Col Harkirat Singh Dhillon is a retired Army Officer who is a car rallyists, a mountaineer and an avid reader. The writer has traveled all around south east Asia by road and loves the outdoors.

The Correspondent: There was a tryst with destiny  and there was a yearning- an awakening in a young nation that was idealistic, hopeful , filled with youth  with visions of hope and of leaders and politicians walking hand in hand with the common people, the entire population of the largest democracy in the continent / the planet and in the entire galaxy which we call the milky way,  and creating a new world by personal example and leadership.

 The yoke of the oppressor had been lifted and now  the time had come to prove that we were better being independent than otherwise. 

Could have been done and should have been done but the development never really took off and what we gained in the unification of the provinces / princely states by creating a country, our country, our nation was lost in the corridors of power where the omnipotent God of jealousy and deceit raged over all reason and blew out the candles of harmony and peace forever.

Left in this void was a ragtag collection of vitriolic , self centred, narcissistic, self centered individuals who had visions of grandeur and no means to achieve that other than by methods undemocratic,unconstitutional,unjudicial  which were fuelled by an army of cronies pandering to the whims and fancies of their masters suffering from inferiority.

Yes , the system was subverted ,the movement was stalled , the progress became a crawl and along with this came the decay in the moral values with greed , lies,corruption and dynastic politics taking centre stage.  Gone were the days of the Raj but alongwith that what went up in smoke was the very  unity and the synergy that had been maintained by all political parties to achieve the common goal of Independence.

The politics of indifference was unveiled and with every throw of the dice the numbers started favouring the coarse , crude , vulgar , populist politics who had started coming to power for their own petty gains who continued to remain in power by elimination of their rivals by any and all means at their disposal. The core had not turned rotten yet but the disease had taken hold and though briefly there was a glimmer of hope under a new leader but his sad demise in a friendly country turned the story into another wish which could not materialise. Now the apple is really long gone and there doesn’t seem to be an actual saviour in sight or any leader who can take the country to a better destiny and the people to a better future.

 It is the right of every human being to work and live for a better time and in a secure environment  and to provide the good things in life to his family.  In this day and time and and 73 years past Independence we still have two- thirds of our citizens in poverty and trying to get by on less than Rs 150 / per day and of these there are 30 % who are surviving on even less. 

With  such statistics isn’t there something that we have been doing wrong all these years, should we be even considering making iconic structures and borrowing high technology to make uber trains go at rocket speed and other such ideas which do nothing for the greater good of the common man. If I cannot provide my poorest citizen with a roof to sleep under, protection from the cold, food for his family and a means to earn his living than Sir I for one would not like to be called a leader.

Give a man a sense of pride, a sense of belonging , a sense of security and see the change that comes over him.  Yes there will be a time when we can say that, “ Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for the country”, but that time is not now. Now is the time when we have to ask about what is being done for the person living in abject poverty.   

There are lessons from history that we need to revisit and  understand where we now stand and then on think for a road map for the next 50 years and work with the truest interest of the people in our hearts and not just to the policy of protecting the chair that we sit upon to rule.  In this day and time it will not be possible to name even a single MLA of the Rajya or the Lok Sabha who can truthfully  say that he / she has done an honest days work with nothing but the best interests of the common man in mind.

Surely  these pathos of corruption will have its own mount Everest and then there will be an awakening in the people that they have been led up the garden path with a rope through the bull ring and  what will follow maybe something which will seem like a true awakening of the people and though that is what will happen , it has to eventually,  it will not be something that can be taken lightly. The will of the people towards a common goal is a force that cannot be underestimated and the powers that be need to understand this that the time has now come when they will have to justify that the political decisions are for the greater good of the many  and have been well deliberated upon before executioning.

There are but a few stages in the world where the pride an individual takes in his country can be seen and the morale and leadership can be evaluated and one of the stages that we all are familiar with is sports. The Olympics has athletes from all over the world but then there are only a very few countries down the ages who have won most of the medals. There are countries in which a single sportsperson  has won 23  Olympic Gold medals and all that we have is one lone individual Gold medal till date. Its not that we do not have the potential, that we do have, but the will to win for the country has to come from within and this sort of inspiration and sacrifice is not forthcoming and that will so remain the case till there is some drastic upheaval or major policy change that happens.

The winds of change need to start flowing and is this the beginning or just a small gust that we see which is testing its own strength- time will tell  but for now let us just hope and pray that in the coming times politics become a tool for development and the reins of the nation go into safe hands of sincere nationalists who work with only the best interest of the people in their minds.



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