Dearest Darling Friends,
In 3000+ years of India’s history, people from all over the world have come and invaded us. They captured our lands, conquered our minds, desecrated our culture, enslaved our people. The Greeks, the Turks, the Moghuls, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took what was ours, destroyed what they felt like.
Wonderfully, we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history nor did we enforce our way of life on them. Why?
It is because we respect the freedom of others. Our first vision for India is that of FREEDOM. India got it’s first taste of this in 1857, when we started the war of independence. We got the second taste of that during 1947 when we got freedom from the rule of Britishers. We got the third vision of that in 1991 with economic liberalization. For the first time, Indians felt unshackled ‘economically’. We must protect and nurture and build on this freedom. Freedom to believe we can be the best in the world. Freedom from alms and grants from foreigners. Freedom to fill our minds with glorious dreams of our future and not just talk of the glories of a distant unseen past. Slaves are NEVER respected. If we are not free, no one will respect us.
Our second vision for India is DEVELOPMENT. For almost 68 years, we have been a ‘developing’ nation. It’s time we see ourselves as a developed nation. In terms of GDP, India is 3rd in the world. Yet we are still a ‘developing country! We have +7 percent growth rate in most areas yet millions of people do not have basic amenities. In fields like software, our achievements are being globally recognized, yet we lack the self-confidence to become self-reliant and self-assured. People from abroad come for social service to India. Why? Because we have the mindset that we need other’s approval and validation before we ‘act’ on crucial things.
Swami Vivekananda was asked why is he spreading the message of Vedas abroad when India and Indians need it in our country Swamiji had replied, “Ironically, my countrymen will buy the wisdom of Vedas when the West approves of it.” Sad but true! Kailash Satyarthi won the noble prize not because of the nomination by Govt. of India but he was nominated by the ‘European Parliament’. Sad but true. We do not influence policies in the world because they do not see as a nation that has the mind-set to ‘develop’. The world sees us as a nation who know how to cope or how to manage but not lead in ‘development’. Unless we have the mindset of development, no one will respect us.
Our third vision for India is that India must stand up for what we believe is ‘right’. If we believe, there are terrorists in other country’s soil, they MUST be dealt with. What is the point in petitioning the rogue countries or in petitioning the UN? What has that achieved for us? Ridicule? We are the laughing stock for the world! We can scream our throats off, saying Dawood is in Pakistan and 1000s of our jawans die every year on our borders. It is very upsetting. In business language, if my competitor is not that little scared of me, he will be tempted to play unfair. Only if he knows, unfairness will have consequences, he will be restrained. Unless India stands up for herself, no one will respect her. Only strength respects strength. We must be strong not only as a military power, not only as an economic power but most importantly as a moral power. All three go hand-in-hand. Having all three powers will be ‘awesome’.
India can have a place of respect in the sun when Indians do respectable things. To sum it all up, when Indians (you and me) live with freedom (no fear), when Indians (you and me) believe in self-development (and not in lazing in our comfort zones), when Indians (you and me) stand up for what we believe is right (and not be selfish), we will have a life of RESPECT.
May you and me, live a life of respect. It will be tough but it will be brilliant. Ready? Steady. Goooooooooooo.
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
Respect “Respect”, above everything!!!