Is India a cursed or a blessed nation?

An exploration through India’s high and lows from Indus valley civilization to present day.

India's highs and lows
India's highs and lows

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he curse first came when the pride of India, the Indus Valley Civilisation, 3300–1300 BCE, vanished mysteriously. The cause, allegedly, was the sudden acidification of the waters in the Indus basin, leaving behind a legacy of unbelievable structures, systems, coins, pots et al and, alas, an undeciphered script. To rub salt (and pepper) in the great tragedy, all we can boast of is the fact that 44 of the listed 65 modern sites of that vanished civilization — extending from northwest India to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Indus River basin–are in India!


Then came hundreds of years of internal fiefdoms, serfdoms, individual empires, sultanates and interline wars in what was a vast land composite in the geographical territory but not in governance. Then came the Turco-Mongols, the Moghuls, and finally, the British traders with military officials — each group with the objective of milking and subjugating a country which was not a country on its own.

Fourty four of the listed 65 modern sites of the vanished civilization in the Indus River basin are in India!

Then, in 1784, even as the Moghul Empire began declining, we had the cruelest possible irony of the local Marathas officially becoming the protectors of the invading emperor in Delhi. It was just a matter of time before British trading skills, political cunning, and military skills combined with local naïve and treacherous entities.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]B[/dropcap]y 1857 a considerable part of former Mughal India was under the East India Company’s control. After a crushing defeat in the war of 1857–1858 which he nominally led, the last Mughal, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was deposed by the British East India Company and exiled in 1858. Through the Government of India Act 1858, the British Crown assumed direct control of the territories held in our country by East India Company in the form of the new British Raj. In 1876 the British Queen Victoria assumed the title of Empress of India.


Came the blessing— in the form of many successive freedom fighters of India who were willing to sacrifice life for liberty. After nearly a century of violence and non-violence, often interspersed, India was blessed with freedom attained on August 15, 1947.

Had it not been for Sardar Patel’s foresight and forceful persuasion, India would have become a balkanized State, and an anarchic amalgamation of parallel lines.

But the curse soon came back. India was partitioned on the basis of the religious majority in British India provinces and on the individual preference of 562 Princely States which had long ruled over their royal States, small and big, by paying obeisance and “security insurance premiums” to their British masters. The first create permanent hostility between our two predominant religious communities. The second British “googly” has left our very own land of paradise in suspended animation and terrorism for most of the 70 years since freedom was attained by India the country. And had it not been for Sardar Patel’s foresight and forceful persuasion, India would have become a balkanized State, and an anarchic amalgamation of parallel lines.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]B[/dropcap]ut despite securing for ourselves a strenuously debated Constitution, its over-emphasis on human rights, almost unrestricted fundamental rights and freedom of speech and expression in a lazy and cumbersome legal-cum-judicial system, the country’s governance system has made us the victims of the devil’s curse once again.


A conspicuous failure has been the absence of every Union Government to legislate on every element of our Constitution’s Article 51A which goes a follows:

“51A. Fundamental duties. — It shall be the duty of every citizen of India (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;
(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India;
(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures;
(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
(j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement
(k) who is parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child, or as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.”(Added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002.)

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]s a result of the above failure, we have lots of politicians and their student uttering ugly filth about our Army Chief and the Prime Minister also. In fact, our previous Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, had the guttural gumption to describe the demonetization of November 2016 as an “organized loot and legal plunder” without evoking any sort of anger and disgust among fellow Indian citizens. Worse, if possible, was the Vice President of the Congress Party describing our Army’s surgical strike on Pakistan in September 2016 as khoon ki dalali (trading in blood). Pray what kind of a nation are we living in? Are we then truly cursed or should we consider ourselves as blessed to have such frank top political leaders?


Yes, the political parties can be held as guilty for leading us to a cursed situation. And there are just too many of them. Wikipedia says that “As of September 2016, the total number of parties registered was 1761, with seven national, 48 state and 1706 unrecognized parties.” And among the 50 recognized State Parties as on 5th May 2017, there were All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Indian Union Muslim League — bearing blatantly communal names in what is ad nauseam called by the Congress and several parties as a “secular” country. Did Indira Gandhi (dubbed the greatest and most popular leader by President Mukherjee) have that in mind when she introduced the word “secular” in our Constitution’s Preamble through the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India enacted in 1976?

With one or two exceptions, all our political parties hold their own self-interest above national interest. That’s why, for instance, the only thing they have rebelled to do for the farmers of the country this year is to waive off their loans — of all of them at one go; and never mind the financial burden it will cause the state. That is why they do so many other acts without applying their mind — whatever they have — to national issues. They must be dubbed as a curse on our nation even as the people follow them with eyes and minds and ears closed.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]s a result, we continue to have to deal with an unsustainable population growth, a large poverty-stricken population, a complex and inadequate education system which is a bizarre mix of foreign standards and illiteracy, and among other issues, a cumbersome, lengthy legal-cum-judicial system which is horribly outdated.


We have an economy spoilt by looters, cheaters, and defaulters. Apart from the likes of Vijay Mallya, even our farmers have been found to be cheating. They have been found depositing their zero-interest crop loans in Fixed Deposits of public sector banks and then claiming loan waivers from the government. And worse, we have politicians supporting their cause! In fact, they stop at nothing to get into the news and, if possible, into power.

But it must be admitted that there are pockets in our country who are blessed enough to think differently.

In the end, really, it’s a war between the good and the bad, between the blessed versus the cursed.


