Do for India as you would have Her do unto you

16 Nov

It isn’t every day that you’re exposed to a seamless blend of Sanskrit shlokas and science.

It isn’t every Sunday that you leave home to travel 100+ kms to a fledgling university set up on a barren, sandy piece of Rajasthan with the burning ambition to make young minds fertile.

And it isn’t every day that you stand up, goose-pimples running down your spine, as you sing the national anthem. I don’t know about you but Jana-Gana-Mana does two things for me: it makes my hair stand and it makes me sing without hesitation, without going off-key.

Try it, stand up and sing it. Now.

Yesterday was one such Sunday when Dr Karan Singh, Chancellor of NIIT University held forth. If you ever want to see with your ears, find the opportunity to hear this man wherever he may be speaking, on whatever. He has the rare ability to paint with words.

The good doctor said many things of immense value and in the few minutes that he spoke, I’d wager that no one came away without having learned at least one new thing.

One such lesson in his lecture was the graphically simple yet evocative interpretation of how Goddess Lakshmi is represented and the fact that She stands for more than mere material wealth.

But what opened my eyes was the firm reminder of something we studied in Civics class in school as children but have clearly forgotten as adults. We are a nation of people ready to fight for our fundamental rights, citing the Constitution. But we forget that we also have some fundamental duties to the country to whom we belong.

If we could get our SUV-driving, law-bending, rule-breaking, gun-wielding, hate-creating, statue-building, palm-greasing, money-siphoning politicians and businessmen and even ordinary paan-spitting citizens to remember, we might still get this country back on track.

If you want something from India, be prepared to give as well.

And I quote, from the Constitution…

It shall be the duty of every citizen of India: –

* To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

* To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

* To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;

* To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;

* To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;

* To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

* To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;

* To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

* To safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

* To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.

If you still want to see it in black & white, go to Part IV A on page 45:

Constitution of India

And then go do something good.

Thank you Dr Singh.

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6 Responses to “Do for India as you would have Her do unto you”

  1. Chirag November 17, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    Hear Hear…

  2. anshu November 17, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    Thank you Mohit. Are the Thackeray’s listening?

  3. Swapan Seth November 17, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Nice

  4. Debashish Ghosh November 17, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    Very true and very nice. Woke me up today and made me feel proud once again.

    Thanks Mohit. Felt nice!

  5. Neeraj Kashiva November 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Rare but valuable thoughts. Need of the times for the youth of today. Hope these values will also be reflected in the culture at NIIT University to go a long way in grooming the leaders of tomorrow and bring like minded people together to build a better future for India and mankind. Thanks Mohit and wish you all the best.

  6. Shivaji November 17, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    This really got me thinking of how its compulsory in Bombay… oops *Mumbai* theaters to play the national anthem before every movie. I just love the experience because once in our mundane lives, standing up and listening to Jana Gana Mana reminds me of our country. It reminds me of days of my innocent childhood when everything was black and white. When there was no politics… when cops meant good and smugglers meant the bad guys. Its funny how today I would be more careful of a cop and be more likely good friends with a smuggler 😛

    I feel they should start the anthem funda in Delhi or even in movie theaters all across India. Its a good reminder to us, that we belong to something bigger than our small lives.

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