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Withering Indianness.

India, Jan. 1 -- While discussing with an experienced and scholarly retired IPS officer, regarding the current socio-political scenario in the country, he expressed his fear of the gradual disintegration of the nation. He put forward various reasons in support of his argument. Due to lack of visionary leaders who are acceptable to people of all States, castes and classes, the nation may be fragmented into small nations.

During the freedom struggle both our leaders and people had a single purpose of freeing the nation from foreign slavery. Everyone was ready to suffer and die to achieve this goal. After the Independence till the death of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, we had an all-India leader. Gradually, we witnessed fragmentation of nationalism into short term narrow loyalties. Caste, religion, language and region became priorities than concern for the country.

Many intellectuals and experienced government officials also express the same view during formal and informal discussions. They do not see strong positive signs to provide an alternative to the present chaotic situation. Demand for separate States will move a step further and turn into demands for separate country like the Khalistan demand in the past and Kashmir at present. Political leadership is becoming weaker by their corruption, sectarian mindset and lack of lasting, inclusive and broad vision.

Every time during discussions which are often dominated by such negative and pessimistic attitude I used to intervene and make a firm positive statement: "No sir, such fear is unnecessary. This country will stay united and face all challenges from any part of the world provided we concentrate on the young people who constitute the major part of our population". India is young because 55 per cent of the population belongs to the age group of below 25 years. Seventy percent of population belongs to the age group of below 35 years.

Unfortunately, this powerful section of the country is led astray by corrupt politicians and fanatic religious groups. A large number of the educated young people are indifferent to the realities around them because they are preoccupied with their career and personal ambition. They are exploring the possibilities to migrate and settle down in other countries for prosperity. Many young people who are angry with the oppressive political system are hijacked by militant groups to be misused for their destructive agenda against the country.

The urgent task before the nation is to motivate the young students from schools to university level to preserve their Indianness. They should be motivated to place concerns of the nation above self. Teachers, social workers, media personnel and organizations should be motivated to create awareness about the dangers of disintegration. If young people are made aware of the sacrifices our freedom-fighters made for the independence of the country, they would surely respond positively. They should know how the visionary leaders of the past worked for keeping the people of diverse background under one flag and Constitution.

It is a pity that many of Church-owned schools are indifferent to national issues and continue with their age-old routine programmes without making any review. They neither make efforts to update themselves about the socio-political scenario of the country nor do they help their students and teachers be sensitive towards the cause of national integration. Many of them refuse to learn from the experiences and experiments others are making. The future will hold them responsible for their failure to motivate young students to use their energy and talents to preserve the unity and integration of the country. They need to give priority for the Indianness above everything. Caste, creed, color, language, political ideology and family relations should come after it.

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Publication:Indian Currents
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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