Misplaced loyalties lead to endangered countries

Building the “culture” of a nation by amalgamating public awareness and society’s values- foundational stones of national integrity……And the least we can do for the future generations

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like…”- Ronald Reagan

How true, and yet how easily ignored and forgotten. For those of us who were spared the brunt of the world wars and other wars throughout the face of the earth, happening in the struggle to gain power over, or regain power from another nation, we would never truly understand the pain of witnessing our freedom being stolen and annihilated. Approximately 7.4 billion people living in 196 countries in this world, define and assimilate “freedom” in 4.351 trillion different ways. A number derived by:

7.4 billion(individual thoughts) x 196(national propagated thoughts) X 3( a conservative number for the number of political parties in each country, a number that can range from 2 {number of major parties in two-party systems like USA and UK }to more than 35 {Israel })

And I haven’t included the number of radical groups and their ideologies!!

The point I am trying to make is that when there are so many ideas about freedom floating around, it is not difficult to sway a person’s behaviour to support and to try to impose his ideology as that of utmost loyalty. The wars of today are fought as an expression of one’s right to believe and to propagate his belief in whichever way he/she deems fit. For each nation, the outcome of this varies.

Those countries that limit the rights and freedoms of their citizens in certain areas of expression, like many countries in the Middle East or like the Communism in China, the voice of the common man is muffled by the declarations of the ruling parties. There is a thin line separating this kind of political system from the dictatorship conducted with pseudonyms. Lying over the bubbling threat of civil rebellion, the growth of such nations is completely at the disposal of the ability of the rulers to focus on and enhance national growth. Success is then defined by loyalty towards the nation- ruler’s as well as people’s- and people’s faith in those in power. Failure is noticed in the gaps in between the words of the paid press in as-yet-quiet countries, and in the countries experiencing an upheaval, it is seen in the faces of refugees abandoning their homes in search of a safer alternative. Ask a refugee the price he had to pay for some people’s loyalties shifting from their nation to their religion, and you’ll know the risk you are putting your nation at, if your loyalties aren’t in the right place and you ignore it as an insignificant happening!

On the other end of the spectrum are those countries that believe in giving its citizens complete freedom and rights to believe, express and act according to personal choice, like many countries in Europe and North America and Australia. It’s a different story that they interfere and try to control world politics, but I admire them for the lessons they’ve learnt from the global past and the way they implement these lessons to maintain their national integrity and instill a sense of responsibility in their citizens, all the while maintaining their rights and freedoms. Not all is hunky-dory there too, but they don’t let their flaws disrupt the national good. There are blunders they have made, like America trying to gain control in the Middle East and Asia by empowering the wrong people and eventually having to fight them to preserve their own security. Like Angela Merkel approving mass intake of refugees, and now fighting a security and women’s safety crisis in Germany. Like the European leaders allowing free influx and distribution of refugees to maintain the Euro and now caught amidst the internecine behaviour of their citizens and refugees. Like Canada trying to be a goodwill ambassador and accepting large number of refugees and providing them with necessities and more, while the recession-led citizens suffer and take to crime. Like the UK making Sharia law legal and exposing its citizens to unforeseen danger. All these situations are just an example of misplaced loyalties and bad judgement. And I’m not against rehabilitation of refugees, just the manner in which it is conducted. Today it is all about the numbers- how many refugees, how many dollars/ euros spent, when truly it should be about you integrating them into your country and them blending into the country’s culture. But when political parties are more keen on proving themselves to be better than the other, when their decisions are based on how they appear to the world outside and not on what the citizens need, when actions are taken to please an organization or party or religion, or just governed by the flow of money and power, when national ideology takes a backseat and individual whims govern the decisions, a nation is taking its first steps towards the mutilation of integrity and sovereignty. Worth mentioning here is Australia, a country that makes all its rules with loyalty towards the nation as the only driving factor. It absorbs and assimilates immigrants into its culture but maintains its set of rules with the national well-being in mind. It does not restrict immigrants or refugees, but at the same time ensures that each one of them is coming with an idea of preserving the national integrity while enjoying the freedoms the Constitution provides. Australia sure has its loyalties in place.

