A well-heard quote, quoted by the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. So, what did he really mean? We’ve heard many revolutionary people and social reformers use this quote, but have they themselves ever stopped to ponder upon the deep meaning that lies behind this very simple quote? Let’s do just that.
From taking steps to reduce global warming to allowing girl education, to stopping crime on women, to changing the government jurisdiction, to having cleaner roads, to help increase the Indian economy, and to basically every troubling topic, we’ve been asked to bring the change in ourselves first, in order to see the change in others or in the way things are done.
This simple quote, if you ask me, can be explained using a much simpler “just-pick-up-the-banana-peel-yourself-and-dump-it-in-the-dustbin-rather-than-cursing-the-guy-who-put-it-there” example. But, this is much more than picking up a banana peel. This requires a change in the mind-set of people, especially those, who follow the famous cliché “Is deshkakuchnae hone waala”.
Let’s, for now, limit ourselves to the boundaries of India. If we look at the very mediocre attempts of the government to, we could say, at least give a thought at where this country is going, we can definitely conclude saying “nowhere”. So, why leave everything up to the government? Why give the opportunity of controlling our lives to corrupted politicians? Why wait for them to bring in a change?
Let’s take an example. The very recent case of IshratJahan, who was killed in a fake encounter in 2004 but had been, up to date, prejudiced as having had alleged relations with terrorist groups. Why? Just because she happened to be at the wrong place and with the wrong people at the wrong time?Or because she also happened to have the tag of being a Muslim along with her? And why did the Indian government take 9 long years to prove her innocent? Why did her family have to struggle for 9 long years to remove all the false accusations their daughter was being framed for? This, right here, is exactly what needs to change. The way the government works, corrupted politicians and police officers too. If our country has come to such a situation where people have to think twice before approaching the police, unsure of whether they’d be sincere or turn out to be corrupted, then that’s something we really need to give our time to think about.
Consider another example. The shockingly disgusting and disturbing cases of women crime that are on their way up the escalator.Yes-rapes, sexual assaults and molestations.To have thought that the verdict on the rapists and murderers of Delhi’s brave heart would have instilled some kind of fear in men (beasts, rather) to think before committing such heinous crimes in the future was another mistake. The jurisdiction is to be blamed again. When someone has sexually molested a person to such an extent that it leads to their death, or otherwise too, just to fulfil their uncontrollable desires, why aren’t they just sentenced to death the moment they are arrested and produced in the court? Or is it really not as simple as it sounds? Wonder what’s so difficult in understanding that.
This is where it all comes down to. Being the change you want to see. And who better a person, from among the many, to motivate us than the very brave and very encouraging MalalaYousufzai, who, being only 16 years old, stood up against the most feared terrorist group across the world, the Taliban, even after having being shot in the head. A gem of a girl, who raised her voice to support her cause of Girl Education in front of millions of people, without a speck of fear in her eyes, the sole reason behind it being the fact that she wasn’t ready to accept someone else dictating the way she was supposed to be living her life. When that girl, at such a young age, can thrive to make a difference, why can’t you? Yes, you.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step”, they said. Begin from your home, and if you believe in it and strive for it genuinely, look at the positive outcomes it’ll get. Parents should start teaching their sons the importance and respect a woman deserves, always. That they have as equal a right as compared to men in this society. Also by teaching not only their kids, but also others the importance of having a non-judgemental attitude and mind-set. About the importance and relevance of changing what troubles them themselves rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
Motivate and inspire yourself. You want a better place to live in then create it. You want cleaner roads then don’t litter them in the first place. You want cleaner environments, don’t pollute them. You want justice, strive for it. You want a better government, don’t vote for the ones running them now and complain later. Vote sensible. You want to put an end to child labour, well then don’t just pity the kid serving you at a café. Accost him to the police and report against it. You want to save water, cultivate the habit of rain water harvesting. You want to be safe, learn defence arts instead of expecting people to change and not harm you. You want education, go ask for it. You want a better Indian economy, don’t buy foreign goods. You want respect, give respect. You want your son to stop smoking, do it yourself first.
You want change? BE THE CHANGE.
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