“Every Indian has a right over everything that India has. From this, he or she is free to weave his or her dreams. The India of tomorrow will have 125 crore such dreams, and will be built on the same. We will not only empower our citizens with the ability to dream, we will enable them with the capacity to actualise their dreams.”
The passage is quoted verbatim from the 2014 Election Manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party which went on to win the elections. A year and a half is not a period long enough for materialising such a grand vision. But it is a period long enough to move in the direction, at least a few steps.
|Modi at Sivagiri math in Kerala recently|
Instead of empowering the dreams of the citizens, they are being driven deeper and deeper into a quagmire of rising prices of food and communal dis-ease, in addition to all the old problems of corruption in politics, unemployment, widening gap between the rich and the poor, and so on. Worse, certain concepts like secularism and tolerance have been villainised into bad words.
As Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes in today’s Indian Express, BJP’s “hubris and doublespeak” along with the garb of “victimhood” which it refuses to shed even after winning a landslide majority in the elections jettisons any possibility of letting the people dream, let alone materialising the party’s own promised dreams.
I still dare to dream. What is life without dreams anyway?
My dream is not for a utopian India. Mine is a simple dream. Let me borrow Mr Mehta’s words once more. I look forward to an India where “the balance of hope and fear, trust and distrust, possibility and constraint, progress and inertia tends in the positive direction.”
In plain words, it is a simple dream which looks forward to an India where, if the great dreams of empowering the citizens cannot be materialised, we can at least have an atmosphere that does not stifle mutual trust among the people. If nothing can be done to prevent corruption, to bring back the black money from the foreign banks as promised, or to bring development to every citizen, at least let there be a healthy atmosphere of trust and hope, cooperation and forward movement. Let India remain as a single nation of diverse people living together in harmony.