Friday, February 8, 2008

OUR CONSTITUTION AND THE EVENTS IN MUMBAI

The recent events in Mumbai have really caused a great deal of concern to all right thinking Indians. However, all that every true Indian can do is speak against it, and hope that better sense will prevail on people who wish to restrict their own and others freedom of movement, and beliefs. I believe the Constitution has provisions to ensure the basic fundamental rights for all Indians. It is up to the Executive branch of the government to ensure that such a situation does not arise where the common man starts loosing more faith in the ability of the government to protect the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution to every Indian. Besides this, there is one more sensitive issue that needs to be considered.

The issue concerns external security of the country. Having served in the Armed Forces of India, I can vouch that in the Forces every individual works to provide security to India, as defined by the Constitution. One never thinks of protecting this or that part of the country. Many South Indians have laid down their lives in Kargil. Similarly, Indians from all across India have defended territories that they have no claim on, as it now seems. The defence forces are an integral part of the society and pick up their basic values before they become a part of the Defence forces. In case this parochialism gets deeply ingrained in the coming generation, we may have a very serious problem on our hands: a problem that can threaten the very basis of our nationhood.

I have traveled and flown all over India. I have lived in all parts of India, from Dibrugarh in the East to Naliya in the West, and Leh in the North to Trivandrum in the South. I believed the entire country to be mine and at various times have thought of settling down in Bangalore, Pune, Noida, Chandigarh etc., after my retirement. It seems that this fact will become unachievable if the present trend continues. Politicians create vote banks through dividing the society. Raj Thackerey is no different. However, I do believe that the Executive branch of the government has enough powers to arrest anyone trying to create disharmony in the society or going against the spirit of the Constitution. Will the Executive arm of the government please act before it is too late? Too late, because a slip in this case will produce more of such a variety in the coming days in other parts of the country as well. Executive branch, please ACT before it is too late. We have a great country. Let’s keep it that way.

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