“NOTHING CHANGES UNTIL YOU CHANGE
EVERYTHING CHANGES ONCE YOU CHANGE”
Winds blow and time passes, winds can be destructive or constructive, it depends on how one receives them. For India MODI(with the slogan “Abki Baar Modi Sarkar”) was a wind which swept away all the seats in the parliament, and I suppose it was a positive wind for Indian democracy whereas rising of rebel groups such as ISIS in Iraq has been a negative wind, which has impacted the world in a bad way.
Wind bring changes with them, which decide the path of life is going to take in the future. In this essay, the reader will come to know about the recent and past winds which have impacted India and the world in all spheres of life, may it be political, economical or social. Also I am going to predict about the future winds which be blowing and impacting the whole world and particularly India.
So let us examine the word ‘wind’ first.
In this context wind is an impactful happening, which affects the life of humans around the world in a direct or indirect way. Every wind blowing in any part of the world has some impact throughout the whole world, to support this let us take an example of crisis in Iraq(rising of ISIS),which has resulted in increase in oil prices in India.
Now the term ‘changes.’
When winds blow they bring some changes, the changes may be immediate or long term changes.
Let us take a case of ongoing ceasefire violations by Pakistan at the line of control, the immediate effects of this can be seen on the lives of the people living in the nearby villages of LOC, and long term effects could be on the bilateral talks between India and Pakistan being affected by such incidents.
Winds can be broadly divided into two categories:-
1) CONSTRUCTIVE WINDS.
2) DESTRUCTIVE WINDS.
These are the happenings around the world which bring happiness and satisfaction, unite people, boost economy, solve issues and bring peace.
Let us take a recent happening, the swearing in ceremony of our new Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Many foreign delegations were invited, one among them was prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif. During the visit both the prime ministers met and exchanged talks which in turn impacted india-pakistan relations and was thought of as a constructive wind.
As the name suggests, destruction are series of events which cause wars, riots, spread hatred, stop communications etc.
Again I will support the fact with an example of Pakistan. Recently Pakistan’s high commission met hurriyat leaders, which led to declining of India Pakistan talks, and bought a lot of negative winds or destructive winds.
“NOTHING IS CONSTANT EXCEPT CHANGE”
World has been changing since its creation, the best way to analyse the changes, is to go back to previous times. The first question is it all depends on an individual to consider a series of events as winds of change. Let us subdivide the big issue into small contexts and analyse various changes.
To start with we have:-
Politics is a prominent field where winds keep blowing and keep changing the direction of sails.
Be it Indian or global context, politics has been the epicentre of winds.
“Political winds in India”
It goes back to 1857, when the conquest to free India from the hands of British rule started. Revolt of 1857 was a result of the series of changes that had occurred, starting from the uprising of the peasants, protests by Indian men in army, and forming a union to fight against the oppressive rule.it started from one part of the country, but due to common objective, it resulted in the formation of a massive wind, which gave a big blow to the colonial rule. One thing to note here is that winds are created due to certain needs or demands and have the massive power to change a system.
When saw political winds, in the last stages of the independence struggle, the 1920s onwards saw Congress adopt Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s policy of nonviolence and civil resistance, Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s constitutional struggle for the rights of minorities in India, and several other campaigns. Revolutionaries such as Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh preached armed revolution to achieve independence. Poets such as Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam used literature, poetry and speech as a tool for political awareness. Feminists such as Sarojini Naidu and Begum Rokeya championed the emancipation of Indian women and their participation in national politics. Babasaheb Ambedkar championed the cause of the disadvantaged sections of Indian society within the larger independence movement. The period of the Second World War saw the peak of the campaigns by the Quit India movement (led by Mahatma Gandhi) and the Indian National Army (INA) movement (led by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose) and others, eventually resulting in the withdrawal of the British.
To talk about recent winds we had Modi (actually he was not a wind but a storm of changes) which bought national democratic alliance into such majority for the first time since independence.
And on a global level we are witnessing most profound political changes. Whether in the East or the South, the West or the North, hundreds of millions of people, new nations and states, new public movements and ideologies have moved to the forefront of history. Broad-based and frequently turbulent popular movements have given expression, in a multidimensional and contradictory way, to a longing for independence, democracy and social justice. The idea of democratizing the entire world order has become a powerful socio-political force. At the same time, the scientific and technological revolution has turned many economic, food, energy, environmental, information and population problems, which only recently we treated as national or regional ones, into global problems.
