[Thanks for the image: Wikipedia]
I saw the movie directed by Richard Attenborough yesterday. There are so many moments in that movie that is required by people world over to realize today in this time and age. What Mahatma, or as we Indians lovingly call him, Bapu, made us realize was that no person should be judged based on religion, caste, vocation, but be accepted as a fellow human being. There are so many wonderful quotes that it had made me order a copy of "My Experiments with Truth."
Mahatma's message is so powerful - Truth and love shall prevail over any other force created by mankind. I can go on, however, I need to stop raving about the movie and instead focus on how we should apply his teachings to the world at this time and age.
Today, the world certainly has more money and materialistic comforts than it had before. I have a computer that I can make do pretty much anything, a home that is a bungalow compared to the homes during the terrible times of poverty faced in India and around the world. Yet, it has come at a price. It saddens me today, as I write this that we paid for materialistic comforts by trading humanity. I, for one, certainly believe that it was an unfair trade.
[Look at them ready to start a race... Awesome picture btw]
Let us take Bangalore for example - the (erstwhile?) garden city of India. I remember coming here a decade ago and being marvelled at the beauty of the city. It had gorgeous parks in every nook and corner of the city. It was famous for its two parks - the Lalbagh (meaning Red Garden) and Cubbon Park (which was right across the humongous, gorgeous architecture of the Vidhan Soudha). I remember travelling through Richmond Road and Malleshwaram and thinking this is what I call the perfect mix of nature and modern constructions. There was no dust, as the gardens used to almost soak in the dust. The weather was gorgeous, never an extreme and winters were delightful, sitting inside home and sipping on hot tea and chilli bondas.
Fast forward to 2009: it's the epitome of a city bursting at its seams, and worse mis managed to the core. Worse, people have lost their friendliness once and for all. Everybody is in a hurry to one up another. Competition is good, but is it good at the cost of losing friends, being lonely?
It is time that people realize that the change they are waiting for is not something that will be delivered to them in a platter with all the niceties involved. It is something that WE need to demand from the government. As V in V for Vendetta says, "People should not be afraid of their government. The government should be afraid of its people." We have a right to demand from the government that serves us (they are public servants aren't they?) to better our roads, to plan our system. We outsourced the work to them because we have better things to do - making money for the country that we ought to be proud of to live in.
India has come a long way and we are growing at a fast pace. However, what we need to realize is that we should be learning from the mistakes that the so called "developed economies" went through when they went through the very same process. Remember the mafia wars, the gang wars, the hatred that went through the various cities across USA, through the wars in Europe - we cannot let India go through that as unlike them, our country is tremendously diverse.
There's a very interesting line mentioned in the movie - A British official says, "India is not one country. There's a Hindu India, a Muslim India, an India of provincial rulers." Well, we showed them that united we stand, divided we fall, and still we seem to have forgotten what our forefathers themselves decided to do demand and provide independence to our nation.
Let us unite again to build the dream India that the world will be proud of. Let us honor our heritage, our traditions, our culture and stop being selfish pricks that we have become today. Let us not judge anyone by their religion, caste, or vocation. Let us treat everyone with respect, no matter what their economic state is. Most importantly, let us stop capitalizing on each others weaknesses to earn a quick buck, but build on our strengths. Let us build the glory India that we all dream of, but never have the time to build. LET US MAKE THE TIME. And my fellow citizens, my good friends, my brothers and sisters, NOW is the time.