A country that is indisciplined, either in the classroom or in the Supreme Court, cannot aspire to greatness, BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav said in Vadodara Saturday.
His remarks came a day after four of the seniormost judges of the Supreme Court called an extraordinary press conference in New Delhi to speak out against the Chief Justice of India.
“We have to make India a country which is united, prosperous, peaceful, but most importantly, which is disciplined,” Madhav said at an event in Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. “It is very important for a society to imbibe discipline. Very disciplined men also can be tempted in front of a set stage. When you are in front of a microphone, you are in front of the audience, you tend to be tempted. Discipline is essential in a school classroom and in the Supreme Court, wherever you are. The discipline, the unity… these are basics that are essential for any country, not just for India. I am not telling you a secret. This is what our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modiji is trying to imbibe in every citizen of the country,” Madhav said.
The BJP leader, who spoke mainly in English, said, “A country where people do not have access to toilets, a country where women are insecure, which is steeped in corruption, which is divided by caste, religion and other different denominations, which is indisciplined from school to the Supreme Court, cannot aspire to be a great country. That is the fundamental change he (Modi) is trying to bring in our country. That is why demonetisation and sensitisation of people about their responsibilities.”
Modi, Madhav said, is a Prime Minister “who has the courage to tell the people that they have a role to play in (India’s) future; you are not just citizens of this country, but stakeholders in the progress of a great India. When I say great India, don’t think of (US President) Donald Trump, who talks about great America. We have to be disciplined. That is what our government and Modiji are trying to do. Learn from our leadership and contribute to the building of a great India”.
Madhav was speaking at the Yugantar event of the university’s Institute of Leadership & Governance, which he had inaugurated in January 2016. He was flanked by MSU Chancellor Shubhangini Raje Gaekwad, Vice-Chancellor Parimal Vyas, and former Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh. Madhav unveiled Hindi and Sanskrit translations of Minor Hints, lectures on quality administration delivered to Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III by his Dewan Sir T Madhavrao between 1875 and 1881. The book was on the list of “recommended readings” for IAS officers in Gujarat when Modi was chief minister.
Madhav began his speech by quoting the American writer and historian Will Durant. “He (Durant) has said, ‘India was the motherland of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. India was the mother of our philosophy, of much of our mathematics, of the ideals embodied in Christianity… of self-government and democracy. In many ways, Mother India is the mother of us all.’,” Madhav said.
As his youthful audience applauded, Madhav went on to say, “We should all feel proud of our past. But, vartaman ki peeda… bhavishya ke sapne… (the pain of the present, the dreams of the future) all are needed for a nation to progress. We must feel the pain of the present. Our present is not all that glorious. We are still a country with millions of good people. We are still a country with many corrupt people and institutions, insecurity, disunity. Insecurity is not just about the borders, but about our women, our communities. We should feel proud when India becomes great.”
Madhav referred to what he said had been written by the late journalist-author Khushwant Singh about an American washerman, who was invited to deliver a lecture at an Indian university. “Singh asked in his article”, Madhav said, “‘An American washerman is invited to India to deliver a talk in a university. Will an Indian dhobi ever make it to a US university?’ The answer, my friends, is if you rest on the glory of individuals in the country, your nation cannot become great. But if your nation is great, even the last man is respected. The washerman was called because he was an Amercian.”