Our Values

Dr. Kuldeep Agrawal

1.             Our Value System: All truth—material, philosophic, or spiritual—is both beautiful and good. All real beauty—material, art or spiritual symmetry—is both true and good. All genuine goodness—personal morality, social equity & justice, or divine spirituality—is equally true and beautiful. Health, sanity, and happiness are integrations of truth, beauty, and goodness as they are blended in human experience. Such levels of efficient living come about through the unification of energy systems, idea systems, spirit systems and value systems.


2.          Universal Human Values: There are three universal and eternal values: Satyam, Shivam Sundaram (or Truth, Beauty and Goodness/Godliness). All human beings are in search of these three, though what they mean can vary place to place as well as time to time. The main branches of Philosophy are based on these three. The main branches of Philosophy are:

a.       Metaphysics/Ontology (Study of Reality)

b.      Epistemology (Theory of Knowledge/Methods of Knowledge)

c.       Logic (The most important method of Knowledge)

d.      Ethics (Study of Good and Bad, Right and Wrong)

e.       Aesthetics (Study of Beauty)

Evidently, the first three, that is, Metaphysics/Ontology, Epistemology and Logic search for Satyam or Truth; the fourth, i.e. Ethics explores Shivam or Goodness; and the fifth, i.e. Aesthetics studies the concept of Sundaram or Beauty. These three values – Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram are very closely linked to our lives. 

2.1    Satyam/Truth: All of us are in search of truth – at every level. We are all seeking knowledge, which is closely linked to truth. Truth works at least at three levels – facts, reality and ultimate truth. Facts can be comprehended through our five senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting.

All sciences (physical & natural and social) try to establish facts. For instance, Physics studies the physical world; Chemistry studies facts of chemical reactions; and Biology studies the world of flora and fauna, i.e. living world.

Metaphysics goes beyond the physical world and attempts to study (and find) reality, which is beyond the five senses. Epistemology gives us the methods of finding knowledge, i.e. reality. Logic is the most important of these methods.

Even in everyday life, we like truth to prevail. Those who tell lies are not appreciated or liked in society. Can you identify any religion or faith which says that speaking the truth is wrong?

We are also looking for truth about questions like:

·         Who am I?

·         What is the purpose of life?

·         What is death? Is there life after death?

·         What is God? Does He/She/It really exist?

·         Is there a soul? Is it eternal?

All religions try to answer these questions. These are elements of what we may call the ultimate truth.

2.2    Shivam/Goodness/Godliness

Just as we are in search of truth, we are also in search of Goodness/Godliness. Right from childhood, we want to be a good child; we want to be called good persons all our lives. Even a criminal would try to justify his/her actions and try to prove that he/she is good, not bad.

Ethics provides the moral code, or philosophy, that guides a person’s choices and behaviors throughout their life. The idea of a moral philosophy extends beyond the individual to include what is right (and what is wrong) for the community and society at large. Ethics is concerned with rights, responsibilities, use of language, what it means to live an ethical life and how people make moral decisions.

Those who are considered morally good are said to be virtuous, holding themselves to high ethical standards, while those viewed as morally bad are thought to be wicked, sinful, or even criminal.

2.2.1 Vices: There are some vices considered to be deadly vices by most religions. These are: Kaam (lust)): Krodh (Anger/Wrath); Lobh (Greed); Ahankar (Ego/Vanity); Irshya (Jealousy). Hinduism includes Moh (Attachment to worldly objects and pleasures); and Christianity includes Gluttony (habitual greed or excess in eating) and Sloth (reluctance to work or laziness).

According to Gandhiji, the signs of vice or immorality are: Wealth without Work; Pleasure without Conscience; Science without Humanity; Knowledge without Character; Politics without Principle; Commerce without Morality; Worship without Sacrifice.