While de-constructing the approaches taken by different countries, my heart is wrenched by the situation in my country of origin- India. A completely new set of vocabulary is needed to describe the “wonders” that can only happen in India. A nation who’s recipe consists of a million-ingredients -each one totally different from the other and irreplaceable- states, religions, castes, classes, its highly evident contrasts of rich and poor, educated and uneducated, some places more advanced than most places in Canada, some more backward than an African country. It has recently taught me that sometimes just the ideologies, actions and decisions of the government or the ruling party are not enough. As one of the most admired leaders in the world today, the acting Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy, Mr Narendra Modi, is facing the difficulties that a lethal combination of secularism, democracy, ignorance and misplaced loyalty brings. 67 years after independence, strewn by corrupt politicians, unconscientious media and a population which consists of either ignorant or irresponsible or indifferent citizens, India still faces a passel of third world problems. Modi, the only living Indian politician worthy of being called a leader, came as a flicker of hope. He chose to deal with the problems facing India in a completely different way, and focuses on growth of the nation and its economy and growth of the people. I appreciate his ability to deal with cheap politics and undeserved criticism with poised silence and undeterred action. The corrupt politicians are notorious for their behaviour, but the imbecility of media and plain foolishness of people makes them blind to the good work and the foundation of progress being laid by Modi. The nasty politicians are loyal to their Swiss bank accounts and to their vote banks; not to the people. The media is loyal to these politicians and to their own right to create stories and to any kind of trouble-maker irrespective of, or more precisely, especially if he’s a terrorist or someone supporting a terrorist; not to true information and public awareness. The people are loyal to cheap stuff “freebies”, cheap publicity and their own momentary well-being, not to the progress of the nation. The underlying problem is not that they know not what to do to preserve the nation’s integrity and contribute to its well-being. The problem is that they firmly believe that what they are doing is in the best interest of the nation. There are a few, if not many, who intentionally fight everyone who is trying to do something for the nation, and hence all the chaos prevails- the chaos that the British took advantage of more than two centuries ago, the chaos that they knew will prevail and will be the only string pulling the country into the ditches decades into independence, the chaos that has ruined the past and is plaguing the present, and trying hard to never let it step into a new and better future.

“I have no fear we’ll ever lose it (Liberty) because of invasion from the outside. But I do have fear that it may slip away from us because of our own indifference, our own negligence, as citizens of this land”- Ezra Taft Benson

To Indians and all others whose conscience knows this is directed to them:

It’s worth learning a lesson from the past. But if you are too frail to remember the past, learn a lesson from the present playing out around you. If you stop fretting over pulling each other down, you all can rise up together. Bringing prosperity to the nation and its 1.2 billion people is by itself a difficult task, but Modi has taken the responsibility, so remember that Rome was not built in a day and help him. If you belong to the rich class, stop brooding over the laws, pay your taxes and do your part to give back to the society. If you are poor, stop crying over the high price of onions and refuse freebies that’ll last you a day or a month, and take advantage of the laws favoring education and employment. Whichever religion you are, think of yourself as a citizen and not a minority or a majority, because you all have equal rights and equal opportunities. The minute you forget that, you are being taken undue advantage of by the political parties. If you are media, either stay true to your conscience and maintain your integrity or just shut the f*** up and let others do their job. Coz your loyalty may be required by your nation but if you are a dog belonging to the enemy, and you supply to their demands, your services are not required. Learn something from the French media, which maintained dignity and stood by their government, instead of blaming them for the terrorist attacks late last year. Instead of looking for stories and opportunities to harass and blame, stand by the nation and support their fight, instead of starting another fire. And if that’s too difficult, and if TRP is your kick, switch from “news” to “soap”, you’ll top the charts!

To all the people in the world:

The earlier you think of yourself as the citizens of a country and put your loyalty to your nation, the better it is for everybody. Whether you’re in power or the common man, learn to differentiate between things at personal and at national level- be loyal to your family, friends, favorite person or team, and religion on a personal level, but on a greater level, put those mediocrities aside and prioritize your loyalty to your nation. This distinction is extremely necessary and the very foundation of enjoying your freedom while being a responsible citizen, ‘coz putting your loyalty onto any perishable entity- be it an individual or a political party or any material thing- puts your nation at stake. These are not only perishable but also unstable and change throughout life. It is, therefore, in your best interest and that of your nation that the highest gift you offer- your loyalty- is accorded only to your nation which will prevail even after you, for your children and your grandchildren. So that your grandchildren may enjoy the freedom. that your grandparents have fought for!!! The least we can do is not ruin it for the future generations.

Like what you read? Give Miral Mehta a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.