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Independence Day 2020 – Let’s begin our work towards a game changing year 2021

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This time will be remembered-11

 By Sunita Vijay
The year 2020 has heavily affected our lives to find space for itself in world history – as a messed-up year to be pondered over and contemplated for a long time. This weirdly onerous time continues to leave ineradicable stubborn marks on our individual and collective psyches – 2020 has carved an indelible impression on our mind and life, completely changing the definition, priorities and meaning of our existence. If we do not evolve into a better version of ourselves after emerging from this situation, we will never learn our lessons well.

The 1.32 billion people seem to have 1.32 billion agendas, and thinking about the national big picture is often either an odd luxury or an academic privilege. Amidst the hustle of office work, the clutter of political rancor, and the yokes of family obligations, we miss the woods for the trees. Yet, in times when irrelevant information clouds us, clarity is strength, and Independence Day is a national opportunity to take stock of the country’s priorities and pathways.

So many challenges standing at the door – changing climate, epidemic of fake news, pandemic of a notorious virus, the crisis of trembling democratic foundations, more-and-more redundant jobs with IT advances, the wolf of toxicity in nationalism’s sheep-clothing, scarier forms of terrorism, remarkable privacy violations, astounding embezzlement of religious sentiments, and a general post-modernist blurriness. But through this bewilderment, a vision for a New India will be the haze dispelling foghorn.

Being in a unique ‘Catch 20-20’ situation, the enthusiasm of celebrating national and religious festivals has undergone change with the humdrum of the pandemic catching our nerves. When COVID-19 made its presence felt in our lives for its vicious reasons, we never visualised that it will torment us for so long. The virus bears 19 as a surname but the spine-chilling year 2020 is carrying all its dues on its shoulders. It will be cursed for years to come. The carried-forward heavyweight of 2019 is taxing for this angelic number that behaved so devilishly. Till date, no dependable respite is seen, leaving us with hope that this adversity would teach us multifold and it at least turns out to be a spiritually rich year.

In conversation with friends, I found that many are ready to mend their ways, amend their lifestyle, reinvent their priorities and switch over to a simpler and healthier lifestyle. If the blessed ones can have empathy for those who lost their livelihood, are ready to help those in need, are engaged in preparing the future generation for a sustainable living, and as a nation if we work towards making ‘Make in India’ slogan into a practical, fulfilling reality, 2020 could become a game changing year. It will lay a strip for this country and her nationals to take off and soar to greater heights.

On this Independence Day 2020, we as a nation and as part of a world confronting this pandemic, with an infamous virus zooming in the air, witness to the suffering and bravely fighting it out; we are at the threshold of a new, unpredictable future. If we work towards building India as a brand, not dependent on anyone, with happy-employed-engaged citizens, a country high in gross domestic happiness, a nation that is safe and prosperous with law-abiding citizens, the day may not be far when we would dazzle the world with our progress and shine. It is a slow road to the dream that we visualise today but achievable with a different outlook and mindset.

A bunch of well-intentioned, comprehensive, collaborative and contemporary measures can help achieve India’s vision across multiple fronts, and channelise our demographic powerhouse towards productive ends. If we work with reverential attitude towards all forms of life, create a mutually-beneficial social climate, fortified economy, achieve zero poverty, assuage hunger, have clean air, wholesome education, impeccable health infrastructure/facilities, a culture of peace, justice, and strong accountable institutions, good governance, convert our massive population into productive human resources – a new India is not far, a new India inspired by Gandhiji’s talisman of watching out for the last person standing, and fueled by core Constitutional values.

I look forward to the day when we can make a farmer feel valued for feeding our country, make a teacher feel cherished for teaching our future, make a child feel proud for the work and economic opportunities available here, make a girl feel safe, empowered and respected in her motherland, make senior citizens feel important and socially secure, make the soldiers feel esteemed for their patriotic service, make every job honorable, make each citizen love the country with pure and inclusive patriotism. I hope that with the opportunities masked as challenges that 2020 has provided, this Independence Day ushers in a practical and workable resolve for ‘New India’ on the above lines.