MY AMBITION IN LIFE
‘Man is a born sinner’ said the prophet. No wonder sins have dominated the world scene through ages. The concept of sin has changed from time to time and fro region to region. Jehads have been guided by religious fervor. Forcible conversations have been considered God’s work. Nations have been devastated in the name of the Almighty. Wars have been fought against the so called non believers killing millions of people who did not submit to and surrender before the will of the aggressor. Chili powder was spread on the wounds, and young boys found living graves in the masonry of building for not accepting the religion of the invader. What then sin is? It has been relegated to the realms of petty thefts, telling lies, having street bouts under intoxication and the like.
It is in the nature of the rich and the strong to harass and exploit the poor and the weak. A rich USA would harass the poor nations; a strong Iraq would try to force a weak Kuwait to surrender her sovereignty. But these are big things. A humble and ordinary man like me can’t shape the destiny of nations. I may wish the defeat of the tyrant but can’t force it upon him. It doesn’t fall in the ambit of my ambitions. It falls to the share of a Gandhi, a repentant Ashok, a martyr Jesus or Joan of Arc, a fiery Tilak, a revolutionary Bhagat Singh, an aggressive De Valera, a vigorous chennamma or a fighter Laxmibhai. The big things are for the big people.
I just shiver and am ill at ease when I see the lot of tribals- the vanavasis- the forest dwellers. My ambition to be rich or famous becomes insignificant before the fate of this ignored, harassed and exploited tribe. Theirs is not an insignificant number. Ten to twelve crore of them live in sub-human condition from the North East region to the sea shores of Maharashtra covering in a zigzag way the hilly terrains of West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajastan and Gujarat in great numbers and in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh in some extend. Jain Tirthankars gave their lives to serve them in Bihar. Can’t I follow the lead given by them?
I would like to live among the forest dwellers. There are some voluntary NGOs interested in improving the condition of the people in the tribal belt. Being a doctor I can be of great assistance to the efforts of these organizations. It is my ambition to start hospitals, education institutions, hostels and establish employment projects for them. I would make efforts to secure justice for them in procuring land for them and free them from the traders who exploit them. I would make efforts to arrange banking facilities too for them. I, with the assistance of many others who work among them arrange their direct links with cooperatives for the sale of their products. I have an ambition to bring the people in the hilly tracts to adult education centers to save them from the influence of Naxalites too. It is my small ambition that can finally sprout into a big force of dedicated selfless young men making efforts to bring the unfortunate forest dwellers to the national main stream not as beggars but as a force to reckon on and depend upon.