Lok Sabha elections are the tumultuous test of democracy—the pinnacle of people’s participation in governance. At the peak of this summer a new Government will be at the helm at Raisina Hill. It will assume office at a time when the country is facing severe challenges, particularly macroeconomic. Amongst other things, it will seek a new direction for next five years to come. Manifestoes, agendas and resultant policies are in the offing. This issue delineates threadbare the macroeconomic and socio-economic agenda for the government to come.
Patriotism is practised by different sections of the society in different ways— citizens, corporates or policymakers. Each one of us have certain duties and responsibilities. The first and foremost thing about patriotism is that each section of the society discharges its duties and responsibilities with the right intent.
Patriotism has gained currency during this election season. Almost all political parties are trying to make it a big campaign issue. Patriotism taking a centre stage is a good thing. Defining, re-defining or under-defining patriotism with specific intent has become the order of the day. Conversely, patriotism can simply be defined as love for one’s country, be proud of it and have the willingness to sacrifice—not always and necessarily life—to promote and serve country’s good. Unfortunately, patriotism has come to be celebrated as a festival—forgotten too soon for the life as usual.
Patriotism is actually rooted in the ideas that in turn, gave birth to our nation-state. Those ideas are patriotic. As a patriotic Indian, we must revere the ideas that motivated the founders of modern India to put their lives, fortunes and the sacred honour on the line. Call it freedom. Call it liberty. Call it whatever you may wish, but it’s the bedrock on which this nation was founded and from which, we stray at our own peril. Those revered ideas are enshrined in our constitution as Fundamental Duties and are the guiding principles for all corporates and citizens alike.
Elimination of poverty, boosting employment and making society more inclusive have remained chimera for successive governments and will continue to remain challenges even for the next government.
It is an attempt to catalyse a more informed debate taking inputs from primary field research to bring felt-needs to the policy; identify the contours of an effective policy and legal framework help evolve multi-dimensional understanding of national issues; and, to bring moral pressure to bear in an attempt to persuade all the stakeholders to do the right thing.
The underlying fact is that patriotism is not just a lip service. It has to be practised.