India’s economic winds began in 1991 under the Narsimha Rao Government. By that time the surge in oil prices triggered by the Gulf War in 1990 imposed a severe strain on a balance of payments already made fragile by several years of large fiscal deficits and increasing external debt. Coming at a time of internal political instability, the balance- of-payments crises quickly ballooned into a crisis of confidence which intensified in 1991 even though oil prices quickly normalized. Foreign exchange reserves dropped to $1.2 billion in 1991, barely sufficient for two weeks of imports and a default on external payments appeared inevitable. The shortage of foreign exchange forced tightening of import restrictions, which in turn led to a fall in industrial output. At this time we needed strong winds in the form of economic reforms. The reforms had two broad objectives. One was the reorientation of the economy from a statist, centrally directed and highly controlled economy to what is referred to in the current jargon as a ‘market- friendly economy’. A reduction direct controls and physical planning was expected to improve the efficiency of the economy. It was to be made more ‘open’ to trade and external flows through a reduction in trade barriers and liberalization of foreign investment policies. A second objective of the reform measures was macro-economic stabilization. This was to be achieved by substantially reducing fiscal deficits and the government’s draft on society’s savings.
The changes which these winds brought were substantial. The growth rate of the economy during 1992-93 to 1999-2000 was close to 6.5 per cent per annum. The balance of payments position has also substantially improved. Despite several external developments, including the imposition of sanctions in 1998 and sharp rise in oil prices in 2000-01, foreign exchange reserves are at a record level. Current account deficits have been moderate, and India’s external debt (as a percentage of GDP) and the debt servicing burden have actually come down since the early nineties. There is also evidence of considerable restructuring in the corporate sector with attention being given to cost-competitiveness and financial viability. The rate of inflation has also come down sharply.
And currently we have a new government which is taking stringent actions to curb inflation and bring back our derailed economy on track.
This field has actually being influenced the most by the winds of changes.So we will discuss social changes in detail.
LINGUISTIC CHANGES Starting from British Raj.
British Government was cautious and well planned in all its moves. The British Raj was keen on developing the regional languages, however, for the purpose of administration, they needed a common language. The major cause for the slow paced development of the nationalistic movement was mainly due to the diversity in languages. After Independence, the country was in its worst state. There was chaos and confusion everywhere. It was now time to choose a national language. But there were at least a hundred languages that were spoken in India.
After India obtained its independence, policies had to be formulated for the administration of the newly born nation. While forming the constitution of India, the leaders of the nation had to come up with a national language. They decided on Hindi as the national language and the use of English for official purposes.
The Present situation
Though the situation has improved from the early fifties, there has not been a significant development. India still faces the problems due to the diversity in languages. One of the foremost problems is the lack of a unified language system. Though a national language was chosen among the 114 officially recognized languages and 216 mother tongues in India, only 28% of the populations speak this language. People in India have a sense of belonging to a particular language speaking community rather that the nation as a whole.
The overwhelming impact of Hinduism on the Indian minds can be considered as the single most important unifying factor. India is a land of diverse religious faiths. But the influence of Hinduism easily transcends that of any other religion. It is mainly due to the all-comprehensive and all-embracing pervasiveness of Hinduism. Like Christianity in Europe, Hinduism in India has provided an attitude and way of thinking, which is shared and cherished even by the people of other religions. Religious concepts like monotheism, immortality of the soul, re-incarnation, karma, nirvana, moksha etc. inspire people all over the country. Religious rites and rituals have uniformity throughout the country. Sages and saints, religious preachers and the pilgrims have never differentiated between the north and south. If Shankaracharya carried the message from the south to the north, Buddhism and Jainism spread from the north to the south. Chitanya, Kabir and Nanak formed the connecting link among various regions of the country.
All religions have one common ideal worship of the Lord, and all of them proclaim that there is but one God. This one God accepts your devotion irrespective of the manner of your worship, whether it is according to this or that religion. So there is no need to abandon the religion of your birth and embrace another. One big difference between Hinduism and other faiths is that it does not proclaim that it alone shows the path to liberation. Our Vedic religion alone has not practiced conversion and the reason for it is that our forefathers were well aware that all religions are nothing but different paths to realize the one and only Paramatman. Our long history is sufficient proof of this. All historians accept the fact of our religious tolerance.
