Article audio version
These are my heartfelt emotional thoughts to write a pledge to my self, country and the world on the occasion of Indian Independence day 2020. I am an Indian who grew up in the southern part of India studied in a Govt. High School where we participate in praying to the nation and pledge which is a part of every educational institution. We used to sing the prayers “Jana Gana Mana“, “Vande Mataram” and “National Pledge” every day in schooling. However, I believe that >80% of the people (including me until a year ago) really never think of what is the meaning, why are we having to practice, what is expected out of us by practising them, what is a common clear goal, how are we striving towards it.
In this, we will discuss the meaning and the background of Indian National Anthem, Prayer and Pledge followed by our understanding and the part they play in our day to day life of an educated man and my criticism on current pledges mentioning the better view for a greater future vision and how should our pledge look like for any man in any country of the world giving us a clear sense of gratitude, vision and direction.
“Jana Gana Mana”
‘The song “Jana Gana Mana” was written by Ravindranath Tagore a Bengali Poet & a Nobel Laureate. Considering the language used in the poem is actually has a base of Bengali and major part of it is in Sanskrit and was first sung in the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on December 27, 1911, This was first sung by Rabindranath Tagore in 1896.
Jana Gana Mana – Meaning of Indian National Anthem
The song “Vande Mataram” was written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in 1870s in his 1882 Bengali novel Anandamath. Considering the language used in the poem is actually has a base of Bengali and a major part of it is in Sanskrit.
Meaning of Vande Mataram – Meaning of Indian National Anthem
“The India National Pledge”
Source The National Pledge is an oath of allegiance to the Republic of India. It is commonly recited by Indians in unison at public events, especially in schools, and during the Independence Day and Republic Day Celebrations. It is commonly found printed in the opening pages of school textbooks.
India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters.
I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage.
I shall always strive to be worthy of it.
I shall give my parents, teachers and all elders respect and treat everyone with courtesy.
To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion. In their well-being and prosperity alone lies my happiness.
The pledge was originally composed in the Telugu language by writer Pydimarri Venkata Subba Rao while working as the District Treasury Officer of Vishakhapatnam in 1962. A native of Anneparthy village of Nalgonda district, he presented it to senior Congress leader Tenneti Viswanadam, who forwarded it to the then Education Minister P.V.G. Raju. It was first read out in a school in Visakhapatnam in 1963 and later in many other schools that year. It was subsequently translated into various regional languages. The Central Advisory Board on Education meeting in 1964 in Bangalore, under its chairman M. C. Chagla, directed that the pledge be read in schools and that this practice be introduced by 26 January 1965, the next Republic Day. Subba Rao was said to have been unaware of its status as the National Pledge. He was said to have come to know about it when his granddaughter was reading the pledge from her textbook.
Even though the National Pledge is in-plane English, this was never part of the discussion with anyone in my life till now in my 35 years and I hope it is same with most. There was no discussion of how should we turn this into action, what actions will make my pledge stand. How can we achieve it?
To the most of educated, the National Anthems, Pledges & Prayers are like handy matchbox to a man struggling in the dark with no knowledge of lighting it.-Kiran KV
The one difficulty was that since India has over 400 languages and almost no one uses Sanskrit as a language of daily use and 2 of them are mainly written with the usage of heavy Sanskrit which is a one of the oldest Indian Language. Teachers & Educators never had time to make us understand what it really means to us and how important it is for us to understand the meaning of it, apart from what we know it as just a prayer song. We always liked the tune, have it by heart & certainly, our brains are tuned to the song to inspire us and awaken patriotism within us towards Mother India. 80% to 90% of the educated people do remember it well and can sing the song even they were asked to sing when they are in deep sleep. The continuous practice has definitely payed-off as expected in terms of remembering it.
However, a common man will almost never think of it once we come out of our education and get employed. Most of our focus will be moved to either financial or relationship factors of our life and we get too busy with our lifestyle. I have seen myself doing this and thousands of people around me who I know, and our media and movie also do the same which is the reflection of our current society. I believe the people in politics who are supposed to serving the country and Govt. servants also do the same in day to day life as they as also part of their own self goals no matter how the actions towards those self goals turning or changing path to reach our common goal.
Unfortunately, the situation in our educational institutions and in our day to day life has not changed a bit since from the time of our independence. Not many parents also don’t have a sense of service towards society and helping thier children to understand the meaning of these, we just remember these prayers and songs or get to listen on Republic Day (26th Jan) and on Independence Day (15th Aug), which are very important days in our Indian history. During our education, we just strive towards our personal goals to get good grades in different subjects but we never spend time discussing very important things like below
1. What it means to be a Human (The probability of being a human, The Importance of life, mind, what are limits of achievement )
2. What it means to have a belonging to the nation (Society, Culture, Heritage, Achievements in different fields)
3. How those are to be part of our day to day life and in achieving a common goal of self-advancement nationalistic progress and world progress as a human.
Criticism on National Pledges
This criticism stands true for most or many of the countries. There is no way we cannot be proud of our own nation contributions, heritage, culture, history and achievements in human evolution. All those will help us guide to our better future. However, we made significant progress in human evolution. We no more fight for freedom unlike a century ago in most parts of the world. We certainly should be grateful to all those great minds who were able to articulate their thoughts feelings and vision toward their own great nation. With all due respect to those intellectuals, I feel those pledges were written in the past which are very much needed in the society in that particular part of the history, however, it will make much more sense for us to change the point of view in having these pledges or prayers towards the nation. Considering the progress that humanity has achieved in all these centuries our vision to the future should be much grander than ever keeping many aspects of our life around us in mind. The idea is to expand our scope by not just having the only view of being nationalist with less clear direction or having least spoken about our day to day actions of a common man towards achieving this grander vision towards the world around us.
Having these in mind, I thought of a pledge to self, my country and the world which help us to be more clear and focused towards our Gratefulness, Vision & Direction
My pledge to self, my country and the world
Gratitude: I am fortunate to be a part of this beautiful world with my fellow & non-human fellow creatures. I am grateful to be able to breathe and use everything that is available to me. I am fortunate to be a human being, a part of my great nation, culture, heritage.
Vision: My only goal is to figure out, how can I serve or contribute my part to my fellow man and creatures in the world & to my nation. I own responsibility to make my self and my fellowman stronger, independent, knowledgeable & becoming unstoppable. I grow & use my intellect and skillfulness to create which no one can replace.
Direction to our actions: My devotion is only towards my god, my work to serve my self, family, community, my country and fellow-creatures to thrive. I will constantly strive to make myself, people & things around me better every day with my actions & never complain about things/people out of my control. I am obliged to fearlessly stand by my hard work, Justice, Equality, Compassion, Honesty, Loyalty and never harming anyone.“
I dedicate this pledge to mother India minding the whole world’s prosperity. The most important thing in this pledge can be used by any countrymen (if not any creature on the planet earth, if possible) and it stands the same where we are trying to touch three main aspects of our life.
- Gratitude: Grateful & Appreciation towards our own life, nature, nation, culture, heritage including our fellow creatures.
- Vision: A grander world vision towards our future goals.
- Direction: A direction to our actions to achieve our goals showing do’s and don’ts.
This should be part of our everyday prayers is not only educational institutions but also in workplaces reminding us what these three crucial aspects which can change the view of an individual towards the world around us and continuously focus on making ourself, things and people better to achieve our common goal, using our knowledge and skillfulness by creating unimaginable and irreplaceable work by others.
For World’s Prosperity – Kiran KV.