Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect

Narayana Murthy, whom President Abdul Kalaam has suggested as his successor in the role of the Prescient of the country , is in the dog house with a case registered him under the Insult to National Honour Act. That looks to be the end of any aspirations that Narayanamurthy might have had to be the next Prescient. Although the reaction of the Karnataka legislature looks like a matter of over kill, the Infosys Chief Mentor’s reasoning is also illogical. I wonder what is there to feel embarrassed about listening to the National Anthem of another country that Narayanamurthy feels uneasy about protecting the foreign employees’ sensibilities. Surely it is possible for foreigners to pay respect to India’s National Anthem in several ways without their national affiliation or citizenship being threatened or compromised in any way. Besides, a lot of Indians work in foreign companies and are otherwise based overseas and when they are so located , they pay respect to the Nation Anthem and other requirements of protocol.

Besides what constitutes National Honor ought to be debated too. Is it all about dressing up the National Flag , singing the National Anthem with gusto and dealing with symbols like that ? Well symbols are important as they serve as a visible reminder of who we are as a nation , a people are and represent. But are they all ? Of what use is are shells and symbols by themselves ? Surely the greatest signature of National Honour is when the people of a country are united , there is peace , justice and equity and over all prosperity. I am not talking about some Utopian Ram Rajya but where the systems to ensure all this are in place and working.

But is that the case at all ? The recent report which revealed that one in two children in the country have been abused in the country at some point in their lives, whether sexually or otherwise is disturbing. Half or more of our country is wracked by terrorism and militancy of one kind or the other. Although the country’s economy as measured by norms like GDP are rising, the inequities in the country are no where like being addressed. The reservation debate has stoked long buried fires all over again and casteism and feudalism is as entrenched as ever , especially in the hinterland of North India. Starvation deaths are so routine in the country that they no longer make news and the story of farmers’ suicides is going the same way. Finally, even though sports and cricket are not every thing , even here the performance of our highly paid cricket stars was of course a national embarrassment

Is it not worth debating in our legislatures as to what is a greater dent to our national honor – that our farmers commit suicide because they are forever in debt , some of our citizens die of starvation because of the fact that they have no money , that our children are abused and exploited , that the nature of our society has become such that children have to be forced though legislation to look after and care for their aged parents ? Yet we are sitting and debating as to whether the National Anthem should be sung or played in instrumental version and crucifying the man who did a dumb job of trying to defend the indefensible in this particular area but over all might have done more for national pride and honor than a whole band of legislators. National Honour is important , but what really is National Honor ?

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