Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sovereign conscience

This quality is severely lacking in most of our leaders (& people) today. Else how would you explain inaction on the numerous national issues we face today?

When political figures can instigate this, simply to gain some political mileage, little can be said about their leadership qualities. North Indians or South Indians, they are all our fellow countrymen. Besides, Maharashtrians themselves are spread all over India. In places like Bangalore, you'll find plenty of them along with other "outsiders" who have made it their home & are flourishing, contributing to Bangalore's progress in the process. Without all those "outsiders" Bangalore would not be the thriving cosmopolitan place it is today. Such narrow mindset will not provide great leadership.

The issue of millions of illegal immigrants, especially from Bangladesh still lingers. Perhaps it is not in the interest of certain political parties to deal with them, lest they lose their vote bank. The influx of illegal migrants, in such great numbers, puts immense strain on us. This need to be realized & our national borders should be protected. However, no leader has achieved that. Our borders continue to be porous, leading to infiltration of people & terrorists. Then, there are other important issue like the displaced Kashmiri pandits. We have a home for millions of illegals but can't provide a safe home for our own countrymen.

Naxalites have been terrorizing with increasing impunity. This should not be tolerated. Repeated attacks by them have clearly exposed the under prepared law enforcement machinery, yet our home minister is oblivious to these hard facts & seems to live in his own make believe world. The same goes for terrorists across our borders. Our nation gets attacked day in & day out, yet action on our leader's part is lacking. As a matter of fact, terrorism statistics show a sharp increase. Interestingly, our home minister lost the Lok Sabha election in 2004 from the same place he won since 1980, indicating the voters there no longer had confidence in him, yet he landed up being in the second most important position in the union cabinet. However, he won the Rajya Sabha seat the same year.

The border issues with Pakistan & China continue to be unsolved. China is up to it's usual tricks, it even claims major parts of Arunachal on it's maps when the matter is still under dispute. However, this too fails to elicit any significant action from our leaders. Read this from Arun Shourie to know how such monumentally important national matters are treated by the media & leaders alike. There are a few truly concerned leaders trying to raise awareness on this, yet it falls on deaf ears.

The ultra liberal generation of today seems to think that it is not necessary to respect our national anthem or our flag. They question, can patriotism be forced? They question, is respecting the national anthem or the tri-color the only measurement criteria of one's patriotism? Sure, these can't be forced, but anyone who truly loves their motherland will not fail to show his/her respect either. Our freedom fighters, the brave sons & daughters of our beloved nation, laid their lives protecting the dignity & respect of our national flag. Our constitution has laid out certain do's & don'ts to our national flag, the least we can do is respect that. Is it too much to ask to follow our constitution?

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