Lack of pride – worse problem than corruption

Aam Admi Party and its parent movement – India Against Corruption – started a fight against corruption- probably the greatest evil which is eroding our country in all possible manner. I have always felt that whether we like the women/men/kids leading this movement or not, whether we like their methods or not, we should stand by them. Coz they give us hope, hope that things would change for better.

For the last few weeks, I have come to believe that there is a bigger evil plaguing us. Something which is worse than corruption – Loss of Pride.

As a nation, we seem to have lost our collective pride. Theres a whole bunch of couplets which go like this – “Sau mein ninyanve beimaan, mera bharaat mahaan !” . Translated – 99 out of 100 are corrupt, but still my India is great (Its pure sarcasm, if you missed it!)

Let me share with you, as to what triggered this thought in my head?

For the last 7-8 years that I have been in Delhi, I have noticed that the same stretches of roads are flooded during the monsoons year on year. I am also pretty sure that the relevant officials at MCD or PWD departments are aware of this. I can also buy that there is rampant corruption in the relevant department which might be the root cause of this. But what I am surprised with is that how come no Engineer felt repulsed by this.

Why is no one saying,

Its a shame for me, for our team or for our department that this is happening. Lemme see what I can do.

From whatever little I know of how government departments work, one guy could have made a huge impact, if he/she felt a serious dent to their pride with this water logging.

Why is it that we are not ashamed about our failure to deliver on our promises? Our ministers don.t resign these days even when they are faced with serious charges.

There was a time, when the Prime Minister asked the country to skip one meal to raise funds for the army, and the nation followed gladly. Imagine what a sense of pride each such contributing household would have felt.

I remember reading the news about the Japanese pensioners asking the government to send them to the Fukushima nuclear plant, so that the young are not exposed to radiation. Wow !

If you were a young Jap workman assigned to this project, how would you react. If you were the parent for such a workman or if you were the son or daughter of someone who just volunteered, wont you be overrun by a flood of emotions. I am sure, such a strong surge of emotion is sufficient to walk away from temptations that corruption might bring forth.

Japanese Nuclear TragedyLakshya movie shows Amitabh telling his regiment that their predecessors have created a rich and proud history, with numerous sacrifices. And that they (the regiment) have never failed to deliver on any task assigned to them. Stop and think about it.

If you are inducted into such a unit, wont you be charged to go beyond your own capabilities and ensure that you keep the flag flying high? I know I would.

Or the scene where he reminds his men, that the Indian Army has a certain code of honour, and will pay due respect to the dead bodies of its enemy soldiers, even when they fail to extend such honor to ours.

Lakshya Movie

Another movie, maybe it was The Burning Train – shows a sardarji with his wife and a young son. The wife is crying as they face a sure death and the sardarji says “Oye tu Sikhni hoke ro rahi hai”.  I saw this scene while flicking channels and was zapped ! They are facing death and the Sardarji is surprised that the wife – a Sikh woman – is crying.

I dont know how to instill a sense of pride in someone. I am sure building a sense of collective pride is even more difficult. But what I do know, is that this can be taught in individual homes and class-rooms. And it is something very powerful, something which can help fight the temptations of corruption, help fight against the worst of odds.