2.2.2          Virtues: The Gita enumerates many virtues as Daivi-Sampat or divine qualities. These are: Fearlessness, Purity of heart, Steadfastness and wisdom, Vivek (ability to discriminate between right and wrong), Nishkam Karma (desireless action or doing one’s duty without caring for the result), Charity, Self-restraint, Sacrifice, Study of the scriptures, Austerity or simplicity, Straightforwardness, Harmlessness (tendency of not harming anyone), Truth, Absence of anger, Renunciation, Peacefulness, Absence of crookedness, Compassion to all living beings, Non-covetousness (not having, or showing, a desire to possess something belonging to someone else), Mildness (soft heartedness and sensitivity towards others), Modesty or humility, Absence of fickleness (changeability, especially with regard to one's loyalties or affections), Vigour, Forgiveness, Purity, Absence of jealousy, vanity and arrogance.

These virtues are manifestations of the four fundamental virtues: Non-violence, Truth, Purity, and Self-control. In fact, all the religions in this world speak of virtues. Right actions bring us happiness, peace and well-being. So, it is not surprising that all the major religions talk of virtues. Every religion speaks of virtues, because every religion is a living entity and believes in the happiness and wellbeing of all its followers.

2.3         Sundaram/Beauty

Sundaram/Beauty is the third universal and eternal value. Similar to truth and goodness, we are in search of beauty, too, in our lives. What is beauty? The concept of beauty may change from person to person. In that sense, this is the most subjective among these three values, because where one looks for beauty may also change. Thus, some people look for beauty in nature (flora, fauna); some look for it in Arts (Painting, Sculpture, etc.); some search for beauty in literature (poetry, prose, drama); some look for beauty in people; some may find beauty in philosophical or spiritual or religious pursuits; and so on and so forth. Some look for beauty outside and others within. Some like people who are physically beautiful; others may like people who have inner beauty, those who are virtuous or accomplished people. In fact, you will be surprised to know how many different things people can find beauty in – things or people or places.

The famous Romanticist poet John Keats wrote, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know”. In another poem, he wrote, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”.

Beauty is an emotional element, a pleasure of ours, which nevertheless we regard as a quality of things. The idea of beauty is found in almost every culture and at almost every time in human history, with many similarities. Beauty was, and still is, a term of great esteem linking human beings and nature with artistic practices and works since the early civilizations. From the early cultures, beauty, goodness and truth are customarily related. Beauty carries a double meaning. It is inclusive and exclusive. In the inclusive sense, beauty pertains to anything worthy of approbation, to human virtues and characters, to nobility and goodness, to hidden things and truth, to the natural and divine worlds. In the exclusive, restricted sense, it pertains to how things appear, their manifestations, and to the joys human beings experience when presented with beautiful things, human bodies, artefacts, natural creatures and things. The nature of beauty and its role in philosophy and aesthetics was explained right from the early periods.

3.          National Values Enshrined in our Constitution: The Constitution of India spells out certain values that should be taken care of by all abiding citizens of the nation. Some of these values inter alia are related to Democracy, Socialism, Secularism, National Unity and Integration, International Understanding, Equality and Equity, Social Justice, Positive Discrimination, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, Patriotism/Nationalism/Love for the Nation/Nationalistic Feelings.

3.1 Democracy: India is the largest democratic country in the world. Democracy is defined as a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Democracy is considered the finest form of government in which every individual participates consciously and in which the people remain the sovereign power determining their destiny. So, in democracy the people are the ultimate source of power and its success and failure depend on their wisdom, consciousness and vigilance. There are certain conditions that are necessary for the success of Democracy in India. They are:

·         Empowerment of the poor and illiterates to enjoy and protect democracy;

·         Willingness among the elected representatives to sincerely perform their duties and not to take advantage of the ignorance and poverty of the voters;

·         Willingness among intelligent, educated, and efficient people to assume the leadership role;

·         Willingness among the elected people not to misuse their powerful position and public wealth;

·         Eradication of social evils and dangers from which democracy suffers;

·         Fair, impartial, and efficient press to form public opinion;

·         Presence of strong public opinion;

·         Feeling of tolerance and communal harmony among the people;

·         Commitment among the people towards the fundamental duties that they are expected to  


·         Awareness among the people of the fundamental rights that they are entitled to enjoy;

·         Conscious check and vigilance on the working of the elected representatives;

·         Responsible opposition


All the values connected with democracy can be summed up in three words -Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. In fact, this was the slogan of the French Revolution, which took place in 1789. 


