The foundations of India were based on the principles of equality.
Regardless of where we were born or raised, all of us belong to one Motherland and we should be proud of our heritage.
We are a community of one people.
I am proud to have been born and raised in India, amidst the finest of traditions and culture. Apart from being largest and most sustained democracy in the world, India and Indians are known for their hospitality and goodwill.
We welcome our visitors, respect and look after them, and send them back home as our friends.
I am equally proud to say that I am a New Zealander-Indian, and I work hard to promote goodwill and understanding among all people, irrespective of their ethnicity.
New Zealand is a country known for its cultural diversity, social cohesion, and respect for different cultures and traditions.
We have always lived and worked peacefully for the progress of the economy and for the betterment of our individual lives.
India is known for its religious, social and cultural tolerance.
But like many other countries, India has its own problems and challenges.
India is working hard to battle a number of social evils, and I believe none of these will diminish the greatness of India and its people.
Since its independence in 1947, India has changed and developed for the better.
Everything has experienced significant growth – manufacturing, agricultural and industrial production, international trade, and of course population.
If Europe ushered in the industrial revolution in the 18th Century, we Indians can proudly claim that we led the information revolution in the 20th Century, perching at the seams of technology and moving towards becoming a world economic power.
If the 21st Century belongs to Asia, India leads from the front as a political, economic and social powerhouse.
Our progress is not limited to economic growth.
Will to improve
I am sure that most of us have either watched on TV or heard of the revolutionary TV series ‘Satyamev Jayate’. This serial in itself demonstrates the openness of the Indian society.
Although the programme focuses on problems and seeks justice for victims, it has never condemned India or its people.
Some of my friends have recently been very critical of India.
I believe that open and honest discussions add to the flavour of any democratic and fair society. However, we must not forget that all countries have endured their own problems.
In India, these problems may be a little more in comparison to other countries but that does not mean that there is no will to improve.
We should remember that it is always easy to criticise others, but it is very difficult to roll up one’s sleeves and actively work towards achieving positive change.
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is Member of Parliament on National List. The above article is exclusive to Indian Newslink.