“My son!” The lilting, soft voice whispered in his ears, waking him from his eternal slumber. His eyes beheld in wonder her earthy beauty and the fluttering tricolour in her arms. 

“Mother!”, he whispered. 

“Go my child, see what has changed since you last traversed my length and breadth.” 

Invisible to all, the ethereal being was overwhelmed with love as he witnessed his vast country from a vantage point. 

People walked around with small objects glued to their ears, talking to themselves. 

A political speech spewed out big promises. He saw his photograph on the screen. 

“Is this “Satya”? he wondered.

A train with Vande Bharat written on it flashed past at breakneck speed. 

A family cried over the body of a young child. Bapu’s eyes were moist. 

“Dalit!” Echoed a voice. “Harijan.” he thought sadly. 

His tears flowed as a young, badly burnt girl pleaded, “I want to live.” 

“Where is Ahimsa?” He asked himself. 

The vacant eyes of the wasted child watched a gleaming new car speed by. “Sarvodaya?” He wondered.

He glimpsed blood stains on the snowy borders. 

He saw weapons decide the superiority of religion.

“We are one people!” He cried. 

He wept as they laid down the farmer’s body on his parched land. 

An Indian space vehicle launch was being celebrated on a big screen. 

Women walked confidently into high-rise office buildings. 

“My brothers and sisters walk fearlessly!” He blessed the humble salt; the symbol of “satyagraha”.

He smiled to see some children planting saplings into the earth’s bosom. 

“Mother, I must rest again. I know they love you.”

The flag fluttered as a mother’s soft arms embraced him. 

“Hey Ram!” Bapu slid back into slumber.

 

Sarvodaya – Universal upliftment

Ahimsa – Non-violence

Satya – Truth

Satyagraha – Nonviolent resistance 


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