This refers to the article “The rediscovery of India” by Gopalkrishna Gandhi (Aug.15). India is destined to lead the world in building a new order focussing on love, understanding and universal brotherhood, first among our own countrymen, then among neighbours, and then the rest of the world. For that we have to recollect the values and ideals expressed during the struggle for independence. We seem to have forgotten our great leaders. This was mentioned by Nehru who once said: “You don’t change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall.”
It is a shame that the Prime Minister has to now address the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, caged within a bulletproof enclosure and surrounded by a number of high profile security officials.
The country has not only become a great disappointment for “Nehru 2013” but also for the aam aadmi. Except for his voting rights, he has no power. Though there is some visible improvement and development in some spheres, it is saddening that even after six decades of independence, millions still live under the Below Poverty Line grouping.
Jawaharlal Nehru would have definitely taken up all those issues which confront the nation in a forthright manner. We live amid corruption, poverty, hunger and self-serving politicians, with no end in sight to our travails. The august institution of Parliament has been turned into a forum for mutual recrimination and one-upmanship. Then, there is the dangerous trend of captivation by the personality cult. This obsession poses a veritable danger to democracy.
Mr. Gandhi has quite rightly exhorted us to elect honest people with a sense of idealism and a willingness to sacrifice their interests for the country’s development.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan,
India achieved independence and decades have passed by, and so have men with rare integrity, patriotic fervour and a belief in oneness and togetherness. Corruption is rampant. India needs to rediscover itself, but where are the leaders who believe in us? We also live in constant fear, hatred and violence. Many go to bed without a proper square meal.
Mr. Gandhi’s portrayal of Nehru’s thoughts reminded me of the play we enacted in our training academy on the theme of Gandhiji coming alive today. Distorted idealism and modified morals have become the order of the day. But one thing that seemed paradoxical to me was his telling us that “we all are descendants of Asoka, Rajendra Chola, Akbar and Shivaji,” while trying to drive home the point of Nehru’s dislike towards the personality cult.
The corporate world has strengthened its stranglehold on all vital institutions, including Parliament, established to ensure social security and equity. In the absence of towering personalities on the horizon, the collective will of the multitudes must be channelled to stem the rot.
Viswananthan Nair S.,
The country needs a thorough overhaul. The personal agenda of politicians and our casual attitude on a number of issues are the two most important issues. If only we become more serious in choosing our electoral representatives there could be a gross change in the attitude and agenda of our politicians, ultimately resulting in a rediscovery of India.
The article reveals the author’s love for the nation but suffers from intellectual confusion. It appears to be based on simple errors of thinking. With the passage of time, ideas and ideologies will change. Nationalism stands for dedication and loyalty to the nation. Those who are at the helm of national affairs are not nationalists but an aspiring sect who want international affinity. A sense of patriotism has weakened.
Bir Singh Sangwan,
Here was an article that highlighted the dismal state of affairs, the uncontrolled scams, the total disregard for ethics and morals … the bitter list goes on. This only goes to show where we stand after 66 years of “independence” from the British Raj. I only hope that at some point we take earnest steps to curb this madness and experience heartfelt pride on Independence Day in the years to come.
Agreed that when compared to the stalwarts of yesteryear, the leaders of today pale in comparison. Many can never deliver a speech, Nehruvian style, in both Hindi and English. But, we are a working democracy, a free country and many are employed. We have communication tools today to learn and spread ideas that did not exist before. Our lives are far more free from the drudgery of the past. We need to stop blaming our leaders for the absence of idealism and purpose and take charge as proud citizens. There are many unsung heroes who volunteer and try to help the underprivileged in education, in creating new livelihoods and in restoring green cover. There are heroes who come from the villages, experimenting with better farming methods and improving yields. There are also role models including entrepreneurs in the private sector who help the economy expand and create jobs. We do not need to spread cynicism.