We came across this stunningly simple motto during our training at the academy, years back.
Three sentences that summed up the essence of patriotism. Three sentences that told us what to do.
This was a time when words like ‘glasnost’ and ‘perestroika’ had just begun to enter our vocabulary and you still did not need a ‘day’ nominated by some corporation to celebrate your mother or father or your neighbours dog! Slowly patriotism yielded to some other politically correct or incorrect ‘ism and schisms started to form. Today we all realise that while what the Naxals are doing is incorrect, their grievances are genuine. That what Kalmadi is doing is wrong, but we can only rave and rant and blog about it.
Folks, lets take stock. Lets ask ourselves that question – What am I doing for my country?
Here are a few things that we can do to improve our lot and the country – please add more as they come to your mind.
1. File an RTI. How many of us have actually done this? Finding a cause – a glaring instance of corruption, inefficiency or anything that needs to be addressed – should not be a problem.
2. Support a Desi NGO. These are those unsung heroes, who are doing the real dirty work, one-on-one, without much support. It is easy to support the big guns – send the cheque in the mailers that they send you and get the receipt for the tax deductions and claim the benefits. But for once, do it for the cause and NOT the tax benefits!
3. Teach. Not necessarily with an NGO. Educate a street urchin, a servant, a salesman, a colony sweeper…anyone, but please teach anything worthwhile – a language, a procedure (e.g. to send money orders), a health habit (e.g. washing hands)…something.
4. Be responsible – follow rules. No – we are NOT like this only. Rules are meant to be followed, never mind if the rest of the cars behind you are honking away at you for stopping at a red light on an early Sunday morning. Rules are meant for reasons – sensible reasons (most of the time). Follow them. Be responsible – live responsible – take responsibility for your actions. Stick to queues, don’t bribe if you can help it …let the passport, driving licence or whatever take a little longer.
5. Appreciate your country. It took me one year in a peacekeeping mission in Congo to realise how wonderfully blessed we are to be in a country like India, that is Bharat. Folks, this is one fantastic country. Appreciate it, revere it, love it and work at making it better (see motto above). It is in fashion to belittle your nation and very easy to bad mouth it, but ask yourself that one question…What have I done to improve my country?
6. Be positive – never give up, keep trying. Is desh ka kuch nahin ho sakta…is desh ka bahut kuch ho sakta hain.Koshish to kijiye!
Lets do it folks, let us be patriotic and proudly so.[This blog post is NOT for any competition sponsored by any company. It is my dedication to my country on Independence Day 2010.]