3.2         Socialism: The ideals of Socialism can be summed up in two words - Justice and Equity. Socialism can be defined as a social system where the society will be based on equal opportunity for all and ‘to pay one according to his/her work’. It is a protest against too much concentration of wealth in the hands of a few individuals. It is a universal call for social justice and fairness in the matter of distribution of wealth, which usually goes into the pockets of a few.

The word socialist was added to the Preamble by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976. In the Indian context, the term “socialist” gives a positive direction to State activities. They include: wiping out poverty, increasing production, modernizing the economy, preventing the growth of monopoly, reducing disparities and inequalities between different classes, castes and religions. In short, the term ‘Socialism’ in Indian Constitution seeks to establish a welfare State. It implies social and economic equality.

Social equality implies the absence of discrimination on the grounds of caste, colour, creed, sex, religion, language, etc. Under social equality, everyone has equal status and opportunities. Many laws have been framed to achieve the aim of social equality, such as the Abolition of Untouchability and Zamindari, the Equal Wages Act and the Child Labour Prohibition Act.

Economic equality means that the government will endeavour to make the distribution of wealth more equal and provide a decent standard of living for all. This is in effect emphasizing a commitment towards the formation of a Welfare State.


3.3   Secularism: A secular state is an idea pertaining to secularity, whereby a state is, or purports to be, officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion over other religions. Secular states do not have a state religion (e.g. an established religion) or an equivalent, although the absence of an established state religion does not necessarily mean that a state is fully secular in all respects. For example, many secular states have religious references in their national anthems and flags.

Secular states become secular either upon creation of the state (e.g. the United States of America), or upon secularization of the state (e.g. France or Nepal). Movements for laïcité in France and for the separation of church and state in the United States defined modern concepts of secularism. Historically, the process of secularizing states typically involves granting

·      religious freedom

·      disestablishing state religions

·      stopping public funds being used for a religion

·      freeing the legal system from religious control

·      freeing up the education system

·      tolerating citizens who change religion or abstain from religion

·      allowing political leadership to come to power regardless of their religious beliefs.


3.3.1    Secularism in India: Secularism in India implies equality of all religions and religious tolerance. It means that:

·         India does not have an official state religion;

·         The government must not favour or discriminate against any religion;

·         It must treat all religions with equal respect;

·         All citizens, irrespective of their religious beliefs are equal in the eyes of law;

·         No religious instruction is imparted in government or government-aided schools. But the general information about all religions prevalent in the country may be imparted, without giving any importance to any one religion.

In the individual context, it means Sarva Dharma Samabhava, equal respect for all religions. Every person has the right to preach, practice and propagate any religion they choose. Every citizen must treat all religions with the same respect as he/she has for his/her religion.


3.3.2    Challenges of Secularism in India

Secularism in India faces several challenges as follows:

·         In most countries, secularism means the non-recognition of any religion. But, in India, it means the recognition of every religion. And it takes things even forward and gives minority religions extra privileges, which are not given to majority of the people.

·         Public funds should not be used for any religion; but it is done in India.

·         In a secular state, the education system should not be based on religion. But in India, we still have educational institutions based on religion, particularly the religious minorities.

·         Secularism does not mean being irreligious or anti-religious. It does not mean doing away with moral or value education. But in India, in the name of secularism, value education has been done away with. In a secular state, where all forms of religious teachings are done away with, value education becomes very important. It is in value education, where we can bring familiarity with the commonalities of all religions.

·         In a secular state, the legal system should not be based on religion. However, in India we still have laws based on religion. Secularism implies Common Civil Code or Common Law irrespective of religion. We will be truly secular only when we have this. This reform will also help in dealing with the other challenges.


3.4   National Unity and Integration: National integration is the awareness of a common identity amongst the citizens of a country. It means that though the individuals belong to different communities, castes, religions, cultures and regions and speak different languages, all of them recognize the fact that they are one. This kind of integration is very important in the building of a strong and prosperous nation.

