Thursday, January 18, 2007

4 Pillars of Respect

Come one, come all ye cribbers of India Inc. Take an atlas and a compass. Place the sharp end on the dot that’s Delhi. Now cut a wide swathe such that your circle extends upto the boundaries of the EU. Now step back and look at the circle. How many countries in this “circle of hope” have regular elections? Or a vibrant fourth estate? An independent judiciary? An army that stays put in its barracks? Or all of the above? I pen my thoughts knowing that in some countries in this circle, for writing the last 2 posts, I could land in jail, have my teeth knocked out, or both. Or worse. Thus, to that accent faking johnnies, who cringe and wail about India, doing nothing else, I say - get a plane ticket out of here.

However, incorrigible MBA that I am, let me say “ On the other hand ...“ ( I just love saying that !) . On the other hand, there is very little else to talk home about. My beloved land lies buried deep under lies, politics, sex and greed beyond parallel. Dissent lives in the shadows, while intrigue basks in the warm Indian sun. In short, I’m an Indian in Wimpistan.

How have we come to such a pass? Where’s Gandhi? Asoka ? Swami Vivekanand ? Shivaji ? Ranjit Singh? Akbar? Tipu? The Buddha? Is all history a pack of lies? Did these people really spring from the land I walk today? Where is our way of life? Our culture? Morals? Why the morass despite potential? Where are our heroes?

Looking at all this, I believe what has made Wimpistan possible is a fundamental lack of respect amongst us minnows. Respect that leads to self - awareness, thence to humility and therefrom a desire to grow and achieve. What are desired are four pillars of respect, to build a strong society.

I believe these to be :

Respect for the aspirations of women.
Respect for our environment, our culture.
Respect for the laws of the land and its people.
Respect for the rights of the individual.

This is my litmus test for a true democracy and an Indian. We all have a long way to go to clear this test, but it is good to start today. The future is too precious to continue dithering.

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