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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Republic Day Message to Modi and Obama

As a Pluralist Indian American Muslim, I am a big follower of you two, the greatest orators of our times, and earnestly looking forward to hearing a powerful message of hope and inclusion on this Republic Day. 



My interest as a social scientist is cohesion and future of India’s pluralistic ethos, which are threatened by a few short-sighted, but powerful rabble rousers among us.

Mr. Modi, you surprised the nation with your inclusionary statements made on November 1, 2014.  As a Pluralist, I whole heartedly welcomed your statements and congratulated you for taking that step. You said, “The BJP should be like a bouquet so that every Indian felt there was a flower in it that he or she could identify with. “And, “A poor and illiterate person living in a slum should think, ‘Yes, there is a flower for me in this bouquet’. That is the only way he can make his voice heard.”

Mr. Prime Minister, I admire you for saying that, even though I am not your Chamcha (sycophant) blindly praising or even worshiping you, I am pleased to take a critical approach towards your policies with the intent of preventing you from falling from grace.  I will keep you on your toes.

Since you made that statement, a few rogue elements  are hell bent on throwing your bouquet into gutter; your legacy is on the line.  You can go down as the greatest Prime Minister of India or finish your term as a another promiser and talker, the choice is clearly yours, indeed, you alone are the driver of your legacy.

We hope you have not given the explicit permission to anyone to destroy India’s social fabric that includes but not limited to pushing, accusing, and maligning India’s fellow Citizens who are not Hindu. But your silence is really bothering us all, yes all of us Indians. We need clarification today, did you permit anyone to do what they are doing on your watch? 

SAB KA SAATH

Let’s begin with sab ka saath.  We have to have the following actions in building a cohesive India, where no Indian has to live in apprehension or fear of the other, and feel included in the vikas. 

Indeed, your dream of sab ka saath and sab ka vikas can be achieved in your first term with the following steps;

1.  Today, on this Republic Day, let India’s flag be hoisted together with fellow Indians who are Adivasis, Atheists, Bahá’ís, Bos, Buddhists, Christians, Dalits, Hindus, Jains, Jewish, Muslim, Sikhs, Tribals, Zoroastrians and every Indian representation.  Reach out and bring them together to the Red Fort,  and let them together proudly  hoist our Tiranga, then go ahead and give them a hug, it will speak million words of your good intentions. It will generate the spirit of sab ka saath on a social basis.

2. Declare that India is God’s own country, and is represented by every race, nationality, ethnicity, language, culture and religion. We see God as one, none and many; and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names, and as Indians, we should not be biased towards any one. Aspire for an India that the world can emulate; a pluralistic democracy where every one can eat, drink, wear or believe whatever he or she wants to in her pursuit of happiness. 


3. Announce that from this day forward, every Indian will have equal access to education, employment, housing, business loans, entrepreneurial opportunities and if anyone is denied that opportunity, you will step up and stand up against the violators.

4.  Every Indian wants justice and demands a fair treatment of every one of the 1.31 billion Indians; rich or poor, connected or not, we must come to grips with the social and community life to create an exemplary India that will become a model nation in the world. Create an Equal Opportunity Commission based on US Model. 



PLEDGE TO ONE INDIA 

You can institute a pledge, that every public office holder from the Peon to the President of India and everyone in between must take  and live by it. Violation should disqualify him or her from holding the public office. Let it be monitored publicly.


  • I pledge allegiance to India, one nation that stands for liberty and justice for all.
  • I pledge that I honor and treat every Indian with "full" dignity.
  • I pledge that all individuals would be treated on par.
  • I pledge that I will treat all religions with equal respect, equal access and equal treatment.
  • I pledge that I will oppose any act that treats any Indian less than me.
  •  I Pledge that I will work for an India, where every individual can live with security and aspire for prosperity.
  • I pledge that I will protect, preserve and value every inch of India and every human soul in India
This would be the first step towards ensuring a Just, peaceful and prosperous India, that can sustain its progress and peace.

MODELS OF CHANGE

As a powerful Prime Minister, if you just speak up, it will make a big difference. Take a look at the other world leaders who spoke and have made the difference as examples;

President Obama made a bold statement about accepting the same sex marriage - that one single courageous act changed the nation. The antagonists suddenly found themselves going along with it, and state by state the same sex marriage is becoming the law of the nation. We still got ways to go, but it was his singular stance that eliminated the apprehensions and fears of fellow Americans who are Gays, Lesbians Transgender and bisexual men and women.

