winds of change-part III-Domestic strategy-ch 30-2

There has of late been a spate of communal disturbances. On the majority community devolves a special responsibility to see that the minority communities do not have to live in a state of instability and fear. All of us, irrespective of our religion, caste and creed, are Indians and Indians alone. We should not allow our private and personal ideals and ideologies to disturb the fabric of the society. Our effort will have to be to create confidence and trust in the minority communities with regard to the secular character of the Indian polity and our earnestness in making the ideals enshrined in the Constitution a living reality for the common people. The corrective effort will have to encompass almost all the facets of national life.

The central task that faces the leadership in this country —and by leadership I mean not merely governmental leadership but leadership in all walks of life — is the creation and sustenance of an atmosphere in which the problems and policies are seen and discussed not from a Hindu or a Muslim angle or from the angles of this region or that region but from a common Indian angle. In other words, the basic objective is to create a feeling of Indianness in the minds of the people. That way alone can we hope to enrich the functioning of our democracy and to make the country, with all its diversities, a united one.

I have already referred to the lead given by the National Integration Council in this regard. The declaration of objectives issued by the Council is a document which should rouse us for creative effort based on rational thought. It invites the people to rally round the great ideals of tolerance, harmony and goodwill which have been the proud heritage of this country. It is for us to implement the declaration of the National Integration Council in the spirit in which it has been conceived.