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Way Forward


Where does Republic Day 2023 find India and its people? The achievements are many, the challenges even harder, post Covid and the Ukraine conflict. Uttarakhand faces the consequences of unregulated urban development in Joshimath and several other cities and towns. The political scenario is getting increasingly polarised on interpreting the ‘idea of India’, particularly as regards how it is reflected in the Constitution. While India cast off the colonial shackles seventy-six years ago, it still struggles to find its rightful place on the global scene. Forget having a veto in the UN Security Council, it is not even a permanent member. And it isn’t doesn’t make the slightest difference to the United Nations!

The cultural and regional diversity makes it a unique and vibrant nation, but the essential ‘Indian’ identity has not fully emerged at the level where it matters. It is shocking to see that divisive politics still finds traction. At the same time, however, Indians have increasingly become an aspirational people, no longer content to accept shortcomings as ‘fate’. Being as argumentative as ever, they just need to choose the narrative that best serves their purpose, not just as individuals or communities but as responsible ‘Jivatmas’ – because many of the challenges are visibly beyond national boundaries.

The way forward will require discipline, sacrifice, responsibility, hard work, resolve and positivity. There are many role models of the past and the present to be inspired by, depending on one’s personal inclinations. With this wealth of ‘Sanskars’, there should be no place for negativity. Feel free to question but with the intent to learn more, become better. Personal aspirations are more easily realised when they receive support from the environment, so help create that system. The danger of psychological isolation that is one of the side-effects of the present day ‘Samudra Manthan’ needs to be countered through active social engagement. The better-off, having achieved much of what they set out to do, should further discover themselves by giving back to society. The ego should provide the drive, not the direction, which is the job of the awakened mind. See all things in the right perspective so that the right priorities emerge. With the right focus, the ‘Indian’ will certainly appear to take the nation forward.