'The common men and women keep India going'
I salute the spirit of the common men and women of India. They are very accommodative. They see beyond politics and strife; they are religious and reasonable, says Congress leader Ahmed Patel in an exclusive feature, celebrating our special series where 66 Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
It is difficult to say what I love most about India. India is our country and we love everything about it and we should.
Amongst the many things, I like the Constitution, Indian democracy, Indian culture, the glorious history of the Congress, and surely old Hindi film songs.
I also like the consensus in India about strengthening Indian democracy. It’s a huge achievement of the Indian people.
On the Indian people
Deep in my heart, I always feel strongly for the ordinary, powerless, Congress workers in towns and villages who work without expectation.
They are all ordinary poor or middle class Indians. I have lived in New Delhi for many decades, but I don’t think I have forgotten them even once.
I profoundly respect the common men and women of India. They are very accommodative. They suffer, they never rebel and they still manage to smile.
They keep India going. I salute their spirit.
They see beyond politics and strife; they are religious and reasonable.
Indian families teach moral values to their young generation which eventually makes our nation strong.
Also, I want to say with responsibility that India is a country of people who are ready to work hard to earn their living.
I have been in politics since the 1970s. I can vouch that Indians are not a corrupt people, except for a few who spoil the system, exploiting legal loopholes and giving a bad name to our society.
Indian people have a sense of right and wrong. We are economical and we know how to live within a budget.
If we make our system uncomplicated, the average Indian will live according to rules and ethics.
On places in India
I am reluctant to name one place in India, but if you insist, the one place I love would be Piraman, my vatan. I wish I had a choice. I don’t like to fly.
I have no time to travel. But I am ever ready to take the August Kranti Express and enjoy a morning at my native place in South Gujarat.
I am a farmer's son. I like agriculture and understand it. For me, Piraman is the best place in the country. Piraman is also my ancestor's village. Vatan ki hawa main jaadu hai (There is magic in one's native home). I get peace of mind over there.
It belongs to me, I belong to it.
Ahmed Patel is the political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi. He spoke to Sheela Bhatt over the telephone in New Delhi.
Earlier in the series:
|Amish Tripathi||Shiv Viswanathan||Sri Sri Ravishankar|
Image: Ladakhi women wait to welcome Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in Leh July 29, 2013.
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters