bharat: Yes I have read it where you said, ‘Gram Swaraj’ is the pillar of economic development.
Bapu: According to my vision each village should be totally autonomous and self sufficient. It should be self reliant in fulfilling the basic needs.
Bharat: What we find today is that the villages don’t even have enough basic facilities.
Bapu: Bharat… I am not against industrialization… to earn foreign exchange you invited many multi-national companies in India.
Bharat: Yes Bapu… today India is fastest growing market in the world.
Bapu: Before 200 years East India Company was established in India with same purpose… We have not learnt from our mistake. Foreign industries are earning profit at the stake of our lives. Many hazardous plants are working in India… polluting environment and threatening the lives of Indians.
Bharat: You have a point Bapu… Bhopal tragedy is the eye opener for all of us… more than 25,000 people died because of that gas leakage.
Bapu: Bharat… all these industries have crushed down the local market.
Bharat: That’s the reason, migration of rural people is still continuing. In villages there is no other source of income except agriculture!
Bapu: I have never drawn a line of distinction between economics and ethics. Economics that hurts the moral well being of an individual or a nation is immoral and therefore sinful.
Bharat: I know your message.
Bapu: The consumers’ appetite has become animal appetite. A distinction has to be made between ‘Standard of Living’ and ‘Standard of Life’. Along with material advancement a serious attempt should be taken to imbibe cultural, spiritual values and qualities.
Bharat: Bapu… Yes I remember in my text book. Your ideals are clearly given in the book
[Bharat took out the book and started reading the paragraph…]
The Topic – Economics with Ethics and Nonviolence.
- Full employment,
- Use of Country’s own resources,
- Preservation of ecology,
- Equal opportunities,
- Equal distribution of Income,
- First Priority to Rural India
All these Gandhian economic ideas are practical, useful and relevant in the present world. The village based economy of China and Israel, the small scale industry based economy of Japan are nearer to Gandhian ideas in some aspects.
These ideas are helpful for the developing economies like India. Though India is an agri-based economy – it alone cannot solve the problem of poverty and unemployment. After achieving Green Revolution still farmers are committing suicide in our country. And industrialization has also not solved this problem.
Bharat: [asking question] Bapu. If India wants to build its economy with social, educational, ecological, and spiritual way… what can be done?
Bapu: Bharat… India needs a strong political will power! India needs political stability!
Bharat: Bapu… I am too young to comment on today’s politics but what I have seen I can say our Class rooms are better than the Parliament… I have seen the members shouting, throwing papers… snatching speaker…
Bapu: Yes Bharat… I see everyday… as I am sitting in front of Parliament. It’s pathetic. I feel ashamed. Though Indian democracy is an inspiration to all democracy… we have to identify weaknesses and areas of concern which are negatively affecting the development of our nation.
Bharat: Oh! Now I realized that the President Abraham Lincoln quoted, ‘Politics is a dirty game’.
Bapu: Bharat, you might know Seven Wonders of the World but you must also know the “Seven Blunders of the world”
Bharat: [With surprise] which are they Bapu?
Bapu: According to me the seven Blunders are…
Bapu : Since so many years I am watching all the things going on… now I am so distressed… that I want to do something… I am going to write a letter to the President of India.
[Gandhi wrote a letter to the President of India]
Since long I am watching the political scenario of the country. It has changed in topsy-turvy way. Today Indian Politics is facing the problems of instability, criminalization and nature of recent functioning of Indian Parliament.
Since the Congress Party lost power in 1989, no single party has been able to secure an absolute majority in the Loksabha. It has virtually made coalition governments inevitable. Those coalition governments have a built-in-element of fragility. That has added to the instability syndrome.
If the government is unable to effectively carry forward its policies and reforms to its successful conclusion it is because of nagging anxiety about being forced to face a no-confidence motion in Parliament. Making economic decisions as a result of political compulsions can significantly impact long-term growth in the country. There are many instances when policies propounded by a political party while in power are opposed by the same party when it is in the opposition.
Second what the country has seen that healthy debate and discussions are overshadowed by disruption, conformation and forced adjournment of the house. This results in massive wastage of public money and loss of working hours of Parliament and finds itself disabled to discuss and deliberate on important issues.
I believe that lack of discipline in thought or intellectual dishonesty is inhibiting factor to fast paced development. Political leaders must practice discipline in making intellectually honest choices for economic growth.
I want to divert your attention towards criminalization in politics. It is responsible for the loss of faith in Parliamentary system and has thrived corruption to large extent. I think that fairness, transparency and accountability displayed by leaders are what instill confidence in Government, community and society.
I have immense faith and optimism in you and in the people of this country. I hope you will think and contemplate on this issue. The words are deeply shaded with my blood.
[Once again there was breaking news. The President of India received a letter shaded with blood from the Father of Nation – Mahatma Gandhi. The news spread everywhere in India. The people realized why the Statue of Mahatma Gandhi went missing. Bharat knew the fact. He decided to disclose all the things to the people. A Press Meeting was called. Bharat started addressing…]
Bharat: Yes… I saw Bapuji… I talked and discussed the very serious issues. He was completely heartbroken but he showed me way, Path… a path which is less travelled but I am sure, it will certainly make a difference, on behalf of every Indian I promised him… we will put the interest of our nation ahead of our personal interests, we will put in tremendous hard work and make short-term sacrifices for long term glory, that the fruits of development will reach to most needy and backward and I know…
[Bharat to Bapu]
Bharat: Bapu see the youths are following your steps.. I have a dream, you have a dream and they also have a dream. They are the “Rural Rock stars”—
Bapu: Yes. Meet India’s new grassroots Gurus, following my footprints…
[Pic. From India Today issue Sept.12]
[Pic. From India Today issue Sept.12]
Books: My Experiment with Truth — M. Gandhi
My India — Swami Vivekananda
Selections from Gandhi —- Nirmal Kumar Bose
India Today issue Sept.12
Images of M. Gandhi—www.google.com