about anything under the Sun!
Its the 15th of August – Happy Independence Day, my dear India! 63 years and counting…And all things considered, it has been one impressive journey. Of course, there is so much untapped potential, so much more to be done, and it is easy to be critical of everything that’s wrong with the country. But I choose to be positive today – and in that spirit, it is so worth looking back and appreciating how far we’ve come as a nation. After all, what was a suppressed British colony not long ago is now a democratic nation of a billion plus people, staking claim to be one of the world’s superpowers. Not bad, not bad at all!
Even as late as 10 years ago, the notion of India as a superpower seemed laughable. There was so much wrong with the country, and to a large extent, there still is. Mired in corruption, saddled with the sad legacy of a divisive caste system, a political establishment that is largely self-serving and a growing rich-poor divide all suggest a seemingly hopeless future. To predict a glorious 2020 vision for India at that point either had to be sheer lunacy, or visionary genius. Thankfully for India, it was the latter, and in the form of one of our most loved Presidents, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.
From his humble beginnings in a remote town in Tamil Nadu, Dr Kalam’s ascent to the highest office in the land is a remarkable journey – one that was built on integrity, on merit and on his very stellar accomplishments. It was therefore, only natural that he envisioned a similar path of greatness for the country he so dearly loved. When Dr Kalam, an apostle of peace and love, and an epitome of simplicity, shared that vision, it suddenly seemed very believable. And now, having witnessed the terrific growth and progress over the last decade, it is heartening to see how realistic that vision was, and how India is so wonderfully on course to achieving her true potential – this despite all the challenges and the hurdles that continue to plague this nation. Clearly, the journey has only begun and there is a lot more to be done before that goal is accomplished but now there is hope, there is optimism and there is vigor in the pursuit of that goal. That can only bode well for India, and for the rest of the world. Go India!
I received at least a couple of Independence Day messages this morning that were laced with guilt – talking about how much could be done, and how as individuals, we were doing nothing more than complaining, not really helping the nation’s cause to any degree. Sadly, very true! And the pity is that it is not that hard…it is actually very possible to start making a difference. In fact, the only way we are going to accomplish true greatness as a nation is if each of us does our bit. Sure, we take small steps at first but a lot of small steps add up, and nothing is impossible when those steps start to align in the right direction. So, today, this Independence day, as I read my pledge, I solemnly swear to stop languishing in my guilt of not having done anything and instead start acting – by this time next year, I will have made a difference to this wonderful country. No matter how small, it will still be a difference, and one that I am proud of. Jai Hind!