Nationalism Vs Development in India

(Sanjay Sinha)

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Politics… the word when strikes to my ear sevokes rather strange and mixed emotions. The entire meaning of the word has taken an altogether different form, not because of the people but yes because of our fellow political beneficiaries. Democracy, nationalism, nation and countrymen, these words are used as a bait by these politicians to overshadow the thought process of the poor countrymen, particularly during election. I am a person who has nothing to do with politics, though being a responsible citizen of India, we always anticipate and look forward to the government which can categorize our country into the line of Developed Nation.

In the current scenario, the country has observed fervor of Nationalism that has emerged and taken a giant shape. The atmosphere of recent parliamentary election has been a talk of the town which discussed Nationalism on one platform and Development on the other, which made both the issues mutually exclusive to each other.

A deep and critical analysis will make the picture even clearer that both Nationalism and Development are complementary to each other. The political giants holding the power and authority have to devote themselves to understand the real need of the nation and make some necessary amendments to make an overall development of the nation in each and every sphere.
Today, when I listen to the views and discussions of these Political Bucks, my heart pains and I get emotional that these people who talk about Nationalism have never perhaps given a thought about the freedom-fighters who have shed their blood and sacrificed their lives to liberate this country from the clutches of brutal Britishers.
Who else than I can say this, as I am sole witness of the sufferings being enthralled on these freedom fighters. Being a son of the freedom fighter who was not only arrested by the British government but who suffered a brutality to such an extent that nobody else can imagine. My heart aches with the pain when my father used to tell the incidents of that time, his sufferings his zeal and his utter devotion towards this country. He suffered a severe torture along with his fellow friends and in the year 1943 he was convicted by the District and Sessions Court of Muzaffarpur and sentenced to a rigorous imprisonment of seven years. Though all these have no significance for any political party or perhaps any government of independent India and the proofs of sacrifice of hundreds of freedom fighters like my father are just confined to the FIRs lodged against them with the Police Stations, records of the Central Jail, some documents present in the Collector’s office and the Pension Pay Orders issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
Being a child, I often used to ask my father as to how he became a revolutionary at such a young age. His answer always came with reference to the abject poverty in which they grew up and saw most of the people in the society suffering from this. When my father was arrested and presented in court, the British judge asked him –“no lawyer in your defense?” In response, he replied to the judge, to his utter surprise in English, “Your honor, I belong to a family not destined to get two meals and simply cannot imagine to hire any lawyer in my defense.”
The seed behind most of the revolutionaries, like my father, was a strong belief that the poverty with which they are suffering through is mainly because of the British Rule. If they have to get rid of their present deteriorating condition, they will have to uproot the existing British Power from the country. Unfortunately we did get freedom from the British but not with poverty. And that is the real cause of the whole problem. The people with power are not or they don’t want to hit the real chord. They will and they are continuously talking about nationalism but they will never talk about Poverty, they will never suggest measures to eradicate this ever existing problem.
Now, this again put me to thought…… ‘Are We Really Independent’.
If that is the case, what is the significance of the definition of the nationalism for those freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the country ? The freedom fighters, the real heroes of the Nation, like my father and his fellow beings, are no longer in this world, but the vision of these patriots should not be overlooked . About 77 years ago when revolutionaries chose the path of revolt, they dreamt of India devoid of poverty, a country where equal rights will prevail, a country which will provide education to all, food and shelter to all, where the discrimination and corruption will not prevail. Their contribution though little, but did play a role in our Freedom Struggle. But have we given them their due credit, their eyes are shut but still their vision persists.
During the regime of Atal Bihari Vajpaye, a provision of two percent reservation in the jobs for the children/grandchildren of the freedom fighters, was made, though it did not pave the way to carry forward the ideologies of the martyrs. Well, we do not look for any such benefit as announced by the government. We only want the legacy inherited by the children and grandchildren of freedom fighters be duly respected and paid its due. The successful implementation of poverty eradication programmes thereby paving way for the poor downtrodden destitute to usher into the new era of development, could be the real tribute to them. The feelings and emotions of the freedom fighters deserve to be connected with the rulers of independent India.
The political party and the leaders should consider it as their duty to understand the ideologies and attitude of those soldiers who fought with the British rule. A real tribute to them will be relive the dream with which these fighters have lived and died. The political leaders should try to make nationalism and development of the country not contrary but complementary to each other.
Can they give us such commitments that the development of the country will be taken on top priority??
Lastly, if development of the country is not seen in isolation and brought within the definition of nationalism, it would be the best tribute to our freedom fighters. It is not out of place to mention that the freedom fighters (who still survive) and their families should be noticed by the government with due respect to ensure that they do not go into oblivion. This can definitely help remind the government of their duties and responsibilities towards the common citizens.

(Sanjay Sinha)

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