Can we as citizens galvanise at least one crore tax payers who collectively ask our elected representatives to bring an all-party bill to Parliament saying that we the taxpayers are happy to contribute Rs 100 each per month for an independent fund that will in turn payout a sum of Rs 1 crore to the family of each fallen brave? Surely, sacrificing a slice of pizza is a good balm for our conscience. All our religions teach us gratitude, but let us start by showing it to our fellow beings, and all Gods will bless us. Talking of the might of the Indian consumer is hollow, when actions do not follow words. Character shows when we learn to walk the talk. If we want the Chinese to listen carefully, we must stop buying made in China products, whether from a Chinese company or one of their proxy fronts. Why should government guidelines not make it mandatory for e-commerce sellers to state the country of origin of goods upfront, and let it be the buyer’s choice whether they will accept a particular nation’s manufactured product? India’s consumer imports may not be significant to dent China’s aggregate exports, but it will make them panic when the rest of the world (150 countries Covid affected) will find a thought leader who acts. In the world of instant connectivity, demonstrated opinion making counts. No nation is respected if its citizens do not have pride in their national symbols, do not have work ethic, are easily corrupted financially or morally. These are oft-repeated lessons of history.
Let’s wake up and smell the coffee. Can we forget the inane debate regarding whether to stand or not when the national anthem is played in cinema halls? However, the mass spread of the disease called corruption continues to impact the daily lives of ordinary citizens. Corruption has a corollary in rejection of merit, no quality orientation, a weaning away from doing an honest day’s work, and perpetuating the habit of cheating. Systemic changes by the use of technology and software are improving things, but the task is monumental. I often wonder why is it that we do not applaud successes, and adopt high achievers as role models. Why do we choose to look at the non-achieving facets of their lives and pull them down to level the playing field. Perhaps that explains why we do not have excellence in proportion to our population. The world will evaluate as a make or buy decision point destination. Let us minimise the number of reasons for which they can ignore us, and maximize those that we can feel good about ourselves too. As a nation, the world is looking at us to step up and fill the leadership opportunities available. We have the opportunity to either maximize our demographic dividend, or face an unmitigated disaster. The days of only debating and scoring points are over, it’s time for demonstrated actions. We need a very high action orientation, and the path of such a culture creation must be expedited.