Today, we need another leader, another Gandhi, who can impassion us to pick up the cudgel of divisiveness, and turn it into the sceptre of oneness. And there is amongst us such a leader present. I do not know his name, his religion, his beliefs, but I do know that you see him each day in your mirror. Let us stop looking to our so-called leaders for direction, for many of them have already shown us their selfish agendas. Let us stop asking them for credos that we can believe in, for many have shown that they can be turncoats for something as base as money and power.

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny….” With these inspiring words Jawaharlal Nehru stirred the soul of our nation. Today, we need another leader, another Bapu, who can impassion us to pick up the cudgel of divisiveness, and turn it into the sceptre of Oneness. And there is amongst us such a leader present. I do not know his name, his religion, his beliefs, but I do know that you see him each day in your mirror. Let us stop looking to our so-called leaders for direction, for many of them have already shown us their selfish agendas. Let us stop asking them for credos that we can believe in, for many have shown that they can be turncoats for something as base as money and power. Let us stand by the truths that we hold in our hearts; truths formed out of no other need save the desire to live happily and peacefully with our neighbours, whoever they may be.

The India of my dreams may seem idealistic to some, but it is a reality that I, and others who love this glorious nation, can make happen. There are enough of us who do not believe that religion holds the answer; there are even more who know that all religions are merely replications of each other; and there is a large majority within whose heart India is seated high. We are the Indians of today. We may not speak each other’s language, we may not call God by the same names, we may not agree on all issues, social and political, but we have Indian blood that flows through our veins, we have desi dhadkans that beat within our hearts.

Yes, there are those who are trying hard to tell us that India belongs to those who worship a certain way, talk a certain language, and hold certain views. As our country readies herself to celebrate 15th August, I throw down the gauntlet and challenge all divisive forces to dare and break my motherland. India is not a nation of states, of cultures, of religions, that can be demarcated by boundaries. India is a PEOPLE, India is US, and no one can take that away.

The opportunity to be Indian presents itself each time you meet another Indian. To be leaders we cannot stand above others; we have to stand with them. If our political leaders truly stood with us all, they would know that freedom for us means the right to be the different fingers of one Indian palm.

When we kill in the name of religion, we show little love for India. When we create differences between classes and castes, we show how little India’s unity means to us, when the henna that glorifies the Goddess palms of our wives, mothers, daughters and sisters is dishonoured, the bestial face that is not India is exposed harshly. To these beasts, to these who care more their personal wealth than the richness of India that they attempt each day to steal, to those liars who claim to serve India when each day they serve only themselves, to these in whom beats a heart too small to include all of India, to them I say, ‘Please leave. This is not your home. And it is clearly evident that it is no MOTHERland of yours.’

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