My New Year’s wish for India: One nation under God

As one nation, India would be a land of big dreams, small treasures, brave people, kind deeds, and tender mercies.

"Frank Islam thumbsize"WASHINGTON, DC: One nation under God.

That is my sincere wish for India in this New Year.

Let me repeat that wish.

One nation under God. What would create such a nation?

Its God would not be a Hindu God, a Muslim God, or a Christian God.

Its God would be ecumenical and non-denominational.

Its God would be welcoming to all.

Its God would not discriminate nor encourage discrimination.

Getting to one nation will be a tall order. But, it is an order that is definitely needed and worth placing.

I put it at the top of my wish list for this year because 2017 was a year in which there were mob lynchings of Muslims and continuing sexual violence and subjugation of females in India.

In 2017, the caste system still existed in India.  Sadly, it was not the system of the cast for a Bollywood movie but a means for perpetuating injustice and inequalities for those in the “weaker sections.”

Given these and other problematic conditions and circumstance, my wish list is in no way a comprehensive one – it is just a starting point for moving India closer to being one nation.

As one nation, India would be inclusive and accepting of all people regardless of race, religion or sexual disposition.

As one nation, India would celebrate and embrace the richness of religious diversity.

As one nation, India would be inclusive and accepting of all forms of music played on the sitar or the guitar.

As one nation, India would elevate citizenship above partisanship and bring people together to pursue the common good.

As one nation, India would be the place known for sharing and caring as opposed to blaming and shaming.

As one nation, India would emphasize building bridges instead of constructing boundaries and barriers.

As one nation, India would ensure that all of its people are literate and equipped with the skills to succeed in the 21st century.

As one nation, India would extend life lines instead of drawing battle lines.

As one nation, India would be a land of big dreams, small treasures, brave people, kind deeds, and tender mercies.

As one nation, India would ensure the freedom of press, not to bury it.

As one nation, India would be a role model and exemplar for other democracies to emulate.

Those are the items on my wish list at this point in time. I will add others as they come to mind.

I understand that it will be up to us as mere mortals to pursue them.

We can do that not by looking to the heavens and to the gods whom we worship. But, by looking at the earth and the people and the family that we are.

We all have a role to play in that pursuit. Some people have special contributions to make.

Religious leaders should promote interfaith dialogue. They should bring together followers of different persuasions for meaningful conversations. They should promote dialogue of understanding and a shared sense of community with other faiths. They should call attention to the fact that an attack on one religion is an attack on all religions.

Political leaders should promote a framework of unity and civility.  They should ensure that all laws are fair and fairly enforced.  They should take affirmative actions to promote an atmosphere of communal peace and harmony. They should promote hope not fear.

Citizen leaders should promote collaboration. They should toil together transcending their creeds to plant the seeds for doing good deeds.  They should invest in programs that cut across and eliminate racial, religious and socio-economic divides.

We are all the windows to God.

Through our panes will shine the rays.

Of hope, of peace, and of love.

To unite us as one nation under God.

This is my New Year’s wish for India.

In closing, I wish all of the citizens in my birth-land of India a wonderful, prosperous, and peaceful 2018 and one nation under God in their future.

(Frank F. Islam is an Entrepreneur, Civic Leader, and Thought Leader based in Washington D. The views expressed here are personal.)

More from the author:

Our immigrant anthem in the troubled Trump era: This land is our land (March 29, 2017)

Politically, 2016 is a ‘Miracle Year’ for Indian Americans (December 31, 2016)

India and the United States: Interdependence in the 21st century (March 11, 2015)

Narendra Modi has turned the corner on a number of areas in India (December 17, 2014)

Strategic dialogue in India lays ground work for Modi visit to the US (August 7, 2014)

Bilateral trade may be the key to bolster Indo-Pak relationship (July 20, 2014)

How long will Modi’s US honeymoon last? (June 23, 2014)

Time to go back to the negotiation table (December 25, 2013)

Budget and beyond: what India needs to do (March 7, 2013)

A nation sensitized by catharsis (January 9, 2013)

Washington abuzz with speculation over staff changes (December 18, 2012)


One Comment

  1. Dank Tyre

    Go for no “collective god” but let be “A god” or “No god” a personal matter. You would have never wished one god that could belong to Hindus, Muslim, Christians and everybody. God divides and no god, perhaps, can unite people in India.

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