“In all cases, understanding History is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human. That allows people to build, and, as may well be necessary, also to change, upon a secure foundation. Neither of these options can be undertaken well without understanding the context and starting points. All living people live in the here-and-now but it took a long unfolding history to get everything to NOW. And that history is located in time-space, which holds this cosmos together, and which frames both the past and the present.”
The recent happenings in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and what is continuing in Kashmir and the political wrangles being perpetuated among the warring politicians and political parties and vested interests have opened a Pandora Box as to where our country is heading towards. The lessons of the past history on how one time great country of ours was subjugated for a long time first by the Muslim rulers and then by the British is being forgotten and the country is again in the process of disintegration on account of our own creation based on caste, creed, language, region and religion, tradition and culture. The politics of vote bank has already creating its divide among the citizens of this one time great country which spread its glorious presence and influence from the mountainous Cambodia to the plains of Indonesia, from the periphery of Asia Minor to the Fareast. If this alarming trend of disintegration of the country is not arrested and reversed, it will be too late before this country is again subjugated by some other outside force.
India is the largest practicing democratic country of the people, by the people and for the people enshrining the fundamental rights to its citizen. But unfortunately the citizens of this country have forgotten the fact that their rights are derived out of their duties first to be performed which are clearly and without any ambiguity enumerated under Article 51-A Part IVA of the Indian Constitution. But our present practicing democracy has become a means to reduce men to mediocrity in character and culture, to vulgarise man’s conception of life, their moral codes, manners and conduct and to endanger their legitimate rights. Our democracy as seen presently totally lacks the spirit of reverence in all public acts which prevents people from doing wrong by respect for authority and for the laws, having an especial regard to those who are ordained for the protection of the underprivileged and oppressed. How the country can be saved from the ravaging acts of vandalism?
The one and the only way to arrest the deteriorating trend in the mass behaviour of the citizens is to kindle their conscience to the atrocities they are perpetuating on the nation and on the people leading to self destruction and arise their conscious thinking towards restoring the sanity and wellbeing of the nation and its people. The citizens should understand that if the nation does not exist, then there is no citizenship and only the power of the mighty will befall on them relegating them to the status of a second class citizen depriving of their fundamental rights and natural justice.
The meaning of conscience is “the part of you that judges how moral your actions are and makes you feel guilty about bad things that you have done or things you feel responsible for.” The legal meaning of conscience is “conscience: an internal sense of right and wrong. To respect differences between persons the law sometimes permits a conscience clause. Freedom of conscience is a human right.” (Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006). The psychological definition of conscience states “Your conscience is what tells you whether an action is right or wrong. It is the reason you have guilt or remorse after doing something morally questionable, and the reason you feel relief or pride after telling the truth or giving to charity. It can also have an affect on decisions you are contemplating. If you just have a bad feeling about a possible action, your conscience may be telling you to choose otherwise. The sense of right and wrong is learned and deeply embedded, so someone with a very strict religious upbringing may have a more critical conscience than someone brought up with a looser moral compass.”
The dictionary meaning of ‘Conscious’ is “State of understanding and realisng something” and as per Wikipedia “Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as: sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind” The conscious citizens are fully aware of their duties and responsibilities to their nation.
The concept may be considered more moralistic than practical. But more success can be achieved using a more moralistic approach than pursuing a ruthless way devoid of any justice, values and ethics. India has already taught the world how they attained independence by pursuing a moralistic path. Every citizen has a conscience which is a very powerful part of the person. It helps him be aware of the world around him and it helps him have interaction with the world. With the conscience trained, the conscience empowers and helps every one. But, like all things in life, the conscience can have various degrees of training and capability.
The principal of “Conscience Cum Conscious Citizenship” is based on the fact that most people are honest and uphold integrity. The truth is that between the good and the bad, only the circumstances have to wedge in. Hence, as far as citizenship is concerned, the circumstances that trigger the creation of a volatile situation are to be identified and removed so that further deterioration of the circumstance does not take place. Further, a constant vigil without complacency and effective monitoring of circumstances that create such strife would also ensure prevention of situations going out of control leading to riots and destruction of public properties including deaths of innocent public.
A “Conscience Cum Conscious Citizenship” will usher in an environment of goodwill and mutual respect among the people without the feeling of being abused, shamed and threatened. It also inculcates a sense of belonging among the rulers and the opposition and the ruled leading to understanding the respective roles and mutual obligations and contributions towards the health and wealth of economy and the society alike. Further they would hold themselves and each other accountable for adhering to some set of agreed-upon values and ethics and for working toward an agreed-upon vision. Deviations and errors would be considered as an opportunity for learning and growth, rather than an excuse for blame and punishment. This does not mean that there won’t be any problems. In an uncertain and volatile political environment nobody can predict precisely the future outcome. But with trust and mutual understanding based on the tenets of Conscience cum Conscious citizenship and also the duties and responsibilities coming under citizenship that they developed, timely actions will be initiated to tide over the problems and to achieve the goals of common welfare keeping the national interest above all. A Conscience Cum Conscious citizenship will create an everlasting relationship among the government and the opposition and the people whom the government and the opposition represent and belong to creating a congenial atmosphere and a conducive environment with mutual help and respect which will also enable restoration of peace and prevention of violence.
Restoring citizens’ faith is based on the following human behavioral principles: – “The ultimate relationship building tool between the government and the citizens is the human touch and “Too often we under estimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around” and more importantly the truth is that “Your situation is never permanent. It is what you make it. Life isn’t solid. It’s fluid. It changes”.
If the principles of Conscience cum Conscious Citizenship is implemented and practiced faithfully and diligently by the government, the opposition and the people, it can even lead to spread of the virtuous principles to make it a global phenomena ushering in an era of Universal Brotherhood and “Brotherhood is an accomplishment of soul searching, prayer and perseverance. It enables one to accept a person for his intrinsic qualities and with all his faults and frailties and refuse to judge him by the irrelevant fact that he belongs to different race, religion, caste, creed or nationality from our own. The spontaneous feeling of brotherhood is a mark of human maturity.”
Can we not practice Conscience cum Conscious Citizenship and save our nation and the world at large and bring peace, progress and prosperity?
(The author invites comments from readers and he can be contacted through his e-mail id firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile – 9229248048)