Self-image of the nation visualised in the backdrop of happenings across its territory, reported by media and that expressed by external agencies, both subjectively and objectively, during the 365 days of 2019 may be said to conform to the optimum spectrum in the sky, familiar to all as the rainbow, comprising violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. The colours of the image seem to be in the range between highly pleasing and extremely harsh, depending on the perception of the beholder, as the expression Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder goes. The land’s headcount has increased by about 15 million resulting in increased stress for the Government of the day in discharging the responsibility of providing good governance, which essentially means that no citizen is denied the right to live in reasonable comfort as well as the provisions stated in the Constitution, including the 120 or so amendments. While the claims to the year’s achievements blared by various Departments of the Government at the Centre have not gone down well in many circles in the open, the manner of expressing their discord is the crux of the nation’s image.
Sentiment ruling the love for their land and emotion generated by the various occasions such as Independence Day continue to spur public speakers of all hues to include in their speeches popular lines Unity in Diversity and the World is one family dismissed by many as mere platitudes.
Only a small fraction in the country’s population, even the literati, may be able to get the full import of the currently publicised status of the nation’s economic health, briefly stated as the slow down of the economy. While factors causing the decline have been identified by the team of advisors to the Government and action needed to revive the economy are being proposed by those who have the necessary credentials, the other equally important side to the nation’s image is its social health, which has a bearing on a multitude of factors, all of them with a long history, some of them dating back to several centuries and many being our own creation, exposing utter lack of vision.
Society of the past sustained itself despite threats to its stability, thanks to the mentors commanding respect and acceptance of their guidelines by the diaspora. The land still hosts mentors in different regions, not giving up hopes of happy days ahead, but their voices seem to have got feeble amidst the cacophony of the public speakers hell-bent on creating disharmony. The New Year awaits an image of the nation with all colours pleasing to the eye and the mind.