Hope is one of the most integral emotions of human life.Any action or an event can generate hope for thousands of years to come.Such is the power of hope that it can sustain long strenuous period of hardship just in expectation of something good to happen.Parents struggle in the hope to give their children a better life and generations struggle altogether to give their posterity a better future.From first struggle of Independence in 1857 to the day of Independence in 1947 , it took us 90 years to give ourselves this beloved nation known as ‘India’.So many ideals were enshrined in the constitution with a hope that India will do great as a nation.In 2022, we will turn 75 and we are still waiting for the day when we can say that Hope generated in 1947 is now a reality.
But why is our hope not delivering the desired results? The answer is simple.Hope alone cannot lift the life of an individual, family or a society.It has to be backed by sound understanding of reality and equally qualified response to the subtle demands of reality.Along with it, a bit of luck is also required to deliver. However, the luck factor should not be over-valued because it is not the primary factor in deciding the fate of any individual or any institution.Primary thing is that our actions should match with our mission and our mission must match with our vision.The vision of India as a developed and peaceful nation providing dignified life to its citizens has to become a mission for its citizens.
The increasing tendency of Indians to dissociate their destiny from India is a classic case of ignorance and miscalculation.In wake of protectionism, India may be the only country always willing to provide safe shelter to people of its own origin.Therefore,Indians cannot dissociate their aspirations from their country’s destiny.In fact, its time for us to introspect that why we are not able to translate individual success into collective prosperity.Why we pray for rains and fight with the floods at the same time.Why all our waste, whether solid or liquid ,flows unabated into the public space.Why even 6 lane or 8 lane highways are not able to handle us?Why we are not able to manage our public spaces well?
India is staring at an economic slowdown.The hope of seeing India as an economic powerhouse is overstretched if we do not change our public behavior.India is spending humongous money on cleanliness and sanitation activities like rag picking ,sweeping and making toilets.While it is good that we have brought cleanliness into focus, but important question is that can public expenditure replace public behavior? The answer is a straight no.Public behavior starts with public and ends with public.People have to change their mindset and values else we will have to pay high cost for our laxity on these issues.With over 30 percent of population still malnourished , spending public money because we cannot change our public behavior is no less than a crime.Indians will have to wake up to reality that India is their country and only they can make it better as Americans have made theirs or Chinese are making theirs.There are simply no shortcuts and blaming system is unlikely to help us.
Marx detested ‘hope’ and pointed out that hope is nothing but opium of oppressed.It provides a false moral support to classes who think someday their lives will get uplifted.Similarly, we are under false impression that government can manage all the problems on its own.In fact, it is more in our collective hands than in government’s hands.Small steps like installing groundwater recharging systems, avoiding littering in the public areas and using the toilets hygienically are all in our own hands.Is it so difficult to do these things or we are simply used to shirk our responsibility? Whatever reason we may present to justify our unruly public behavior, we have to be mindful that it will ultimately fall back on us.The nature or ‘Karma’ has a tendency to pay back in the same platter in which we serve it.
Action at individual and community level is the need of the hour.Merely hoping that things will improve is similar to intoxication which may make you feel high but ultimately results in hangover.Hope without an action is likely to inflict more pain than benefit if it is not accompanied by strong and rational actions.And hence, one needs to take bold actions to translate hope into reality.The destiny of society is highly dependent on its individuals.The societal action inspired by individual willingness can bring great dividends for a society.Indians of contemporary generation should bring a decisive change in their behavior.The practise of values like enterprise and discipline along with passion of nation-building is enough to make significant change in our environment.Let us not bet too much on hope, instead let us do our required bit.And after we do our required bit, we can definitely hope for the best.