Note:
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Arvind Lavakare

Arvind Lavakare has been a freelance writer since 1957. He has written and spoken on sports on radio and TV. He currently writes on political issues regularly. His writings include a book on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."

14 COMMENTS

  1. Hw it cld be a cursed nation where despite all odds very finely outlined,we thrive to be an upcoming super power.yes we do have our trials and tribulations up and downs but we aresimply blessed .proof no. Of past civilisations.jai hind,long live india and indians.

  2. Sir, Being an engineer of vintage era,I was seeing beyond 2+2= 4 till i read your article to realize that article 51 A has not been as yet admitted into the constitution! I can only call it “a tragedy beyond comparison”.We lost the great Sardar much too early after independence thanks to Nehru’s chicanery and greed and also to the fact that he was basically a Muslim in the Hindu Garb. The farmers issue is not at all dealt with the application of the mind but as an act of fire fighting as and when the fire erupts and becomes too hot to handle. We have agricultural ministers who know nothing about agriculture and we have demented jokers with many psychopaths acting as cheer leaders to pick up the bones thrown at them,for calling dedicated armed forces and their commanders as street goons and Gundas. They are only interested in lining their pockets with ill gotten wealth by looting,changing laws to their convenience. A classic example is that of the former F.M also known as PC under the very nose of MaunSingh the puppet of Sonia. For 70 long years this has been going on with no signs of a blue sky on the horizon.Will the overcast clear with the likes of turncoats like Arun Shourie, Tavleen singh and many others ? Will the guilty be really brought to book by a lone wolf Dr Swamy? Will the farmers issue be fully analysed in great detail and solutions found ? Will the GM seeds be banned as has been done all over Europe? Please permit to quote Chanakya”There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind, and there is no happiness equal to contentment.There is no other disease as greed. Thank you for giving me an chance to reply. Regards,

  3. don’t know where Dr Neeru Goel got the statistic about BPL farmers being 90% (sic). But here’s what the Government says: “Per the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation of India, there are 902011 agriculture households.Out of 902011 households,36.4% have qualified for the Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration cards. These cards are given to the poorest of the agriculture households living below poverty line. (Source: http://mospi.nic.in/mospi_new/up…) Besides, several agricilturists I know are not only designated as BPL, but hav ITI qualified but are running their own Ola cars or are employed in reputed companies. And several adult children of agriculturists are known to work under the “high wage” MANREGA scheme which Dr Goyel criticises. And several economists are coming around to the view that the “Farm-loan waivers” are dangerous for the long-term economt. By the wy, about agricultral policis, there’s a report today (In the Sunday Guardian of June 18) that according to NDA’s Ministry of Agriculture that the PM MOdi’s “Soil Health Card” innovative scheme has resulted in almost 10% to 25% increase of paddy and to 35% in pulses while, smultaneoisly, there has been a 16% to 25% reduction in the cost of paddy. pulses and oil wseeds. It’s a clear proof that the various kisan groups/assiciations who are itching to go on strike (and indulge in violence) are just not ding anything else for our “poor” farmers about whom Dr Goel is so ultr-sympathetic.

    • Sir Dr Neeru Goyal is just a Paid pimp of Vatican, opus Dei, and White klannist, Nazi supremacist Christian (All whites are same, and Christianity is just a genocidal mass murdering ideology of White supremacist butchers and their brown skin slaves), As Putin described them “Scavenging pigs who line the gutters of Western embassies for crumbs thrown at them”India has many of these “CURSES

  4. I adore Mr.Làvkare’s Pen . His words are pearls of wisdom .
    HIS STUDIED ARTICLE on ARTICLE 370 SHOULD BE READ BY THE framers of Kashmir policy because they will be able to go about and obliterate the hype or illusion of it being Lakshman rekha ..If our dynamic PM studies that ..HE WILL CARVE a niche and be ranked next to SARDAR PATEL .in the history ..( and someone like Indira GANDHI .WHO MADE NOT ONLY HISTORY BUT GEOGRAPHY ) ….
    Maybe then Mr. LAVKARE will have one additional Count in his BLESSED india jewels ( very very few at the present ..as i read his article )
    I would have wanted him to give more names and events to inspire confidence

  5. 90% farmers of this country are living BPL. Act of a few bad fish should not malign and punish all. Due to faulty Govt policies eg MANEREGA – Govt has increased the cost of labour so much that a farmer or a common man can not afford them. (Policies to make people KAAMCHOR and baith ke khao with taxpayers money). How does the govt think the kisaan of this country will survive without MSP of every crop or produce. Does he get anything of his daily needs at subsidised rates? Has he taken a theka to feed the people of this country at his own cost?

  6. Really a nice article. In the current situation India has issues down to the grass root level. People need to be educated rationally and their mentality needs to be modified. Otherwise India is indeed a blessed nation and I’m proud to be born here.

  7. Nice article; Article 51A (e) mentions about denouncement of practices derogatory to women. Now a days we hear stories of mischievous officials’ abominable acts of photographing women defecating in open. Could you please shame these guys with your pen.

  8. बेहद सटीक और योग्य आकलन लेखक द्वारा प्रस्तुत किया गया है.वाचनिय लेख

  9. The downfall of India came when people of this country started worshiping non living Gods in place of living one. By negating the Rishis ,they started worshiping the ideas of Rishis. Gita can not alone guide correctly without the presence of living Sri Krishna. There is possibility of mis interpretation,distortions. We need living Ideal. Without Him , it is not possible to progress. If we want to progress than we must find out the living Ideal and follow Him.It is considered as fortunate to take birth in India, because many great souls, living Ideals were born here.

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