For instance, while reciting the national anthem together, we shower our love for the country, pay respect and wish her victory. At the same time while mentioning various regions, mountains and rivers, we respectfully acknowledge the unity of our country in its diversity. National integration will always remain one of the most important priorities of any country.

National Integration has great relevance for our beloved country, because it is a nation having great diversities. The people who inhabit this nation belong to different races, communities and castes. They reside in different geographical regions and speak different languages. They believe in and practice different religions and have varied life styles. But with all these diversities, we are Indians and we feel like that. We may have many religious identities such as Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, or Zoroastrians. We may also be identified as Punjabis, Tamils, Malayalis, Bengalis, Manipuri, and so on, or South or North or North-East Indians. But our national identity is supreme.

National integration is essential for any nation with socio-cultural, religious, linguistic and geographical diversities. We have to co-exist with each other peacefully, respect the culture and religion of our fellow Indians. This is possible only when national integration is realised in its true sense. National integration is necessary also for the security and development of the nation.

The Constitution of India lays great emphasis on national integration. Its Preamble includes unity and integrity of the nation as a major objective. It also stipulates that every citizen has the fundamental duty to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India. The Constitution reflects respect for diversity of the country, but it tries to ensure that the unity and integrity is maintained. Which is why, it has made provisions for a centralized federation adopted for a strong central government.

3.4.1    Challenges to National Integration: At the time of independence, India faced a number of challenges to national integration. This was due to many factors. Indians followed many different religious beliefs, belonged to different castes and regions (North, South, East, West, North East and Central India). They spoke different languages and dialects. These issues lead to Communalism, Casteism, Regionalism and Linguism. Various efforts have been made to solve these problems, but they persist. It is not surprising that our Constitution makers provided constitutional provisions to safeguard our diversities in religion, culture, etc.

3.4.2    Factors Promoting National Integration: There are certain important factors that provide sound base for national integration. These are:

A. Constitutional Provisions: The Indian Constitution has made provisions for promoting and ensuring national integration. It has accepted socialism, secularism, democracy, liberty, equality, justice and fraternity as the goals of Indian political system. Citizens have been empowered with fundamental rights and their fundamental duties have also been prescribed. The Directive Principles of State Policy directs the State to promote equitable economic development, eliminate social discrimination, and promotion of international peace and security. And above all, the provisions related to various institutions and processes have been geared towards national integration.

B. Governmental Initiatives: The government has also been making efforts to promote national integration. A National Integration Council has been set up to consider issues related to national integration and recommend suitable measures to be taken. A single Niti Aayog prepares plans for economic development of the entire country and one Election Commission conducts elections.

C. National Festivals and Symbols: National festivals also act as an important unifying force. Independence Day, Republic Day, and Gandhi Jayanti are festivals that are celebrated by all Indians and in all parts of the country, regardless of language, religion or culture. We also observe the National Integration Day on 19 November every year and take a pledge. We also celebrate National Unity Day (also known as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas) every year on 31st of October and take the National Unity Pledge. It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who really unified the country. Moreover, our National Symbols like the National Flag, the National Anthem, and the National Emblem also help to remind us that we all have one identity. It becomes essential that we stress on the importance of showing proper respect to these symbols. These act as strong unifying forces both in times of celebration and adversity. They remind us of our common nationality.

D.     All India Services and other Unified Systems: The All-India Services (IAS, IFS, IPS and others), unified judicial system, postal and communications networks, including radio and television, and the internet promote the unity and integrity of the Indian nation. The members of the All-India Services are recruited centrally, but they work in States. Many of them, after having long experiences at the state level come to work in the Central government and be a part of policy decision-making for the entire country. Postal and communication network definitely binds the nation. So do unified radio and television network as well as the internet, and now the social media.


3.5    Social Justice (Equality and Equity): Social justice is a political and philosophical concept which holds that all people should have equal access to wealth, health, wellbeing, justice and opportunity. 

National integration is impossible without social justice. Social justice means that in the society the citizens must interact and treat one another on the basis of equality. No one should consider others as inferior to themselves on the grounds of religion, race, color, caste or sex.

The framers of the Constitution of India realized that inequality is a hindrance to realizing democracy. Thus, securing social justice was identified as the first objective before the nation and was included in the Preamble of the Constitution of India. It stands for elimination of social discrimination on the grounds of caste, creed, color, religion, sex or place of birth.

The Constitution provides a comprehensive list of rights (Part III of the Constitution) of which the right to equality is the most significant for the achievement of social justice. In part IV, the Directive Principles of State Policy also reflect the constitutional strategy for securing social justice.

The right to equality includes: equality before law; prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, sex, place of birth or anyone of them; equality of opportunity in matters of public employment; and abolition of untouchability.

Further, the constitution empowers the state to make special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Accordingly, there is reservation in government services for these classes. Seats are also reserved for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and Anglo-Indian community in the Central and State Legislatures.

Under the Right to Freedom, the citizens can pursue any business, trade or profession or career.

Right against Exploitation tries to end all types of exploitation; it also prohibits beggary, human trade and bonded labor.

3.6       Positive Discrimination: In the eyes of the Constitution, all men and women are equal, with no special privilege being allowed to anyone. Hence, there is equality before law. But in certain cases, just and rational discrimination is allowed. The government can frame laws for promoting the development of backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Some seats are reserved for them in the legislatures and some places are reserved for them in schools, colleges and government jobs. This is called Positive Discrimination.

This is because some sections of our society suffered discrimination in the past. If these people are allowed to remain backward, they cannot contribute towards national development. So, it now becomes our duty to see that these people have an equal place with the other people in society. They have to be brought at par with the rest of our country people.

However, it is a pity that even after 75 years of independence, we still need reservation. Were seventy years not enough to bring these under-privileged people at par? It clearly shows that either the policy is wrong, or it has not been implemented by subsequent Governments in the true spirit. It has been seen that families who have enjoyed the benefits of reservation continue to do so. Though, there are many more who have still to get any benefits for their upliftment. In order to provide the benefits of reservation to maximum people, one family should be allowed to take benefit of reservation only once. As soon as one member of the family gets reservation, the status of that family has been enhanced. Other families should be given a chance also.

There is another aspect to it. There is a view that the reservation should be on the basis of economic backwardness rather than social backwardness. This is a debate that will continue, but we have to work towards equality in society, whether economic or social. Our policy makers have to work out a viable policy so that even the economically backward people who are not from the scheduled castes or tribes may be brought at par. Due to reservation, many reserved category people have become richer and more privileged than those of the unreserved category. Solutions have to be sought for this unjust situation.

3.7    Fundamental Duties: The Fundamental Rights of Indian Citizen were included in the Constitution of India right from the time of drafting of the constitution. However, the Fundamental Duties of Indian Citizen were added only after 27 years.

3.7.1    Need and Importance of Fundamental Duties: Why do we need fundamental duties?

·         The fundamental duties enumerated in Article 51A constitute a constant reminder to the citizens that they have some duties to fulfill. They help in building up a free, egalitarian, healthy and responsible society. These are expected to act as a damper to reckless and anti-social activities on the part of some individuals.

·         India is a multi-racial and multi-religious country. Such a vast democratic country like India can prosper only when the citizens of this country respect its integrity and promote cultural harmony.

·         It is important to respect womanhood and citizens of India are expected to refrain from practices that are disrespectful towards women.

·         Environmental pollution has become a great cause of concern, not only for Indian, but for the entire humanity. Unless, we all take the pledge to keep our environment free from pollutants, there remains the threat of undesirable consequences.

·         The fundamental duties aim at safeguarding public properties.

·         The inclusion of providing opportunity for education for children as a Fundamental duty is a big step forward towards safeguard of human rights and abolition of social injustices.

Originally 10 Fundamental Duties were given vide the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India, under Article 51 A, in the year 1976. These are given below. It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to:

a.       Abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the

b.      National Anthem;

c.       Cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

d.      Uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;

e.       Defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;

f.        Promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;

g.       Value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

h.      Protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;

i.        Develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

j.        Safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

k.      Strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.

In the year 2002, vide the 86th Amendment, the following was added as the 11th Duty of the Indian Citizen:

l.        Every Indian Parent or Guardian must ensure that their child or ward is provided opportunities for education between the ages of 6 and 14 years

We all should take a pledge that we will always sincerely make an effort to fulfill our duties towards our beloved nation and society, as enumerated in our Constitution. 

3.8       Dignity of Labour and Work: All humans are born equal and, therefore, have a right to be equal. For centuries, there had been discrimination based on community, caste and gender in our society. But now after independence, our Constitution grants the right of equality to all its citizens. They may belong to any region, caste, sex or religion. So that we can do away with the social evils that are creating havoc in our society. Equal opportunity has been provided in matters of admission to schools and colleges and even in employment. No citizen can be denied opportunity of employment to any post for which he or she is qualified.

3.8.1    The Caste System: The caste system, as we all know, was started as a division of labour, based on interest and ability, not on heredity. The system was later spoiled and made hereditary, which was unjust. Work distribution should be based on interest and ability and not heredity. Gandhiji gave the idea of dignity of labour. No work is undignified or lowly. Even scavenging, which is not very prevalent now, especially in urban areas, is not lowly or undignified. Rather, such service-oriented work like scavenging or making shoes cannot, and should not be called lowly. In fact, we cannot do without them. Traditionally, those involved in such menial service-oriented work were called shudras and were considered lowly and untouchable. Gandhiji called them Harijans. However, after independence, the Constitution framers abolished untouchability and any violation of this can lead to a fine and/or imprisonment.

3.8.2 Effect of English Education: Devoid of Life Skills and Values: The British had introduced English education in order to produce clerks for their official work. One effect of this was that education became devoid of life skills and values. Through education, what was propagated was that all knowledge came from the West; Indians were uncivilized, ignorant fools and the Britishers had come here to civilize them and give them knowledge. Of course, this was not true. Ancient India’s contribution to the world in terms of knowledge and civilization was tremendous, perhaps more than any other ancient civilization. But the minds of young Indians started believing that we Indians were really uncivilized and ignorant. How did this happen? 

This trend continued even after independence, and by and by it became even worse. Education became identified with mere qualification – a certificate, a degree. Education brought in a rat race for building a career, for success which meant material progress alone. So called educated (qualified) Indians are only willing to take up such jobs where desk work is involved; any work where physical labour is involved is considered to be inferior. Gandhiji tried to correct this by giving the idea of ‘dignity of labour and work’.

3.8.3    Work Ethics: The essence is that no work is undignified, as long as you do it honestly and conscientiously. Everyone is equal, whatever work he/she is doing, whatever his/her profession, job or vocation is. Choice of work should depend on ability and interest, not on anything else. And nobody can be, nobody should be, looked down upon because of the work he/she is doing. Yes, anyone, who is dishonest in his/her work, is corrupt and resorts to unfair means, should be looked down upon, should be shunned, and punished for his/her misconduct. Anyone who is working/labouring honestly is respect worthy; anybody who is unethical in his/her work is not respect worthy. Ethical and conscientious work of any kind, at any level is dignified; unethical and immoral conduct in work is undignified and hate worthy.

The need today is to move forward and not to look back. In this fast-changing world, educators, teachers, parents and even administrators have to constantly find new ways to transform their role for relevance and maximum impact. In the next Unit, we will come to a very important aspect that impacts our lives, i.e., sustainable development, which is going to lead us a step nearer towards peace and happiness. In fact, it is going to be an important addition to our value system. 

3.4    Patriotism/Nationalism/Love for the Nation/Nationalistic Feelings: Patriotism means a noble sentiment of love, pride, and sacrifice for the sake of one’s country and its people. A person, who supports his /her country, and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors is known as a patriot. Patriotism and nationalism are the two sides of the same coin. In nationalism, the nation has a symbolic representation to have freedom for an ethnic group, while in patriotism the nation itself has the highest value.

Patriotism does not always mean that you have to sacrifice your life for your country; contributing good service towards the country and its people is also equivalent to your sacrifice. Only celebrating the flag hoisting ceremony on 15th August and 26th January, posing for photos with the flag, and posting on social media doesn’t imply that you are a true patriot. A real patriot is a person who has a true love for his/her country. She/he fights against the enemies of the country – both within as well as outside the country.

People express their patriotism in different ways and in different roles. Soldiers, scientists, teachers, doctors, statespersons, and other citizens, express their patriotism through their hard work in their profession.

3.4.1    Lack of Nationalistic Feelings: The biggest hurdle that comes in the way of achieving our goals is the lack of nationalistic feelings in us. Most of us are self-centred and/or selfish. We care only for ourselves or for our friends and relatives. It implies our tendency to favour our friends and relatives. Favouritism is a negative attitude. It leads to injustice and unfair decisions. Favouritism has many forms. Some common forms are linguism, regionalism and casteism.

·         Linguism makes us favour those who speak our language and discriminate against those who speak other languages. We have 22 scheduled languages   and hundreds of dialects as well as other languages that are in use in our country. The 1971 Census reported 1652 languages spoken as the mother tongue in our country. This also leads to disunity.

·         Regionalism makes us favour those who come from the same state or region   as we do. It leads to distinction between, for example, South Indians and North Indians. There are many regional conflicts and they result in diminishing of nationalistic feelings. We have to remember that, whichever region or state we may come from, we all belong to one nation. We are all Bhartiya or Indian.

·         Casteism is the tendency to favour those belonging to our own caste. This is a tendency that divides our society into innumerable groups.  Clashes on caste basis are common. We have to think about how these can be avoided.

Favouritism and groupism are negative tendencies that damage our national interests. They disintegrate the nation and give rise to terrorism. Some people, who want to become powerful, take advantage and mislead others, especially youth, inciting them to violent activities. In fact, this happens because the youth get frustrated in this kind of atmosphere where there is no fairness and justice. We should curb all these tendencies and promote national integrity and unity.

3.4.2    Malpractices in Society: Then there are malpractices in society that bring the nation down. The most damaging of these are discussed below.

·         Crime and Corruption: Another factor that boosts these tendencies is our greed, our lust for money and power. We want to be rich and powerful and so resort to crime and corruption. Some people take bribes and do things that go against the national interest. Corruption is a major national problem. Some people indulge in unlawful and immoral activities like smuggling, hoarding, black marketing, drug pushing, etc. Some people produce inferior and substandard goods to make quick money. Adulteration is another related problem. Some unscrupulous people don’t hesitate to adulterate even foodstuffs or medicines, which can be very dangerous, even fatal. Corruption is a deep-rooted problem which we have to combat. Not paying our taxes to the government is another form of corruption. So is taking or giving of bribes. Even many politicians misuse their power and resort to corruption in order to become rich. We are fortunate that the leaders of the current National Government are selfless and patriotic.

·         Inequitable Distribution of Resources and Wealth: Probably, the most basic problem is that of inequitable distribution of resources and wealth. A few people in our country are rich and live a life of luxury. But a large part of our population leads a miserable life living from hand to mouth. They have to toil hard and sweat it out for fulfilling their basic needs. In fact, this is a global problem. There is disparity among nations, too. Some nations enjoy a very high standard of living. But many countries are very poor. Is this fair? Is it just? We have to think of ways and means of bringing about social justice and equity in our beloved country.

3.4.3    Discrimination, Violence and Crime Against Girls/Women: Another problem that we need to tackle on priority is discrimination, violence and crime against girls and women. This problem afflicts nearly half the population, who are discriminated against and not allowed to realise their full potential, and make them live a miserable, insecure life.  Our constitution says that all human beings irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender, etc., are equal. Female persons and male persons are equal in every way. They are different, but not unequal in any way. This is the universal truth, whatever any individual or society or religion might say! Any male person, who considers female persons to be inferior (or mere objects and not human beings), cannot be a good human being. If female persons lag behind in any sphere, it is not because they don’t have the ability, but because of the attitude of their family and/or society. In some parts of our beloved country, and in some communities, female persons are not encouraged to go for education. They are forced to remain uneducated or even illiterate. However, it has been witnessed that when female persons are given the opportunity, they can excel and even do better than male persons. That is why, the Project/Scheme of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save the daughter, educate the daughter) was launched by the Government of India.

Gender roles are changing and have changed. Earlier, it was thought that female persons are only meant for home making, for bringing up children and for doing domestic chores like cooking, etc. But now women study and take up careers outside home. They have started going into professions that were earlier considered to be meant for men only, like engineering, police, armed forces, etc.

A male person who considers female persons to be merely objects of pleasure, and/or indulges in violence against female persons, is inhuman. Such men deserve, not only exclusion from society, but severe punishment as well. There   are different kinds of crime or violence against women in India. Some of these are:

·         Eve Teasing and Molestation

·         Domestic Violence

·         Demanding dowry at the time of marriage

·         Rape

·         Female foeticide (murdering girls in the womb itself)

There are laws against all these crimes. But many of them go unreported; many a time, even after reporting, punishment is not given due to reasons like lack of evidence/witness, corruption, etc. More than law, the need is to change the attitude of people. Parents have to be responsible enough to transmit good sanskaras (good ethics and moral values) to their children, especially, their sons. For this, they themselves have to change their attitude and be convinced that male and female persons are equal and there should be no discrimination against the girl children/female persons. It is through education that the attitude of people and society can be changed.

3.5       Conclusions: In our selfishness, and for our vested interests, we forget that we are all human beings and that we are citizens of a nation; that we have responsibilities and duties to perform towards our nation, towards the whole   of humanity. Let us remember that we cannot achieve all this, we cannot build up our nation, until and unless we work for it selflessly and with utmost devotion.

We must remember the glorious past of our beloved Bharat. Remember that we were Vishwa Guru (World Teacher/Educator) because of our knowledge and wisdom. All knowledge, including that in Mathematics and Science originated here, given by our ancient ancestors. We must also remember that we were also called Sone ki Chidia (Golden Bird), because we were the richest country in the world. It was because of these two facts that foreigners were attracted to come here. Most of these foreigners came to loot and plunder our wealth. Alexander from Macedonia was the first one to invade us, but he could not conquer us. Then came the Muslims. In the beginning, they came to loot and plunder and went back with the booty. Later they came and ruled over us, suppressing us ruthlessly and cruelly. Later the Britishers came to colonize us and establish their rule here; they also drained our wealth and impoverished us. These foreigners also produced a false narrative and distorted our history. They tried to make it out that we Bharatiyas were uncivilized, uncultured, ignorant fools. They claimed that they came and civilized us; they gave us culture; they brought all knowledge with the. This narrative is entirely untrue. In fact, we Bharatiyas were the most civilized, cultured, wise and knowledgeable. We gave all knowledge, even in Mathematics and Science to the world. Another false narrative in history that they concocted was the Aryan invasion theory. They made it out that Aryans came from outside as invaders. This narrative is also totally untrue. Aryans were the original inhabitants of Bharat.

We attained freedom from the Britishers after the sacrifice of lakhs of people. The history of India’s freedom struggle shines through the immortal courage of the heroic personalities like Veer Damodar Savarkar, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and many more who lived in the age of national upsurge and sacrificed their lives for the sake of their beloved country India. Such great patriots fought for the country and against the atrocities that were being perpetrated on the countrymen. Singing slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Jai Hind’, these patriots happily sacrificed themselves for the country with a smile on their faces and pride in their hearts. Thinkers and reformers like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Aurobindo Ghosh, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee gave the intellectual fervour for the spirit of nationalism and patriotism. A very inspiring quote by Swami Vivekanand, says, “Do you love the country? Then, come, let us struggle for higher and better things; look not back, no, not even if you see the dearest and nearest cry. Look no back, but forward!”

Let us take a pledge that we would work together for the wellbeing and progress of our beloved nation. That we would not work only for our self-interest or in the interest of our various groups, but in the interest of the nation, even humanity, as a whole. That we would do everything we can for the building up of our nation. That we would work towards the cherished goal of restoring our status as Vishwa Guru and Sone ki Chidia. We would also do everything to abolish the false narratives in our history that these foreign invaders brought in to show their superiority.


< Contents                                                                                                                                Next >