Needless to emphasize that literature and life are interrelated. Talking about literature in India, one has to talk about India first. About six decades back India gained her political independence and set out on the path of democracy. At about the same time China, Israel, Ghana and our neighboring countries also started their journey on the path of political independence. Looking back at the last six decades, one is tempted to say that India has paid a prize for following democracy and upholding plurality. China has definitely moved faster. Production, growth, infrastructure, education, sports - in every field China has galloped. But we have succeeded in upholding democracy. This is our greatest achievement. But democracy is also the reason for many lacunae in the system. At this point of time, there is no turning back for India. We have started moving on the path to commercialism, materialism, capitalism and liberalism. The clock cannot be reversed now.
Every country needs a national character. We can say that every country and its people come to be identified with certain traits. 'The Americans are boisterous; the English are reserved' - such sentences are part and parcel of every day speech. We all know that good and bad people, introvert and extrovert people, lazy and hard working people, all sorts of persons live in every corner of the world. Generalizations regarding national traits can be misleading. Nevertheless, it is also true that national character is a reality. History, dressing sense, food habits, and status of social institutions, current political and economic scenario are the indicators of the national character.
India is a bundle of contradictions. If we go back to our thousands years' old history, we can say that peace and harmony were our strong points. We lived in harmony with the elements. This was a nature-centric civilization. The inner space of mind was always emphasized and activated. India has been a country that has never attacked any other country first. Chivalry and magnanimity have been Indian traits.
Our present, however, has come to be identified with corruption and hypocrisy. India is become more or less an aping country. Perhaps due to centuries of slavery, we have unconsciously accepted the superiority of certain other civilizations without testing the practicality of those ideals in our country. There is tremendous craze for immediate gain, and shortcut to success. Flattery has become the order of the day. Women have become shallow; the youth have become confused; and the men are misguided Addiction to liquor and other substances has reached an alarming stage. This is the anomaly of India. There is no synchronization between our past and present. Eroding values have shaken the very pillars of confidence. Indian men and women we are no longer sure about anything.
If we talk about rebuilding the national character at the macro level, we will have to talk about our democratic system. There is scope for further strengthening democratic values and institutions. Indian foreign policy needs to come out from doldrums. We need to strike a balance between socialism and capitalism. Our education system urgently needs to be activated. Internal social equality alone can quiet down voices of unrest. We have to restore our nature-centric view of life to stop drastic climate charge.
For achieving all the above mentioned points, we need to end corruption is our country. We can not achieve any objective unless the resources allotted for a purpose are utilized properly. If the resources fitter out of the corrupt pores of the system we will not achieve anything.
Rebuilding of the national character at the macro level is a huge task. It needs a huge effort. Nothing less than a social revolution can bring these changes. But I, as a thinking soul, am more interested in the micro level of self-struggle. Survival of the self in the ocean of humanity fascinates me. This area is more valuable because everyone can successfully work in this area. One can get results.
I, for myself have decided not to compromise with my self-respect. I will try to speak the truth as far as possible. I am not going to crave after unachieved goals. I well try to nurture basic satisfaction within my psyche. I will try to work hard. I will be sincere in performing my personal as well as official duties. I will not run away from my responsibilities. I will live life upholding certain basic values. I will live life at my own reasonable terms.
Literature flows from the micro consciousness. Literature that comes from a cleansed psyche inspires generations. I genuinely hope that such literature flows and overwhelms our country.