India’s basic principles include ahimsa, unity-in-diversity; Parliamentary-system, spiritual-journey, and environmental-protection that can be found in government, local-public, etc. What does it mean to be good citizen in your home country or world? Sociocultural-notions like patriotic-sentiments, civil-rights, principle of one-man-one-vote, and generally, nationalism, add to ideas regarding citizenship that entails several-rights, including liberty, security, equality-before-law, and religious-liberty. Every good-citizen contributes to country’s prosperity, must understand and act on rights/duties in all areas of life. For example, keeping the environment-clean, adhering to traffic-laws.
Gandhi practiced-nonviolence meant ‘both active-passive affection’ for living-beings and for avoiding cruelty/force. His notion-of-citizenship expressed as “Swaraj, aimed nations-freedom; independent-party-independence; individual- financial-liberty; spirituality-freedom or self-rule. Things begin with ourselves and then extend to our surrounds. Truth, nonviolence, no-stealing, no-possession, no-untouchability, equality, duty-to-neighbours, maintain-hygiene peaceful were his idea of how one can be good-citizen. He said things begin with ourselves and then extend. He desired citizens who had a vision-of-love and goodwill towards one another.
Ambedkar re-evaluated whole idea of anti-untouchability and social reform movement also had thought of liberty, equality, fraternity among citizen, claimed caste system is oppressive and must be abolished, advocated for depressed sectors of society to be given reservations in public employment if the qualifications for the job are adequate.
Roy purpose was to establish good society free of old-ideals, fought against evils of child-marriage, dowry and sati, argued casteism jeopardized national-unity and societal-integrity, rejected made-up traditional Hindu-rituals, but also believed that Hindu-nation would be annihilated unless original Hindu texts were restored.
Analysing-their-ideologies, I feel despite making an impression on people through their teachings, somewhere their ideologies lacked in creating strong base like non-violence taught power of tolerance, acceptance and humility but failed to teach us where it’s insignificant. Silently watching others doing injustice to us can lead to an increased level-of-injustice in all areas of life. The surgical strike was a retort to terrorists to let them know that India, still supports peace and non-violence but not on cost of citizen-life. Pulwama-attack in the contemporary time as example. Humility/humanity have their place, but it’s sin to keep-silent/condone-injustice if someone is being oppressed. India has learned when it is inappropriate to be tolerant. In contrast to Gandhi’s Sarvodaya, I feel rich people have enough money to eradicate-poverty all over the world. Poverty can end if Bollywood celebrities or the richest-personalities spend less money on luxury and more on helping-people. Rather of making wealthy half-naked, those who are half-naked should be covered.
Examining today, individuals from various-vocations mixed-together in modern-times, the meaning-of-caste has evolved. In most rural-regions of the nation, there is intolerance of inter-caste marriage, which leads to honour-killings. The Manoj–Babli honour-killing-case was murdering Indian newlyweds in June-2007.
Reservation-policy was originally intended to be for short-length of time in order to cure a specific ailment or unfairness that had occurred over hundred-years. To address this, we would provide additional benefit to a specific group of individuals to match with others but we were unable to realise this idea. Now-a-days, people misuse their right results reservation leads to wastage-of-talent and hard work of people coming from General-Categories.
Today’s-scenario is, dowry has not stopped completely. In anger of not getting dowry, the in-laws exploit the married girl, even burn her. The reason for removing the caste system was that there should be unity and also freedom from blind-faith. But if seen blind-faith has reached its peak. Due to continuous casteism, riots are taking place among people. Babri-Masjid case is a direct-example. Muslim-clerics expressed great disappointment after removal of triple-talaq, but women with whom this had happened got a ray-of-hope. Even-today, people are cured through shlokas, but people’s blind-faith is increasing by posting in pretense of fake Baba.
To conclude, thinkers’ some-ideologies are relevant today. Good-citizen is one who learns from these mistakes and can make a difference to future. There were times wherein unfair-laws were disregarded in attempt to reform them-and-this is no worse from violating-the-law. By reporting child marriages/dowry, one is not only following rules but also saving life of person which is ethical. By paying-taxes, one would-be contributing in Sarvodaya which will be used by the government for inclusive growth and hence every citizen would benefit from it. It’s not government’s-responsibility to collect-taxes, but rather citizen’s-responsibility to pay. Best war is one that is never fought hence citizen should stay away from violence or try to handle situation by discussing-with-other-party. Citizen should be self-directed in following laws and regulations in accordance with ethical-principles in civic-spaces. A responsible-citizen must also use their conscience in certain situations e.g., reservations should be on basis of economic-conditions of families-for-equality and not on caste, fight against caste system, discrimination-of-disabled-and-racism. As-a-result, while a good-citizen must observe-laws and regulations, he or she must also bend the rules/disobey, if they are unethical.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge