May 1: Labour day- Does a hardly working nation deserve the celebrations meant for hard working nations?
The Labour Day in India is celebrated in order to honor the contribution of hard working men and women. It is observed on the first day of the month of May. Every year, Labour Day gives us an opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions that hard working men and women make to our nation, our economy and our collective prosperity. It gives us a chance to show gratitude for workers' grit, dedication, ingenuity and strength, which define our nation's character. In last decade marred by “Bandhs” and “Dharnas” India has witnessed a transformation from hard working to hardly working nation. Does a hardly working nation deserve the celebrations meant for hard working nations?
Our revered freedom fighters who fought for freedom of India had dreamt of a country in which hard workingcountrymen will to achieve new heights and restore the lost glory of Bharat quickly, but we the Indians of today have become a bunch of hardly working lazy folks. This transformation from hard working to hardly working nation has been mainly through courtesy of strikes and protests on every other day. With the nation too busy in organizing and participating in “bandhs” and “dharnas”, protests have become our national duty. Scenes of nation held hostage by protesters are becoming as common as street quarrel in the yesteryears. Day is not far when school children will be asked to write essays on Bharat Bandh , Chakka jaam, chair throwing by MLAs in assembly, wasted session of Parliament, stone pelting mob, setting school bus on fire. With erosion of nationalism, lack of patience and tolerance and rot of moral values democracy has been reduced to protest-o-cracy in our country.
Google Doodle depicting Labour Day Celebrations
We the rest loving nationals are oblivious of the fact that in most cases of protests innocents lose lives, public property gets damaged, common man of the country faces all sorts of harassment with no fault, whereas the unruly protesters most of whom are not fully aware of reasons of protest and even demands continue display of their power. We protest even after a verdict from our apex court and not only that we even organize bandh in response to the previous protest and so on. Protest is not restricted to common men, street and bazaars of the country; even the privileged ones in parliament don’t lag behind in discharging their national duty i.e. protests. They also protest and make sure that parliament doesn’t function despite the fact that wastage of functioning of Parliament of India for a single minute leads to a loss of about Rs. 3 lakhs to the exchequer.
Our leaders as usual try to facilitate the success of bandh in order to appease protesting voters. Most of the times governments also listen to the agitating sides and succumb to their pressure and reward protesters by accepting their demands and withdrawing criminal cases against rioters after the open dance of vandalism and hooliganism. Rather than vision and planning, agitations are the driving force behind our most decisions. Have we become a nation driven by agitations? Where will these adhoc decisions take us?
Democracy in India is fast turning into mobocracy. From parliament to streets everyone is protesting. With the attack on School Bus in Gurgaon and frightening scenes of children inside the bus, caught on the camera, India’s soft approach towards the all fringe groups has got exposed on world stage and this has caused much embarrassment to our governments. Hooligans set the buses, cinema halls and other government buildings on fire and this arson and plundering and then the open display of anger, vandalism spreads pan- India. Police gets deployed everywhere but with instructions to “exercise restraint”.
The fact is that to become a really successful democracy, we Indians would need to demonstrate much greater commitment to virtues of citizenship. We would have to give much more back to society and nation than we are, at present, willing to. We would need to take much greater responsibility for the welfare of others, sometimes putting it above our individual or group interests. Instead, we take our freedom for granted, forgetting how hard-won it was, and paid in blood, sweat, and tears by millions of Indians over several generations. The horrors of bondage and servitude are well-nigh forgotten.
By and large, we want to do nothing for our country or society, but have become over selfish and callous instead. A nation of users and losers earns little success at home or respect abroad. India is not just a place to feather our own nests, exploiting the resources of the land and the cheap labour of the masses. It is a nation, nay a civilization, trying to regain itself after centuries of privation and subjugation. Only a widespread participation in social awakening, hard work and nation-building can truly earn us the title of a successful Democracy.
But this is not going to happen overnight. What is needed is greater mutual trust and support between the governing and the governed, the rulers and the ruled. There is a section of people, who do not subscribe to this ideology of hate and bigotry. It is this class who have to rise to the occasion and protest openly against this hatred fomented by the political classes of India for their vote banks. The fire of hatred and bigotry has reached the doors of this moderate section also. Their time to act against this hatred and bigotry has come, otherwise this fire will engulf this section also and that will be the last nail in the coffin of the already weakened democratic and social setup of India.
Pride and confidence in our abilities to solve our problems, make a difference, and create a more prosperous, just, and harmonious India are crucial to this process. In short, nothing short of a total and willing transformation of our public culture is needed for us to become a great nation. Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. After all it was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. It will be through labour that our nation can progress not by mere celebration of labour day and speeches of leaders.
Someone had said, "Before the reward there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy."
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