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#BetterDemocracy: Values In A Democracy

One of the few things I remember from my social studies from school is that democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people. This clearly signifies that the most important force in the democracy is the people. If a country is prosperous and harmonius,  it is because of the people, if it falls into decadence, it is also due to them. But what is the first response of most Indian people, for the present economic and social condition of our country. The leaders are bad, the laws are not being enforced properly or the blame is put on other people or other classes of society.

Everyone is at fault except ourselves. I am perfect but my leaders are corrupt. This is our predominant notion. How is this possible? Our leaders are corrupt because we elect them and we elect them because we ourselves are corrupt in our own levels. We break rules, avoid paying taxes as much as possible. The reason being if others can cheat why not me and I can easily get away with it anyway. I am not saying I am perfect and include myself in these faults. It is also shocking sometimes to see how people defend some politicians, saying they may be corrupt but they also did so much good. It is clear to me that if I am honest, then I will only choose a honest and responsible person as my leader, otherwise not. The fault in the system and the laws is also due to our negligence and our apathy towards them in general.

When our former President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, went to address the European Parliament, he received a standing ovation from the audience. While he said many great things, I quote a few words pertinent to this article.

“We say in India, where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character;

Where there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home;

Where there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation;

Where there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.”

While the rest of the world was applauding these words, did we even care to listen.

Herein lies the solution, righteousness in the heart. When we don’t try to make money by unfair means, when we don’t try to cheat the system and our own brothers and sisers, there is only one way for our nation to go. It will progress beyond our wildest dreams and aspirations.

Is this rocket science? Go to any corner of India, to the poorest village and ask a old lady, how to be happy and successful in life. She will tell you with a smile, don’t cheat or lie, if you can help others but don’t cause trouble to others and be content with your lot. This is the wisdom innate to every Indian, we have forgotten our own values.

In our national emblem, is inscribed the term “Satayamave Jayate”. If the sons and daughters of India follow falsehood, then how can we as a nation triumph. Only when the majority of India, conduct themselves by truth, non-violence and self-control, the founding principles of our great nation, can we take our nation to her former glory. Let us reform ourselves, before we expect our leaders, laws and system to reform itself.

If this sounds like philosophy, where else can we discuss philosophy, than in  our nation, which is the mother of most of the religions and philosophies of the world. If I criticise my country and my people, it is because it is my right and duty enshrined in my constitution.

I end with the final verse of the Gita as expounded by Swami Chinmayananda, which is very relevant to the theme of this article

Krishna says  “Where there is righteouness and higher values of life, along with dynamic readiness to act, such a nation will have prosperity, victory, progress and firm, steady, progressive, creative policy, this is my opinion.”

Jai Hind

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