You all are well aware that I am a corporate person. A question may stir your mind as to why a corporate man who is supposed to write about industry, trade, marketing and other financial issues, is voicing his views on politics, religion, education etc. I would like to state the reasons by connecting my answer to our glorious struggle for Independence.
Our long war of freedom was not simply aimed at grabbing power from the clutches of foreigners or chasing them away from our land. The great leadership that had emerged during the struggle had a pious dream for Independent India. This dream was the dream of the whole country—of all of us. Our dream was that India would rise as an advanced, progressive and prosperous country wherein people would live together in harmony, work collectively, achieve collectively and the collective gains would be distributed equitably, filling people’s lives with abundant peace, happiness and satisfaction.
Though India had to go through the most traumatic moment of its history when it got partitioned on communal lines, Independent India, nevertheless, chose to run its polity democratically, where all the citizens got equal rights constitutionally, including the most important right i.e. the right to vote. We wanted our diverse Indian society, which had been nurturing many religions, castes and sub-castes, regions and languages, to exist in peace, shedding all deep-rooted prejudices, discord, enmities and hatred.
There is no doubt that India has made rapid progress and achieved prosperity too, yet the goals that we set for ourselves are still unfulfilled or underachieved. It is a harsh reality that we have bigger problems today than we had at the time of Independence. These problems are not good signs for the future of India.
During the freedom struggle, a class of honest, hard working and dedicated leaders rose all across the country, leaders who presented their lives as exemplary for others. What kind of leadership is emerging these days? Where has this leadership taken us? Though people vote for this or that bunch of leaders, yet they have little faith in them and always doubt their integrity.
Rapid and uncontrolled growth of population is one of the biggest issues of our country. At the time of Independence, our population was around 36 crore which has now crossed the 130 crore mark. The actual problem lies in the inferior kind of growth. Don’t you think that some very effective measures are needed to check this unhealthy trend?
We never wanted to produce only clerks through our education system, instead we wanted it to develop our people wholesomely, allow their personality to grow and prosper on human virtues and make them responsible citizens of a civilized country. Is our education system anywhere close to achieving this objective?
When we adopted a democratic system with the judiciary, the legislature and the executive as its three pillars, we naturally imagined the media as the fourth pillar which would keep a constant vigil on the functioning of the other three, give people correct and relevant information, make them aware of things happening around them and instill a sense of positivism in their minds. Thus, the media was to serve as the guide and teacher of the people. Is the present media serving this purpose?
We may claim to be a secular society but the truth is that the whole Indian society is ravaged by communal tensions. Communal riots and religion-instigated terrorism have become common occurrences these days. Religion related distortions are continuously on the rise, so much so that the internal security of the country is in grave danger. Have we found an appropriate solution to this problem yet?
When we see the problems related to political leadership, population growth, education, the media and religion going from bad to worse, a natural question comes up in our minds. Where, after all, did we go wrong? What happened during our democratic journey of independent India that we are faced with nasty problems on all these fronts? Why couldn’t we teach people occupying places of responsibility that rights are given to perform your genuine duties, not to serve your personal whims, false ego and greed? Owing to the irresponsible attitude of responsible people, honest and law-abiding citizens are increasingly facing up to immense difficulties. We all know, if these problems continue to be as they are, they will create a severe crisis for the country and its people in the near future. Should not we then think over these problems honestly and sincerely?
Yes, I do agree that I am a corporate person and am proud of the fact that I am the Guardian of the great Sahara India Pariwar which has more than 12 lac dedicated workers in its family fold. But, even before that, I am a true and conscientious citizen of my beloved country, who loves his ‘Bharat Maa’ from the core of his heart. In this capacity I have always been thinking about the severe problems our country is faced with.
Whatever problems I have mentioned here, I have formed certain ideas about them, which I have presented in this book. I am no authority on these subjects, nor have I ever claimed to be so, yet, to observe and learn from everyone and make others learn too has always been a part of my nature. In this way, whatever ideas I have developed, I am honestly presenting before you. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with me or not, however, it is certain that the thoughts and ideas expressed in the book would compel you to think deep, to ponder over, and then you too would come to the conclusion that if nothing concrete is done at the earliest we would be in the grip of difficulties and problems of mammoth proportions.
Whatever I have thought and concluded about the above mentioned subjects I want to share with you all, particularly with those who are occupying the higher posts of leadership and decision-making. If this book of mine is helpful in producing even the slightest of positive thinking among its readers and inspires or provokes them into thinking in the interest of our country, I will feel proud and take my effort as successful.
‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara
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