An “Open Letter” to my Fellow Indians on the eve of “Independence Day”

My Dear Fellow Indians,

First, let me congratulate you on the eve of Our Independence Day. Wish our hard earned Independence from the tyranny and suppression lasts long and we discover ourselves in  a country without hunger, terrorism and corruption in everyday life.

Like every human being, I too have a life, and a desire for a peaceful and “Independent Life”. Unfortunately, the current political system and state of affairs do not allow me to have a life of my own – without fear of coming back home when I step out, without fear of losing my life’s saving when I invest, without fear of getting cheated by our Ministers and Politicians, without fear of getting killed or kidnapped by the Maoists if I travel to “Malkanagiri” or “Similipal” or “Dantewada“, without fear of getting a fake degree if I take admission into a college, without fear of getting raped or kidnapped when I roam around in our national capital “New Delhi“, without getting targeted by a section of people and media if I am a Hindu or Muslim or Sikh, without getting labeled by my fellow Indians that I am a “Chinki” if I am from the north-eastern states, without fear of loosing my life and job if I am from Bihar and UP when I am in “Mumbai“, without getting targeted by the Mafias and Babus if I file an RTI and without being thrown out from private schools and hospitals if I am a poor.

Friends… the recent incidents such as 2G or ISRO or Adarsh scams, land grabbing by politicians in name of trusts and charity, CWG mess, siphoning taxpayers’ money in the name of development and other schemes in various states, dividing India in the name of regionalism and religion, nexus of judiciary, layers and politicians, slow and inactive steps of our Police and CBI, populist schemes to attract votes have really shaken the faith of every Indian like me on the political, judiciary, educational and structural systems of India. It is indeed a mater of concern –  for you, for me, for our future generation and for every Indian.

Then… should we allow ourselves to be ruled and governed like this? Don’t we think a change is required at this stage? How can we justify and console ourselves every day when we get hurt, when we are cheated, when we are thrown out by the police in the midnight, when we are taken for granted for every thing – in the parliament, in the cabinet meetings, in the press briefings! Our freedom is at stake, our life is in danger and our survival is in jeopardy.

Do you think that the country which is famous for its “youth” will present itself to the future like this? Do we have any remedy for these kind of short-term and long-term diseases?

Yes, we have, but it is not easy and cheap. It is difficult and sometimes very costly. The solution is just another struggle for independence; a fight for our survival, a fight for our dignity and a fight for our future. Remember, this fight is not against any one else, it is against our “chalta hai” attitude, against our own people; it is a fight of our inner strength against ourselves and against the pseudo-systems – cultural, communal and social. It has to start from the family through right teachings of life and value system, and from the very own “I and you — We“.  Neither the blame game nor the pahle aap and pahle aap can help here. We may have to pay a heavy price in terms of life, money, time and peace for this. It is not free..

A change in attitude and look is necessary; may take a long time for a change, be it short-term or long-term. Another Rang de Basanti….

On the very first Independence Day when Pundit Nehru addressed the nation, he addressed with hope, a sense of fulfillments and sense of achievement.

Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance …. We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again.     

Pundit Nehru (15th Aug, 1947)

Friends, he (Punditji) was right on his own way and at that moment; as the first Prime Minister of India, to architect India and the future of Indians. Sixty Five years have passed… and we are still discovering and re-discovering ourselves!!! “independent” is just another metaphor in public speeches.

Hope and wish India and Indians wake up to a dignified life and true freedom – their “birth right“.

Jai Hind!

The Fear of Asking in a Class Room….

Should I ask him/her? No… What will people think of me, if I ask this? Stupid? No, I think it is a silly question? I should not ask him/her !!

Most of us must have experienced this some day or the other of our day-to-day life.

This is a common fear for most of the students in a class; be it in school, or in college. In general people don’t ask questions thinking that the question that comes in their mind might be a silly one or it might not have the worth to be asked. Some times we think that the teacher might scold or shout at us if we ask. But, by not asking the question and clearing the doubt at the right moment don’t we think we harm ourselves? increase our doubt level?

And the result is, we struggle to find out the answer and spend more time and resources. We loose our self confidence or struggle to excel in our day to day life. We should remember that questioning is a process of learning, one has to ask, either to himself or to the other in that process.

The exact opposite is seen in case of a child. If he/she does not understand, he/she will ask more than a thousand questions, “why, how, when, whom, blah blah blah…”, till you either get irritated or he/she gets satisfied with your answer. He/she will get his/her doubts cleared at any cost. But, the same kid starts feeling shy, looses self confidence once he/she grows in time.

The fear of should I or should not I, the fear of loosing (be it self confidence or something similar) starts resulting in the development of a fear or shyness to ask in day-to-day life.

For an example, one can very well experience/observe this in a typical class (lecture) where students from MTech, BTech, PhD etc. are there.The BTech students usually ask many questions, irrespective of the type and quality of the question. Most of the times they do not fear and simply ask the teacher and do not let the teacher go unless their query is answered. This is a very good sign.

Whereas in the same class, one can hardly find any question from the MTechs or the PhDs. Not that they understand every thing in the lecture; they too have doubts like any other student, but the self confidence is low, the feeling of inferiority complex is very high, and the sensitivity towards “what others will think about me” is so high that they cannot ask any thing. They just can’t come out from the should I or shouldn’t I barrier. This is quite common in the case of new entrants, 1st yearites, be in 10+2, BTech, MTech or PhD, which usually disappears over time.

Some times language creates a barrier in questioning. Those who have studied in Hindi or in any regional medium usually feel shy to ask, because they feel, that their English is not that good. In some cases the social or cultural background of the student also creates the barrier in asking. If they are in minority in the class, they do not feel comfortable and do not ask much. A good example can be in cases of female students who sometimes do not ask any question if they are out numbered.

This kind of shyness and lack of confidence can be observed in many fields and in many different places, be it in class room or in office or at home. Now the question arises how should we take this problem? In lecture/class the teacher must realize the problem of 1st year students and encourage the students to ask. May be by making the lecture more interactive and involving more students, might help to some extent.

Remember that by asking even silly questions you are not going to harm any one, but if you do not ask, you will not be able to clear your doubts in the class room premises, resulting in no clear understanding of the topic and also spend more time doing the same thing. By doing this, the barrier between should I or should not I increases. The more you fear, the more you loose. But, do we want to loose? No. Then? …

aamjunta, what do you think? Better ask and clear your doubts in the class next time 🙂 . It is better late than never.

%d bloggers like this: