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A letter to Mother India

Indian heroes of independence

Dear Mother India,

As we celebrate your 73rd Independence Day paying homage and remembering all the freedom fighters those who contributed and fought for the Independence of India, we salute you for standing strong and giving us the opportunity to be a part of the most beautiful motherland in the world.

Your rich soil, mountains, rivers, different languages, cultures, lifestyles, cuisines, architecture, traditions; also magical occurring of the nature that changes the colour and charm of the surroundings in passing months, all have been an integral part of our life. You provided knowledge of Indian civilization, offered a wide range of learning opportunities and made us exposed to all manner of the beauty of existence, with each experience leaving us with the tremendous pride of being yours. Thus, reflecting on life, there are few memories if any in which you are not central to life portrayals.

Growing up we always felt we are having the justest society in the world – largest democracy being the spirit. And continue to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world because it never believed in unprovoked attack and retaliation. Also believe that a piece of your heart will always be wherever your children are – even as they become adults, march along their own paths and have their own children. Our country rescued more than 80,000 Indian citizens who were stranded abroad for various reasons past few years. Your spirit always inspire the whole nation to stand and support the people who fall victim to natural disasters like flood, drought etc. as also unwanted incidents like an accident, terrorist attack etc.

That said, Mother India, we are sorry that for quite some time now apparently we are not taking care of you in a manner that you truly deserve. Though the country has grown from deprivation under colonial rule to become a global power, it’s disheartening to see our beautiful nation being consumed by several major concerns which provoked a sense of anxiety in many of us.

We must admit, we are often baffled watching you quietly enduring country’s deplorable socio-political and cultural dilemmas; often fuelled by tokenism-ridden politics and patronage politics. I guess as you withstand all this, you draw strengths from your very own ancient Indian principle of compassion and non-harm towards all living beings.

Dear Mother India, it reminds us what Mark Twain once spoke about you: “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”

Country’s founding fathers wrote a constitution for their dreams; dreamt of making a difference in the lives of people, having an impact, leaving the country better and creating a living legacy that survived their physical absence.

But, what we see today are things like rising inequality, illiteracy, unemployment, child labour, malnutrition and violence against women. We see farmers’ suicide, corruption and poor healthcare. Also see chaotic urbanization leading to scarce and expensive natural resources like clean air, land and water.

As citizens of 21st-century India, the sensation of being silent observers to wrongdoings has become normal for many of us. The situation is worrying because if we, the individuals, lack commitment and conviction the constitution can’t help the country.

Someone has justly remarked, that ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.’ However, we need to recognize that eternal vigilance is also the price citizens must pay for meaningful democracy. And, in so doing if we are to raise the bar for citizens, we must also do so for country’s lawmakers.

Another matter of deep concern for the country is the role of a section of media. Its bias and hostility are driving false narratives and disproportionate coverage to the extent manipulating the truth to selfishly further an agenda.

A closer look at the nation’s state of affairs points up our deviation from requirements of ethical principles and practices leading to alarming tolerance for dishonesty. And, it’s this alarming tolerance holding India back from realising its full potential. It’s unfortunate since you have the true potential to be an innovative powerhouse and compete on the world stage because of your children’s inherent intelligence and creativity.

Isn’t it the fact Mother India that of the last twenty centuries, for the first several centuries our Bharatvarsha consistently secured the top position in terms of contribution to world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as per capita GDP. Also, the moral standards of the Indians were very high.

My beloved, if our India, the fastest-growing major economy in the world, could count in world affairs for its prominent role in a wide range of world problems from climate change and global health to peacekeeping, maritime security and cyber governance, then, I find no reason why we can’t reconnect ourselves with eternal wisdom of the country’s rich traditions – core civilisational values. This in effect means to remain committed to progressive politics, policies and priorities based on absolute transparency and accountability.

It’s a huge challenge though. But, isn’t it true Mother India that we have the capacity to make ‘YOU’ land of happiness and land like no other. It’s just that we need to be united and stand together as one nation toward a better tomorrow, different tomorrow.

With your blessings, we are capable of taking any challenges, capable of moving changes and capable of restoring sanity.

Concluding, I earnestly pray for your will and guidance, our beloved Motherland. I implore you to give us wisdom and the courage to choose the right path no matter how narrow the gate is.

Always Yours,

Debasish Bhattacharyya