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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

A common man's prayer

Rajendra K Aneja, Hindustan Times   November 06, 2013
First Published: 09:34 IST(6/11/2013) | Last Updated: 09:44 IST(6/11/2013)

Where we agree that all human beings need not think alike, and in this diversity exists the seeds of progress.  Where we employ persuasion to change the views of others, rather than bullets and swords.  Where human beings do not equate with each other based on language, caste or religion, but ideas and compassion. Where it is possible for us to feed and clothe families without compromising our principles. Where people appreciate that to save and build a life is noble, but snuffing it out is a monstrosity.

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Where we accept that the gods we worship are of purely personal concern, and we must confine our prayers to our homes and hearts.  Where we realise that all religions advocate care, concern and compassion for our fellow human beings.  Where human beings are judged by the quality of their work, rather than by their castes. Where the brutality in the hearts of people is replaced with fraternity.

Where people live by values and integrity and are not mere slaves to the craving for gold and silver. Where people obey laws, not due to punitive fears but because it makes sense for everyone to do so. Where violence, fires and riots are replaced by endeavour, patience and cooperation. Where we realise that destruction is easy but construction is arduous. Where people do not derive a vicarious delight from the wounds and grief of others.

Where the destiny of our country is determined by thinking people and not by politicians guided by astrologers. Where the Prime Minister and his cabinet do not freeze during a crisis, but actually run a government proactively. Where politicians cease behaving like demagogues and demi-gods who can do no wrong. Where ministers do not fiddle for political and economic gains as citizens are massacred and cities burnt to cinders in communal riots.  Where political leaders do not demotivate the civil service, police and army, to settle personal feuds. Where public offices become trusts to serve the people, and not privileges to get rich instantly.

Where the economy is able to meet the revolution of rising expectations.  Where we focus on augmenting the size of the economic cake rather than fight over its fragments. Where about 300 million citizens, living below the poverty line do not remain deprived; but are assured of food, clothing, a roof and a classroom for their children.

Where we live harmoniously with our neighbours and share our culture and technology. Where performance becomes the criterion for growth rather than regional background. Where we realise that by avoiding taxes or travelling ticketless we only cheat ourselves. Where children go to school and playgrounds, and do not beg at traffic signals or work in subhuman conditions. Where the old are respected and the sick cared for. Where we realise that eventually we have to answer for all our deeds here.

This is a common man's prayer for India.

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