Physics teaches us 2 quantities – vector and scalar. While both of them have magnitude there exists a major difference between them and that is of direction. A vector has direction while a scalar quantity doesn’t. To me a perfect example of a scalar quantity is India. Yes, India!
I can’t help it. I am an Indian and my heart beats for India. It’s every success is mine, its every loss is heart wrenching. India may have been the cradle of civilization and the finest example of town and civic planning in the early days but unfortunately today none of that is visible. Why is that a country known throughout the lands for its good suddenly finds itself wanting in all spheres of life? Why is it that a country which in the 1700s controlled 30% of the worlds economy ( a share bigger than that of Europe and America combined), is today an economy ranked just above Junk? The answer is simple. The answer lies before our very own eyes and is not as complex as rocket science. A simple thing that we have forgotten the meaning of and probably even the spelling. And that’s discipline.
It’s this same discipline that allowed a puny and small country like Great Britain to conquer India. The same discipline that let them conquer almost all the countries of the world and build an empire so huge that the sun wouldn’t set there. The same discipline that let them hold the world captive for centuries. Leaving aside Britain, it’s the same discipline that differentiates us from any other developed country of this world. The same that differentiates an Indian and the rest of the people. The same that makes our head fall in shame when we are compared to the world.
No one can deny the massive talent we possess. Give us any situation and we shall be victorious. India is a stream of ideas and talents. We have the magnitude but the discipline is missing. We care two hoots of road discipline and other rules. We drive like as if we own the roads, cutting lanes and honking to our own free will, and who can forget the historic ‘spit along the way’. We even don’t mind entering areas clearly marked as ‘No Entry’ ‘One Lane’ or even drive in the opposite lane. We stop at traffic signals only when we are on the zebra crossing and slowly proceed and reach the middle of the forbidden area in the anticipation of the signal turning to green. By the time the signal is green, the cars have already crossed the signal and are at the next signal, repeating the same. We would overtake from any side just given a chance and even use the footpaths to reach earlier. Are we always like this?
No. Place a cop and we undergo a surprise transformation. We suddenly become law abiding citizens and upgrade our driving skills to a level comparable to the best in the world.But some people dont even bother with the cop around, and take out the gleaming 100 or 500 note and the policeman gives a smile brighter than that in the Happydent ad.
If you thought we are like this only in driving then think again. We treat our country like it’s a vast public latrine – spitting, throwing up paan, peeing and littering wherever we feel like. Do we do this everywhere; no, it’s a special treatment only for our country. If we go aboard we leave all these qualities behind. I wonder where our high level of education goes. Where does our civic sense and theories of Bharat Mata and Dharti Mata go is a big mystery. You tell us to stand in a line at a counter and all we understand is crowd up. Our lines move in all directions all approaching one single window. Simply said in India we follow only 1 thumb rule – find a place and fill it.
If you ask me how I would love to design our country’s future then my answer is simple. Inculcate a sense of discipline in each of us. If that may involve a year or two of military training so be it. I’m ready to sign up for it right away. Make sure it’s taught and enforced in our schools and institutes of learning right at the grassroots level. Discipline does not mean punishment, after all punishment is useless unless lessons are learnt. Discipline is all about love, encouraging self-control, trust, self-control and obedience. Lastly Discipline is a journey. To inculcate good discipline we need to be good role models, after all what’s the use of only preaching and not practicing. Though the changes will not be visible soon but in the long run it will surely show.
Through discipline we would learn to live as better individuals supervising ourselves. Our conduct wouldn’t be determined on whether we’re being watched or not. Our approach towards life would be better. For a country like India discipline is a dire need, thanks to its burgeoning population and terrible infrastructure and law enforcement agencies. It would also help in policy making where our MLA’s and MP’s would have a debate in the truest sense and not turn the Legislative Assembly or Parliament into a fish market, or even worse, a classroom. In fact we would need far lesser administrators – like during the times of the British and Portuguese one officer was in charge of an entire state or a region.
So let us work towards achieving the most important thing for any profession or in any walk of life. Talent alone cannot guarantee success, mix it with discipline and you have a recipe for success. This country needs a sense of direction to move forward and discipline to propel us. After all you can’t be a superpower by being a scalar. It’s only a vector who becomes a victor!