India First: The choice has to be made now
Sunday July 7, 2013 marked the dawn of a new beginning. A group of around 40 like-minded citizens assembled at a small gathering. It was a diverse group of people stemming from different backgrounds and vocations. The group comprised young entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, journalists, media professionals and even housewives who had devoted their lives to the well being of their families. However, what connected this diverse and varied group was a common cause and purpose. An object of providing the people of this nation with a platform to have their voices heard; the purpose of giving the citizens of this nation an opportunity to step up and make a difference; the goal to provide those with latent potential an opportunity to shirk Indolence and indifference and to participate actively in forging their future.
It was resolved that those present would step up, don the mantle and kickstart this movement of the ordinary citizen. It was decided that all those with the intent and desire of making a positive contribution would be given an outlet to voice their opinion. The key to the group’s ability to contribute would be to spread the message across all sections of the society in a bid to foster awareness of the civic rights that democracy bestows on us all. The meeting concluded with the conceiving of an idea. It was an idea conceived with the collective energy and the intransigent positive belief in a successful outcome. It was decided to call this idea ‘India First’.
India First is an initiative which would enable the citizens of the country to make a positive contribution to the political landscape. It is an evolving idea which is fostered and nurtured by innovation, enthusiasm and passion that vests deep down within each one of us. It is an opportunity which is available for each one of us to exploit our potential to the fullest in the realisation of national objects. It is a prospect to bring about a positive change in the way things presently stand. It is a platform for exhibition of creative ideas that the people of this country are blessed with. It is a movement embodied with the fundamental principles of democracy, collective participation and participative progress. It is a movement which transcends the barriers of caste, creed or gender and is characterised by the synergy of diverse sections of the society.
A level of indifference has resulted in a state of affairs riddled with delays, failures and scandals. Public administration is riddled with mismanagement and national interests have become subservient to certain private interests. The common man is aware of the humungous growth potential that India holds which has remained dormant and untapped. Gone are the days when people preferred passive indifference over activism for a common cause. It is the youth that are leading from the front.
The Bhagvad Gita rightly observes that “Parivartan hi sansar ka niyam hai”. Perhaps the time for change is fast approaching. Any external change has to be preceded by a change in the mindset. A couple of decades ago, India was considered a backward, third world country with limited scope for growth. However, this view has been contradicted with the phenomenal rise of India Inc. India is the one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Indian companies are rated as top companies in the world and India has produced some of the best managers and CEOs. The youth of India have been at the forefront of this change in perception backed by concrete results. If the youth can play such a decisive role in the world of business, they can contribute as effectively to the political process in order to secure a better future for themselves and the generations to come.
The forthcoming Lok Sabha election presents the youth with a challenge and at the same time with an opportunity to exhibit their potential to bring about a positive outcome. With the looming prospect of a fractured political mandate, it is perhaps time for decisive action in order to put in place an effective administrative machinery capable of functioning without impediments and strangleholds exerted by vested interests.
The people of the country have to make a choice. A choice as to whether they would be mute spectators and passive observers or whether they would actively participate and strive to make their voices heard. A choice to complain or to contribute, to pave their own path or continue to quietly walk the mangled roads of mismanagement, to accept things the way they are or to stand up for change. It is indeed the duty of every citizen to create awareness of the political process and the power common man yields to bring about positive outcomes. Great stories often have humble beginnings. The indomitable spirit of the average Indian citizen can and will ignite an enduring fire which will light up the path ahead.
As the saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” With the formation of ‘India First’, the step in the right direction has finally been initiated. It is for each one of us now to recognize our individual role and responsibility and the ways in which we can contribute as a collective force with a common object. This first step, with our collective efforts, has the seeds to culminate into a journey of a thousand miles. A journey embodied with elements of passion, integrity, initiative, development and prosperity.
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Zerick Hosi Dastur is a Guest Contributor at Niti Central.