My dear Fellow Indians,
As we proudly celebrate the 69th anniversary of our independence, we must have a full Thaali in front of us to know our motherland sufficiently. It must have every ingredient in it from khatta, meetha, peekha, teekha, khara, patla, gada, sukha, kuchcha and kadva.
Thaali is a balanced plated meal with every ingredient in it; Sour, Sweet, saltless, tasteless, hot, liquidy, pasty, dry, wet and bitter respectively as the words in Hindi-Urdu or Urdu-Hindi translate it.
Our Motherland 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.
Every day when I open my blog about India, I salute their utterly unselfish valor. I am not listing their names deliberately, as I don’t want to miss any, there were so many of them, but I request you to write the names that come to your mind in the comment section below, by next year, I hope we will have a complete list to work from. Believe me, I can write the names, I have passed my IAS and I know my India well.
After the independence, we were blessed with a visionary leader Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru for nurturing and delivering a pluralistic India to our generation (born after independence). Dr. Ambedkar gave us a solid constitution that will carry us far out into the next millennium; Maulana Abul Kalam Azad laid a great foundation for education with the IIT’s that India is cherishing now. Sardar Patel, the iron man kept the nation together. I shudder at the thought of so many other nations that have gone haywire. Despite Gandhi being shot by an extremist, we did not run amuck, and did not go the wrong way; thanks to Nehru and Patel for saving the nation and putting it on the right path. The two legged balanced path of social cohesion and economic prosperity. I salute all the four and others who have shaped India.
Modi gave a lot of hope for change and I hope we realize that, however, his eerie silence on issues is tearing the social cohesion apart, causing the nation to be a one legged nation. We cannot be blind to it, we must acknowledge it, and all of us must join together and ask him to restore the social dharma back again. If Modi speaks, people will listen. He needs to speak tough and take us back to “live and let live” philosophy of India.
If you are a genuine supporter of Modi, become his critic, tolerate criticism from others, and help him fix the problems rather than bulldoze them or remain silent. Demand the release of Teesta Salvad, a great patriot of India. I would praise Modi, if he stops his chumchas from shutting a critical voice of the nation. I will guarantee you this, without the voices of Teesta, democracy will be the loser and our freedom would be the victim. Remember Emergency rule?
We must also commit to defend the freedom of others, we must cherish the otherness of others and let everyone freely breath, drink, eat, wear or believe whatever suits them, and crush the thoughts of forcing others to behave the way we want them to behave. No one shall be a slave in free India.
Our combined philosophies believe in one world; Hinduism describes the world as Vasudhaiva Kutumbukum, the whole world is one family, the idea of Ek Onkar (one) in Sikhism, and idea of one family that we are all created from the same couple as Quran puts it and Jesus embraced every one regardless of who any one is... similar philosophies are grounded in all our religions.
A few don't follow their own heritage and resort to thievery, loot, murder, terrorism, rioting, rapes, infanticide and other evils that destroy the fabric of the society, but a majority of every group goes about their own way, living their life with struggles and ease and don't even bother others. We should build upon the 99% of population and not on the less than 1% that does not follow any principles.
Through the years we have expressed the highest degree of maturity on handling extreme situations; the more divergent opinions we hear, the larger our heart grows, the bigger our embrace would be and we can cushion more differences. Let’s continue to honor the concept that there is always another side to the story, as finding the truth is our own responsibility. I am proud of my heritage and am proud to be an Indian-American.
Mike is a speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist, TV-Radio commentator and a human rights activist committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His info in 63 links at MikeGhouse.net and writings at TheGhouseDiary.com