For the first time in the history of mankind, a religious leader took the bold step of including Hindus, Pagans, Atheists, Gays, Lesbians, Jews and Muslims as God's children. In one single stroke he fell many barriers between the people.

Every human wants to be included, and when that Jesus's embrace wraps every one, the nations will become stronger, secure and will function effectively.German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, ‘Islam belongs to Germany," in a clear repudiation of anti-immigration protesters gathering in Dresden and other cities. Merkel said her government was doing everything it could to ensure migrants were being successfully integrated into German society regardless of their religion.

I salute Merkel for taking the wisdom road in building a cohesive Germany, where no German has to live in apprehension or fear of the other, and instead focus on prosperity, peace and security for every German. Not only is this good for Germany but will become a model for other nations to emulate. Indeed, “Islam belongs to Germany”.

What Merkel has done will pave the way for positive acceptance of Muslims in Germany. paving the way for forging sab ka saath, resulting in sab ka vikas. Removing tensions and letting people feel welcome and become contributions towards nation building.

SPEAK UP

Of course, it is not your mistake for excluding Muslims or Christians from your language, address or embrace; unfortunately, that is how you were trained.  Each one of us is a slave to or our nurturing, but as a Prime Minister of the nation, you may consider looking at the “exclusive” Madrasas of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak and the training an average pracharak gets. 

You have an opportunity to mend, what Swami Vivekananda had missed; to give hope to the nation and explain and practice the full meaning of Vasudhaiva Kutumbukum.  We hope you would pave the way for an inclusive India, where we don’t make any distinction between one Indian and the other.


Mr. Modi, the Battle is not between Hindus and Muslims, it is between Good and the bad, good is represented by those who mind their own faith as Quran advocates or Bhagvad Gita suggests – it’s your own Karma that will determine your outcomes; there is no compulsion in faith, whereas the evil is represented by hurting and discriminating others for differences in belief.  Let every Indian be free to breathe, drink, eat, wear or believe whatever he or she wants to. I hope your party supports your stand.

YOUR STATEMENT ON THIS REPUBLIC DAY


“My dear fellow Indians, you are, yes, everyone of you is an Indian and that is all it matters to me, as your Prime Minster, I am here to make sure, you have equal access to justice, employment, schooling, loans, housing, health care, food, places of worship and retirement.” You can count on me, and together let's build an India where every one of you is comfortable with the other regardless of what you speak, believe, eat or wear. "


PLURALISM

What is Pluralism? We have crystallized the definition of pluralism to, “respecting the otherness of the others and accepting the uniqueness of each one of us”. Pluralism is nothing but an attitude of live and let live, and it is applicable in every aspect of life including culture, society, religion, politics, gender, food, ethnicity, race and other uniqueness’s. 
There is not a major City in India, where you will not find people of different faiths, cultures, ethnicities, races, nationalities and social backgrounds working, eating, playing, marrying, and doing things together. 

We need to prepare ourselves for those eventualities to prevent possible conflicts, and lay a good foundation for nurturing goodwill and effective functioning of the societies. Exclusive communities will become a thing of the past.  If you live amidst others, you must also respect the otherness of others, as you expect them to do the same for you.

You are who you are, and I am who I am. As long as we don't mess with each other’s space, sustenance and nurturance, and mind our own business, we all will do well.  If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of the 1.27 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Pluralism is not a set of rules, it is simply the attitude of live and let live religiously, politically, culturally and socially.  We are committed to building cohesive societies, where no human has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of a fellow being.


ME?

I am indebted to my motherland for making me who I am, and want to find joy by returning her favor. The song from Pukaar, pukaars me.   “Jis dharti ne mujh ko janam diya, my usi ka pyar paa raha hoon, Jitna bhi mujh se hosakay, my us maa ka udhar chuka raha hoon.” My interest is seeing a cohesive India, where no Indian has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. That is the free India I dream of, and am committed to do my personal share of the work towards that goal through my writings, speeches and actions.


Jai Hind!


OUR FLAG

Mike Ghouse
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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is frequent guest on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major newspapers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are atwww.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

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