Did you hear the president's speech to the nation on the eve of Republic day? It was a touching moment when he made the youth of the nation take a ten point oath. It was endearing as well as moving to watch him read out every single point of the oath and to hear the children repeat after him. One saw an eminent Indian, who in sheer frustration with the grown ups, was appealing to the children and youth to 'please" lead the country into a "heaven of freedom"( as Tagore had dreamed., which still remains a distant dream - perhaps more distant than when he wrote it.) Simple to practice, asking the priveleged ones to care for the less priveleged and ensure their rights, and be human . Time someone gave these thoughts to the children even if the parents are too busy trying to be "successful" in this world. and "pushing" their children on the same course. He encouraged them to fight corruption wherever they found it, even if it is in their own parents! At the end of it, he asked them, with his trademark smile and such child like earnestness " will you all do this?" and when they said" yes, sir!" he added, "good children!" It was all straight from the heart-pure,honest, simple - enough to bring tears!

Another moving moment came after the speech when they braodcast the national anthem sung in bits by eminent singers from all over the country, each in his/ her distinctive style - carnatic, Hindusthani, folk and film - men, women,young and old; but it was all in perfect harmony and nothing seemed out of place. One voice - the voice of India!
Why does this feeling come only while hearing this song or while saluting the national flag and saying "jai Hind!'. After this we go back to being a Tamilian and Bengali and Punjabi and Gujarati - what is wrong with us?

The ten point oath for children

• I will pursue my education or the work with dedication and I will excel in it
• From now onwards, I will teach at least 10 persons to read and write among those who cannot read and write
• I will plant at least 10 saplings and shall ensure their growth through constant care
• I will visit rural and urban areas and permanently wean away at least 5 persons from addiction and gambling
• I will constantly endeavour to remove the pain of my suffering brethren
• I will not support any religious, caste or language differentiation
• I will be honest and endeavour to make a corruption-free society
• I will work for becoming an enlightened citizen and make my family righteous
• I will always be a friend of the mentally and physically challenged and work hard to make them feel normal, like the rest of us
• I will proudly celebrate the success of my country and my people.
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