The article below is a guest article by a regular reader and guest author Anosh Doctor.
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A Message to My Countrymen
by Anosh Doctor
Good morning India…….!
On this 15th day of August, 2008, I wish to share a few of my thoughts with my fellow Indians. Today, we claim to have proudly completed 61 years of Independence and often, we state; “I am proud to be an Indian”. But, today, I ask, “How far have we gone to respect our freedom.” Are we abusing our freedom?”
“Is it enough to feel proud over what renowned Indians did earlier?” I think what’s more important is how we repay, which is infact shameful enough. Look around you. Life’s a mess. There are so many people with hope in their eyes and fire in their belly, but no food and clothing, and are only left with a tear in their eyes. Still they try to smile through it and pray hard and even harder each day for help. But, who is to answer their prayers. Do we hear their cries? We are all ignorant, aren’t we? Is this the way we salute our freedom? We, often, forget that it is not us, personally who deserve this independence, but the nation as a whole. Then, why do we leave out the materialistically weak?
We are all equal, whether we accept it or not. So, let us learn to stay that way, to live together. It’s important to make everyone feel wanted. Looking down upon the poor and downtrodden, or looking up to rich, is not what was meant to be, because believe it or not, we were born with nothing and will die with nothing. There’s no secret element to being special. All you need to do is believe yourself and others around you to be special. Make everyone feel special, coz that’s a true Indian.
Be an Indian, not today, not tomorrow, but for every day of the year. Learn to believe and treat yourself as an Indian. Remember, a show of love or tribute to the nation is much different from real love and respect for our country and nationality. Even if we do not hoist the flag or chant the national anthem today, but, for each day of the year, we say a good word to someone, lend a helping hand, or even think a good thought – – – that’s what’s more important. Even a simple “Thank you” to a rickshaw driver or a waiter means a lot. It makes him feel content and needed. To spread goodness, it is essential to be its source i.e. be good yourself.
Now we often hear each other saying, “Why should I do this?”, “Why should I help”, “Don’t be so considerate, others won’t think about you.” How far are we correct when we say such things? Do we give the benefit of doubt to others? We need to individually and collectively work towards a better future for all (and not a few). This is possible only through our good deeds.
When we think of ourselves as one nation, it comes without say that, only pious actions will result in a positive and uplifting future. Impious and reprehensible actions will only bring about negative, unwanted and troublesome reactions to endure in the future. The nation itself fosters its future according to the good or bad activities of its citizens. So whatever reactions this country will endure in its future, whether it be harvests of plenty, a good economy, or starvation from famine and drought, victory over our enemies or destruction from war, depends on the way we live today.
When we see, therefore, that people in certain areas of our country are suffering from drought, that farmers cannot grow their crops, that fires are consuming vast forests and destroying homes, that storms are causing destruction and devastation to cities and towns, or incurable diseases are affecting more and more people all the time, we should not miss the message. It is easy to ask ourselves, "Why has God done this to me?" or "Why has He allowed this to happen?" and then try to put the blame on someone else. But why should such reversals in life not happen to us? What have we done to avoid it? Usually nothing.
When we stop to consider that as many as a hundred million animals and a billion birds are slaughtered every year, and hundreds of thousands more are tortured and killed for useless purposes, does anyone wonder why there should not be a heavy reaction to the cries of pain from so many innocent living beings as they are butchered in order to satisfy mankind’s thoughtless cravings? Everyone wants to be happy and live in peace, but how can there be peace when so many other entities suffer or are killed each day so that their corpses can be sold in supermarkets?
This is coupled by the widespread torture of people by people. There is torture and fighting of people for being of a different religion. “Why do we always let our past affect our present?” Further, family crisis, such as discontent, arguments, separation, and divorce, community wars, such as gang wars, crime, robberies, murders, and rape, and industrial and economic wars as well. These affect millions of people every day, and it is nothing more than a reflection of our own consciousness.
If I’m not wrong, perhaps the most important idea developed when we think of religion is the concept of Karma, which means "action," that is, anything that you do. This is solely the responsibility of us as individuals. But, how many of us consider this before we act? Not many.
Recently I came across an interesting note;
“Yesterday was History,
Tomorrow is a mystery, But,
Today is a Gift – That’s why it’s called ‘Present’ “
Let it be a gift for everyone and not only us few. Let each one of us cherish our independence together and not at the cost of each other.
Our being an Indian, lies in our hearts and our actions towards others……So, why not lend a helping hand to everyone who needs us…..I don’t think it would hurt our ego…Would it??
Something that most of us must have heard, but seldom implement;-
“Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds”
Fifty to Sixty years down the line, when I’m old and I look back at my life, I want to feel proud to be an Indian and not just say that I am.
About the Author:
Aanosh Doctor is a student pursuing Chartered Accountancy and a Bachelors in Commerce at Narsee Monjee College, Vile Parle, simultaneously. He has been inspired by his dad’s experience, beyond measure. Anosh has always been interested and focused on helping the "daily man" as he would call the everyday people that we interact with, and make it a point to work towards it daily. A compassionate and considerate touch is what we all need in our lives and he ensures that he touches as many lives as he can.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org