By Sudhansu R Das
The famous nationalist writer, Bankim Chandra coined the most powerful mantra “Vande Mataram” which had inspired thousands of Indians to fight the mighty British Empire. The writer had done this to arouse patriotism among the Indians. Men, women and children chanted the mantra and became fearless to face the bullets, swords, boots, hoofs and batons of the marauding British soldiers who were backed by a large number of Indians for whom patriotism was a taboo.
Those nationalist writers, poets and thinkers will be in terrible pain if they find the present condition of Bharat Maata who is being torn apart due to caste, language and religious divide in the country. Cross border terrorism, hunger, unemployment and decadence of the ancient Indian culture would have hurt the nationalist thinkers more than the British atrocity.
The Mantra, “Vande Mataram” which had united the common man to achieve freedom should be revived to build strong Indians who can think freely, innovate and build an India of their dream. A developing nation has little chance to safeguard its border, its culture, its people and its economy unless the nation puts serious effort to become very strong the way Japan did after World War II.
First, the country has to revive its educational institutions right from the primary school level to Higher Education level. All political leaders, right from the Sarpanch Level to the Member of Parliament should collect minute details of the educational institutions in their locality. Minute details means students-teachers ratio, availability of play ground, laboratory, cleanliness of wash rooms, condition of furniture in school, quality of class room teaching, performance of the educational institutions, cleanliness of the campus and health of the students etc should be with the elected representatives.
Like educational institutions, the profile of all the water bodies should be prepared and kept with the public representatives who will be accountable for any deterioration of the water bodies. All details of the crops’ diversity and fertile agricultural land, forest area, native plants, local handicraft and handloom traditions should be properly documented by the Sarpanch, MLA and MPs for nation building.
Both ruling and opposition party leaders should distribute election tickets to candidates on the basis of the status of schools, agriculture land, water bodies, crop diversity, forest cover, weaving and handicraft traditions etc. Conditions of roads, bridges, rivers and lakes should be examined before giving tickets to the aspiring candidates. The patriotic leaders of both the ruling and the opposition parties should take this hard decision if they really want to make India strong and self-reliant in every field.
India is too vulnerable in the area of education, research, defence technology, artificial intelligence and in creating inclusive opportunities for all. The physical and mental capacities of the Indians should be developed to build a strong India in order to face the challenge of China and the never ending threat from Pakistan. If India becomes strong and self-sufficient it will automatically command respect among the world leaders. India should not always plead them for support; it should go ahead with an eye for an eye approach if the situation demands.
Second, India has to make progress in the field of science and technology; more innovation in Artificial Intelligence will help India counter China who is in a position to crash aircraft, sink warships and jam defence systems of any country with artificial intelligence. Industries should be given a deadline to prove their worth and give the nation a few original products which can make India proud. Instead of wasting time on ordinary mechanic jobs of assembling imported parts, they should spend more on research and development; sponsor research works in universities and develop schools. The industrialists have taken enough from the country and they should invent new products to grab a bigger share of the global market. There is no place for a technologically backward country in the dog eat dog type of global competition.
Advanced nations make developing nations feel like jokers in the international forum. Let at least two of our Universities find a place in the first 100 Universities of the world in the next five years which will prove the GDP growth has met one of the main objectives of a country. As per Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022, no Indian University is among the top 200 universities of the world. Indian education has suffered for many decades and cannot be better unless there is dedicated effort by a group of patriotic people.
Third, the role of the media is not to report half a story but the entire “Five Ws” with minute details. Let the media not run out of ink or thoughts when India desperately needs the media people to educate, reform and inform people for building a strong India. Media should prepare the profile of every village, district and state on its own to inform about the overall progress of the country in detail. Let the media read the capacity of our schools, universities, hospitals, judiciary, industries and banks and inform people whether they are giving justice to the country.
Let the mantra, Vande Mataram be recited in Parliament, in every school and in every institution to recharge our youth for nation building. Safety and prosperity of the country is above any religion and region. This is high time for all the patriotic people of India to desist themselves from the greed of political power and build the core strengths of the country. Let the mantra turn into a flame and burn all kinds of language, caste and religious divide in the country to create an all encompassing “One India Feeling” for growth and prosperity.