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We are still mental slaves!

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Dr Vedapratap Vaidik

While inaugurating the ‘Central Vista’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated that his efforts were to wipe away the mentality of slavery from the country. There is no doubt, installing a magnificent statue  of Subhash Babu in place of King George V  deserves to be applauded  and  the task to give a desirable look and feel to the entire ‘India Gate’ area is also to be congratulated.

The new buildings built around this area could help the government offices to function better and the new roads will make it more convenient for the people in New Delhi. Of course Narendra Modi will be remembered for many generations to come for this restructuring of the National Capital.

Even then, I have a question on the christening Rajpath as “Kartavya path”. How can this be any war against mental slavery?

First, the word Rajpath is from Hindi.  Second, for anyone the word Rajpath is easy to spell out compared to the new name ‘Karthavya Path.  We know that the prime minister addresses himself as ‘Pradhan Sevak’ of the country, then it would have sounded more suitable and sensible to rename Rajpath as ‘Seva Path’.   ‘Seva Path’ would have sent a message to the public across the nation that the service of the ‘Sevak’ was in progress and not the regime of any ‘King’.

The Prime Minister, if he desires, can still change the name to ‘Seva Path’, but the pertinent and fundamental question is whether by changing the names of certain high ways, roads, islands and cities and installing tall statues of national heroes, you can get rid of the slave mentality which is being continued since the era of the British rule?  To me such actions are superficial and fall in the category of gimmicks.

It is like wearing a crown Lord Ram on your head with a bow and arrow in your hand during a stage show will not make anyone our most revered idol.  The moment the stage show is over, even with the same crown on head you can see the actor taking liquor or smoking ganja.

 It seems the government celebrating 75 years of India’s independence fails to realize that slavery is still flowing through its veins.

Even now our leaders are slaves of the bureaucracy. In whose language are all the laws of the country, all the higher education and research of the country and all the justice of the country done? Does it happen in any Indian language? It is in English, the language of your old master the British. The names of most of the schemes, campaigns and national welfare schemes run in the name of the Prime Minister are also in English. Let me be candid to say that the job of our leaders is only to speak and the regime is totally controlled by the bureaucracy. Our bureaucrats and intellectuals are cast in the mold of Macaulay and Curzon. Unless a Gandhi, Lohia or Deendayal who tried to break this mould is born again, this slave mentality will continue to haunt India.

*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educational missions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.

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