Excellence is not by accident. It is a process, where an individual, (or organisation or nation,) continuously strives to better oneself. The performance standards are set by themselves, they work on their dreams with focus and are prepared to take calculated risks and do not get deterred by failures as they move towards their dreams. Then they step up their dreams as they tend to reach the original targets. They strive to work to their potential, in the process, they increase their performance thereby multiplying further their potential and this is an unending life cycle phenomenon. They are not in competition with anyone else, but themselves. That is the culture of excellence. I am sure, everyone of you assembled here will be endowed with excellence in thinking and action leading to innovation and creativity. –Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Address at the PharmInnova Award Ceremony Rajnibhai V Patel Trust, Ahmadabad May 24, 2014
Snce the foundation of our Independent Republic was laid down by our Constitution makers, there has been a group of people who have been working to destabilise the Constitutional democracy. Either they do not believe in democracy or whenever the outcome of the election results does not suit them, they prefer to abuse the democracy. Recent round of protests to perpetuate anarchy have been the tricks used by these anti-Bharat forces. Despite all the odds, Bharat has not just survived as a vibrant democratic Republic but also showed a remarkable character with collective resilience which is becoming a role model for many other countries. What is so special about us as a society that gave us this strength to sustain the political and intellectual onslaught?
As Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar said in his last speech in the Constituent Assembly, “There was a time when Bharat was studded with republics, and even where there were monarchies, they were either elected or limited. They were never absolute. It is not that Bharat did not know Parliaments or Parliamentary Procedure”. Thanks to the spirit of spiritual democracy that teaches us to respect the divine element within every living being, we have the fundamental civilisational ingredient to live with contradictory opinions. The apparent looking Hindu chaos is our foundational strength that has allowed us to accept the electoral peaceful means for transition of political power.
Another unique aspect about the ‘We the People’ is the distinctive set of leadership. Each period has witnessed Sages and spiritual leaders who have guided the society and shaped the polity with distinctive sense of cultural unity. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Ram Manohar Lohia, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, Manvendra Nath Roy etc all came from different ideological backgrounds and they still provided certain common insights about the idea of Bharat. The strength of decentralised systems, interdependence of rural and urban set-ups and a Dharmic world-view that insists on Antyodaya for Sarvodaya are always considered as paramount elements while addressing the policy issues. Even on the Farm Bill issues, the question is not limited to right and wrong but the ultimate impact on the society. As the RSS Sarkaryavah said in his interview, “An agitation does not just affect people associated with it, but also impacts society, directly or indirectly. It is not good for the health of society for any agitation to run for too long. So a middle ground must be found and both sides must work to find a solution”. The social fabric and national integration is more important than brawny political points and for that Samyak Marg (Middel ground) should be adopted. This has been the message of all great minds of Bharat.
Besides all these characteristics, finding innovative solutions as per the need of the time is another peculiar feature of us. The recent initiatives by the Government have facilitated the solution oriented approach based on technology. The best part is, as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam envisioned, we are slowly but surely developing the processes of excellence for the global good. Our vaccine diplomacy is the latest example of the same.
When we are celebrating the 72nd Republic Day and will soon start the celebrations for 75 years of Independence, we should strive hard to strengthen all the three aspects of our resilience: civilisational foundation, vision of the Constitution makers and processes that lead us to excellence as per the need of the time.