Born to Lose?
“Societies in decline have no use for visionaries.” ― Anais Nin
June 2020 brings to mind another June. The year was 1757. June 23, 1757 was the turning point in Indian history, the Battle of Plassey. A nation betrayed by its own. A freedom lost to a foreign power. It didn’t all happen on that day, but that was the start. We weakened ourselves. If it had not been the British, any of the other European powers would have taken us over. Because we refused to fight, we did not unite, we did not stand up for what was right.
Starting in May 2020, China’s Xi Jinping threw down the gauntlet. The land may be some rocks and mountains. But it is our land. The blood that has been shed is Indian blood. Xi is showing us that we are so weak that we cannot even protect our homeland’s borders. The Battle of Galwan was lost – both in 1962 and 2020. History does repeat itself. We as a nation were too weak to fight back in 1757. We were still weak in 1962. We are still weak in 2020. Xi Jinping has shown us where we stand as a nation. “We will take your land. We will kill your soldiers. What will you do? Ban some apps? Make colour TVs more expensive for your own people? And keep weakening your economy by locking it up? And keep lying to your own people? You will become a superpower one day?”
The only question that matters as a nation now is how we respond. To become stronger than China will require the people to unite and act because we have a political and economic leadership that is weakening us every day. Those whom we trusted to tell us the truth and act decisively have let us down – repeatedly through the decades. For one generation, we need to set aside everything that divides us. We need to show the solidarity that is enshrined in the first three words of the Preamble of the Constitution. “We the people.” We are Indians first. We have a duty as citizens of our nation, as sons and daughters of the soil. When the leaders fail in every responsibility repeatedly, we need to rise as one to take on the evils that surround us.
This is the defining moment of our lives. We needed a wake-up call. Xi has done it. He has held a mirror to us and shown us how weak we are, how divided we are, how poor we are, how lied to we are. We need to now look past our leaders. We have to come together as Indians to rebuild our nation and our inner selves. We need to free ourselves from the belief that the government is our God. We need to decide that we will not let our children suffer the humiliation of helplessness. It will not be an easy path. No freedom is won without sacrifice.
Tomorrow: Part 12