Shreya Mukherjee Writes a Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister Sir,

This letter of mine to you is a letter to all my fellow Indian brothers and sisters, you being the representative of all; I hereby take the freedom to address this letter to you. My letter to you is to share my vision for Honest India on both a personal and social level.

Today it is difficult to imagine a man who can become another Mahatma for India.

His immaculate character and inner strength is unimaginable and possibly impossible to replicate in today’s life. Lost amidst material gains and losses, urgency in achieving success we know we cannot follow his Golden rule of Truth and Non violence. But I have a firm belief of seeing a new dawn in India.

Last one and a half years has seen people of similar minds on the roads. This unity to bring about a collective change in India has filled me with the hope of revisiting Mahatma’s India. So this article of mine is a small but practical effort towards an honest India. I agree this is not the only way but just like a mother uses both love and punishment together to discipline her child none being completely wrong; this might just be a not so wrong way to bring change.

To bring Truth to the forefront we have to understand why people lie? In our everyday life we know “n” number of people who lie to us. Sometimes we can catch them and sometimes we cannot even guess their lies. Why do we lie? The obvious answers are: I want an easy way out, afraid of punishment, scared of hurting people, scared of being judged wrongly, negative image etc. A liar can have good or bad motives but every liar will have a reason and justification for lying.

Truth has two parts one speaker and one listener. Two individuals involved in the scene can have different capacities to accept or reject truth. This means they both will react differently to the same situation. Now here are few situations that can arise depending on both of them.

A. If the speaker has less courage to speak but the listener is stronger enough to hear the truth half of the job is done. People around us are afraid to speak a simple truth where they are expressing their opinion because they are afraid of being punished.

B. If the listener has less strength to accept the truth and has a tendency to react at the slightest thing. Then only the most honest of all speakers will be able to speak the truth without making things difficult for himself. Only Mahatma Gandhi ji could do such a brave feat.

C. If both the speaker and listener are weak then neither will be able to handle a change, or the situation; then they will always have a relationship of distrust and disrespect for each other.

D. If both the speaker and listener are strong then their relationship will always be strong, and of mutual respect. As neither creates a fiasco nor is afraid to change the mistake.

Now we live at a time where option C always happens and option D is a distant dream. While option A and B are still feasible. Option B can be done only with men with a brave heart. So what is left is option A, all we have to do is convert the situations of option C to A.

I know as speaker we can rarely take the risk of saying the truth because till now we haven’t been able to gather the strength of facing every tricky situation. Out of fear of rejection we tell lies every now and then.  I feel as a listener I can show more patience and appreciation towards the person who is willing to be truthful with me.

Would it not be wonderful to have someone who can understand our mistake without being cynical or someone who gives us a certain sense of freedom without being judgmental about us?

The latest Facebook arrest of two girls is not we want to see in India.

If India chooses to be intolerant towards such personal opinions how is it possible for people to come across and speak the truth with each other, and how can we even dream of a free and fearless India.

Truth is essential in every relation, not just the work place, or to have a corruption free India. Truth for two people can be different depending on their different perspectives and current state of mind. In such a situation without having the courage to face the truth in everyday life, how can we dream of an honest India?

India has been extremely courageous in facing the truth from time to time and over centuries; its multi cultural and religious background is a proof of that. Some may consider this as a weakness and render it as a loss to the nation. But I firmly believe being tolerant and acceptable towards others will only help them to be more open and honest with us in the future.

In the context of present society and country; friends lie to friends- peer pressure or maybe scared of hurting them? Children lie to parents, scared of being judged wrong? Employees lie to their boss for fear of being punished. With so much fear we can only bring laws to end corruption but we won’t be able end corrupt minds. We won’t be able to weave a social fabric of life and relationships built on faith and honesty. Honesty is not just a parameter for a corruption free country but it uplifts us from weak mindsets and we cannot do it unless we consider the cause of fear in the liar as justified. There is something in us that forces the other person to lie. The question is can we change that something in us??

I know the thing that pops into the mind is how the work will get done without the fear of punishment.

Tell me one thing if as a parent I punish and judge my child for being wrong all the time how difficult will it be for the child to lie to parents and do what he wants to?

Is this how we want a honest country and dishonest families?

What are we clinging on to?

Social fabric of the country is woven when we accept people and their opinions even if we don’t agree with them. Without this flexibility, we will only have an honest country superficially; in reality we will nothing but broken and dubious relationships. This way you will live in a world of presumptive honesty until and unless the truth is dug out from somewhere or somebody. Are you willing to live in a dream world like that??

A simple thing we all can do is just accept truth when people speak it to us.

Yes it might not be truth in our opinion; it could be just jealousy, or useless criticism, or even careless attitude for us, but the one who is saying it is completely convinced about it. I know it’s difficult to speak the truth (blame 100 reasons for that) but we can face truth.

Let’s start facing the truth in our homes, welcome it to our daily relationships. Let us be more stable and welcoming when the truth is spoken to us. Tell our family, friends and colleagues that they can tell you anything without fear of being judged, held wrong or being punished. Once they see that you are more stable and welcoming to accept the truth as it is, and not forcing them to change always (no one likes to change), they would eventually become stronger listeners too, and then you’d be able to share their truths with them.

Yes it takes time to weave such a relationship but is it not better to have one such honest relation than a 100 dishonest relationships?

This does not mean we stop enforcing laws and rules when they are needed, they will have their own place in society. This just means that we should change our attitude, to start an everyday life with more faith.

An honest family with its honest children will grow up with great strength in character. They would be able to face the world without the fear of any losses. Eventually every such family would contribute towards the betterment of India.

With so many people coming on roads for want of a bill to eradicate corruption, if every person pledges on an individual level to face the truth in their homes and families, I am sure a big change would come in the character of India within a few years.

People would then choose to be honest members of society and not be forced by laws and rules.


Shreya Mukherjee

Image Courtesy: [The Viewspaper]

Disclaimer: The above article is the personal opinion of the author and not of the publication.