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"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you."
 -- Mother Teresa

Are we a true Republic?
Article By Prem.

Republic Day 2003 came and went by. India, my country, is still standing strong. Poverty, famine, communal riots, corruption and social negligence have tried to shake Bharat's foundations and yet, united we stand. Our head held high, our chest filled with patriotism and our deeds far noble than any other. Each Indian has propelled this country so far in 55 years of freedom that we are advancing at par with most other developing and developed countries. But, India has hit the crossroads. The crossroads, where each path we take will lead to different places, different ideals and a different vision.

 We took an oath when we became a Republic. A Republic is a state where the will of the people comes first. Where religion and state will NOT mix. Where truth will be told, honored and enforced. Where progress will be in the hands of the common man and not the elite few. Where freedom is a right and not earned. Where human life is valued as supreme and not treated as a commodity.

 Having said that, lets reflect on our dear country once again. The India I see today is not a Republic. It has the exterior shell of a Republic in which many are ruled by some using threats, deception and lies. A ruling party that has very strong leanings to fanatic religious sentiments. An opposition party that wishes that it had such leanings and tries subtle methods of aggravation. Arm twisting and open denial is the accepted norm of truth. While the common man starves to death, the chosen representative lives a high life. People are bought and sold like cattle in a dust filled marketplace. Human beings are killed for slaying animals while there are animals living within our law and order system.

   Fifty four years of being a Republic has changed our country a lot. We have sprinted ahead on Information Technology but still running at snails pace when it comes to education for the poor. We have built Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles to defend our country and have failed to provide protection for minorities and the backward classes. We have the world's largest agricultural output but famine has starved infants to death. We excel in our work and brilliance but fail to correct the problems of our governance. We sweep our houses every day and yet throw our waste on the roads. How many of us ill-treat our subordinates? Remember "chottu" the little boy who hangs around office all day trying to make you buy a cup of coffee. Or remember that poor woman who works in three houses to make ends meet. We are so proud of our accomplishments that we have not stopped to think about others. And it is getting worse. When we were little, I remember we used to play in this ground near our house. It didnít cross our minds that my football team mates were poor, from a different caste, religion or dirty. We played the game, we played to win. What happens when we grow up? Do we suddenly start to see all the differences that have escaped our souls for so long? How come all of a sudden a Muslim becomes "anti-Indian" and a lower caste butcher becomes expendable for killing a cow?

  Am I painting a dark picture here, you may ask. Is all lost for our dear India? Can we ever get ahead with such myriad diverse opinions and likes and dislikes? My answer to you is YES! We can. We can become a nation that has no par or comparison if we do things right. Three things rule our country now: Religion, caste and greed. Religion where sentiments are easily invoked and flames ignited in a moment of passion leaving thousands smoldering in the ashes. Caste, where each man believes to be of a higher order of birth, is the lamest excuse a person can find to feel better than someone else who is not. Greed, when unscrupulous people take advantage of the poor and needy to make personal gains.

  We, the literate people should make sure that this is changed. Truth, Equality and Progress should be the foundations of a Republic. No man, however rich, big or influential should not be allowed to run the lives of others. The Republic needs to stand up. The Republic needs to be revived. The Republic needs You. Are you up for the challenge?

 Jai Hind!

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