Let’s do keep our tryst with destiny
Sixty-one years in a nation’s life makes it tempting to look back on the things that went wonderfully right and those that went terribly wrong.Updated: Aug 14, 2008 23:36 IST
Sixty-one years in a nation’s life makes it tempting to look back on the things that went wonderfully right and those that went terribly wrong. But the funny thing about standing on an anniversary line — August 15, 2008 — is that the past and the present turn into a runny glob with all of us finding sepia-toned memories or history book data desperately being brought out for a day from the closet.
That alone isn’t what Independence Day should be all about. Because with the past being nailed to the present come aspirations and expectations for the future. It is one thing to ho-hum about Vision 2020s and India in 2050. Quite another to use the last 61 years — warts and all — and aim for the Big Stage. And by the Big Stage one isn’t only talking about the Republic of India playing a larger, far more important part in the comity and the economy of the world, but how “We, the People”, to pick up a phrase from the Constitution, bring about a change.
The change, as has been the case till now, has come mostly from individual enterprise, with the State in its many avatars trying — sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully — to catch up. There are those many blips, of course, where the State decides to stay put altogether. Which is when the connect that we feel these days between today and tomorrow becomes ominously invisible. For a nation, to stress on a truism, that is growing in leaps and bounds, the existing levels of poverty and backwardness remain staggering. In fact, with the shine of India becoming more and more visible, the shadows too appear darker and sharper.
India is on the right trajectory because India, at last, is thinking Big. Which does not mean that there is one single pot at the end of the proverbial rainbow. But as a nation that has self-respect — a vital ingredient for a nation to earn respect — there needs to be consensus on bottom lines. India after six decades of self-rule hasn’t got everything right.
But definitely it has got more things right than wrong. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been standing here on this happy bridge that connects the past to the present and the present to the future.