That the beliefs and customs of the various religions are different cannot be a cause for complaint. Nor is there any need to make all of them similar. The important thing is for the followers of the various faiths to live in harmony with one another. The goal must be unity, not uniformity. Various religious groups are found in India. The feelings of each religious group are the same; each accepts the truth of immortality of soul, temporary nature of world, belief in rebirth, the doctrine of karma, salvation, contemplation etc. The religious texts provide much satisfaction and solace to the people. Religious unity in India finds its expression through the places of worship scattered all over the country. The prayer is intended not merely to remind the mortal of the vast size of the country but also of the religious and cultural unity that exists between Indians belonging different part.
Other small changes which we have observed in recent times are
Changes in the position of women:
The chief factor causing changes in the position of women in our society lie in her changing economic role. New economic rule provided a new position in society and especially in their relation to men.
The crumbling patriarchal foundation.
The foundations of the patriarchal system have crumbled considerably. The cultural conditions grew less in harmony with the attitudes and the prerogatives of the patriarchal system.
The Reduction in the size of the family
One important change which has occurred in modern times in the diminution in the size of the household. The family is now shaped move closely than ever before around marital pair.
Changes in the Central Social Functions of the Family
Various social organizations have been developed to aid the family in the fulfillment of its principal functions. This includes the maternity hospitals, crèches and kindergarten etc.
Romantic love as a Basis Marriage
It is to be expected that in marriage today the flectional element should be emphasized. No doubt romantic love is emphasized. Nowadays marriage and family is more based on love and affection than the traditional rules of marriage.
Decreased control of the Marriage
The marriage contract today is entered into more autonomously by both men and women. Organizations and management completely changed traditional occupational system existed in India. Many of the traditional skills, crafts and household industries associated with the joint family have declined because of the onslaught of factory system.
POSITIVE WINDS FOR CASTE SYSTEM
1. Increase in the Organisational Power of Caste
Education makes people liberal, broad-minded, rationale and democratic. Educated people are believed to be less conservative and superstitious. Hence it was expected that with the growth of literacy in India, caste-mindedness and casteism would come down. On the contrary, caste-con sciousness of the members has been increasing. Every caste wants to safeguard its interests. For fulfilling the purpose castes are getting themselves organised on the model of labour unions.
Today every caste wants to organise itself. Such caste organisations are on the increase. Mainly to cater to the educational, medical and religious needs of their members, these organisations are running hostels and hospitals, schools and colleges, reading-rooms and libraries, dharmashalas and temples and so on. These caste-based organisations are also trying to project the leadership of some of their members to serve as their spokesmen.
2. Political Role of Caste
Caste and politics have come to affect each other now. Caste has become an inseparable aspect of our politics. In fact, it is tightening its hold on politics. Elections are fought more often on the basis of caste. Selection of candidates, voting analysis, selection of legislative party leaders, distribution of ministerial portfolios etc., are very much based on caste. Even the communist parties which project the ideal of a casteless and classless society are also not an exception to this.
3. Protection for Scheduled Castes and other Backward Classes
The constitution of India has made enough provisions to protect the interests of Scheduled Castes and Tribes. They are offered more political, educational and service opportunities through the reservation policy. Seats are reserved for them from Mandal panchayat to Parliament and in all government departments. Though the reservation policy is against the declared goal of establishment of a casteless society, all political parties have supported it mostly, for political purposes.
4. Backward Classes Movement
The non-Brahmin castes today are getting themselves more and more organised to challenge the supremacy of the Brahmins and to assert their rights. The establishment of ‘Satyashodhak Samaj’ by Jyotirao Phooley in Poona in 1873 marked the beginning of such a non- Brahmin movement. This movement against the Brahmin supermacy by the lower castes came to be known as Backward Classes Movement. In the beginning, the main aim of this movement was to limit the Brahmin monopoly in the two fields such as education and appointment to government posts.
The Backward Classes Movement has become a vital political force today. Its influence has changed the political scenario of the country. This movement has made the Brahmins politically weak and insignificant especially in Kerala and Tamilnadu. This movement has also brought pressure on different political parties to create special opportunities for the lowest caste people enabling ten to come up to the level of other higher castes. Due to this pressure, Backward Classes Commissions were established at Central and State levels which recommended “reservation” for backward castes/classes.
There have been many more changes in education, science and technology and daily living of people. To conclude the discussion I will quote
“NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL THE PAIN OF REMAINING
SAME OUTWEIGHS THE PAIN OF CHANGE”