Monday, May 24, 2010

“Citizens and Nation Building”

Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd.)
11, Silver State, Pilibhit Byepass Road,
Bareilly-243005 (U.P.) INDIA
Mob: 9411900090, 09999722636

“Citizens and Nation Building”

More than sixty years of independence is a long period in a Nation’s life. We have made long strides and made significant achievements, specially having established Democratic system of Governance. This gave us total freedom to think, reach and make our own choices of choosing our way of life. However, when we look at our social and economic development, we find ourselves much lacking in ensuring its even distribution to our people. Where have we failed?

Human resource development or quality of our human resource has to keep pace with our infrastructure development only then we can see and appreciate an overall development. It has been emphasized over and over again that an increase in any physical capital formation by itself cannot ensure rapid economic growth unless it is supplemented by an increase in Human capital formation.

Our objective is:-

To produce good human beings
To produce good professionals
To produce good citizens

However we are failing to produce good citizens.
Two important facets are discipline and cleanliness.
Manifestation of discipline has to be in every facet of life i.e.


Standard of Cleanliness
Places of public interest
Should not be only a show piece
Middle class towns
Tourist places

Wars and conflict, it is widely thought, are the biggest dealers in human death around the world. The ongoing conflict in Kashmir has, over the last quarter century or more, claimed more than 1, 00,000 lives. But how does that figure compare with death due to other causes. Take road fatalities, in 2008 alone, as many as 140,000 were killed in accidents on Indian roads. Another 550,000 were seriously wounded. More people, in other words, are killed and injured on the Indian roads in a single year than all the wars put together since Independence. India suffers an economic loss Rs. 55,000 crore per year due to road crashes which is almost equal to the cost of building the entire Golden Quadrilateral.

We talked about the major problems.
What is the remedy?

Human Resource Development.

Quality of human resource to match the infrastructure development.

Every Independence Day, we proudly enumerate, and rightly so, our achievements. There is no doubt that our achievements in every area of development be it agriculture, space, atomic energy, electronics, information technology or pharmaceuticals have been remarkable. India today is the fourth economic power in the world. And certainly, better times lie ahead.

Having said that, it must be acknowledged that India is a very complacent country, whatever we have achieved has been not entirely because of the system but in spite of it. This, however, does not diminish the record of our achievements in any sense. Even after 62 years of Independence, roughly 50 percent of the population, above the age of 35, has no formal schooling; 25 percent has incomplete education. Our literacy rate in 65 percent which includes even those who have learnt only to sign their names. Out potential and capability can achieve much more than what we have done so far.

Amongst the 370 and odd universities hardly 30, in any discipline, can be counted as having respectable standards. Yet we have witnessed the miracle of India’s developments and achievements for which we should be proud. Out leaders talk of Japan but they refuse to follow its example. Japan has no resources of any kind at all. Its resource is only one and that is human capital.

I know of nothing so helpful for the timid, those who lack faith in themselves, as the habit of constantly affirming their own importance, their own power, their own divinity. When a man once gets a glimpse of his own capability, he will never be content to wallow in the mud and mire of things; nor will be doubt his own kingship.

There are many persons who are always looking to government, to reform societies, to improved educational institutions, to working- men’s or other associations, to anything and everything but their own hands and brains, to better their condition and make their life- journey easy. But even the best institutions can give a man no active help. Laws, wisely administered, will secure to men the fruits of their industry; but no laws which the will of man can devise can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober. Nine-tenths of the great social evils which our reformers denounce are but the outgrowth of individual life, and no legislation can extirpate them, unless the axe is also laid at their root.

The art of being yourself at your best is the art of unfolding your personality into the man you want to be. A good place to begin is by having faith in yourself”, wrote Emerson, “every heart vibrates to that iron string.” We are a proud “Nations” of 1.2 billion (120 crore) and nearly 65% are below the age of 35 years. We have the power to change the destiny of the country. Appeal to youth.

Take time to live: it is the secret of Success.
Take time to think: it is the source of Power.
Take time play: it is the secret of Youth.
Take time to read: it is the foundation of Knowledge.
Take time for friendship: it is the source of Happiness.
Take time to dream: it hitches the soul to the Stars.
Take time for laugh: it helps to life life’s Worries.
Take time for God: it is life’s only lasting Investment.
Take time to meditate- it is the lifting of your Heart.
Take time to pray- it is the union of your mind with God.
Take time to love- it is the privilege of the good.
Take time to work- it is the price of success.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam former president of India articulated A vision of India (while addressing Indian Science congress in April 2005. In a nutshell.

“A developed India in 2020 should be a nation where the divide urban-rural has reduced a thin line: A nation where education is not denied to any meritorious candidate due to societal or economic discrimination. And finally, a nation that is one of the best places to line in and brings smiles to billion plus people” A youthful nation has a challenge and only enlightened “Peoples Power” can make the dream come true.

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