“Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Mull over these words from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, as we prepare to celebrate our 65th Anniversary of Independence. And then, try to honestly answer the next question: Do we really know where we’re headed as a nation? I don’t know what you’re thinking, but even for a die-hard believer of the India story like me, it’s a tough question to answer. All around us, the prevailing gloom seems to suggest that we may have lost sight of the path, but hopefully, not the destination.
At Forbes India, for the past two years, Independence Day has been an occasion to reflect on the challenges facing us as a nation. In 2010, we focussed on some of India’s biggest geopolitical challenges in our special package, India and the World
. Last year
, we turned our gaze inwards to examine the key fault-lines that had opened up, as an embattled state came under fire for its failure to govern.
This year, the centrepiece of our special package is a provocative essay by someone who is a familiar figure on these pages: Sundeep Waslekar, thinker, global strategic affairs expert and author. Waslekar forces us to re-evaluate the fundamentals of a great nation. And he draws upon some powerful examples from the experiences of other nations that began rising around the same time as we did. Obviously, there are many ways to define a great nation. In my book, it begins by having the humility and capacity to learn from the experiences of others. Keep that in mind when you read his essay on page 44.
In a separate package, we’ve also paid tribute to a set of outstanding Indians who’ve tried their best to keep two of our vital institutions—the bureaucracy and the judiciary—vibrant and responsive. Sarosh Homi Kapadia is one such individual, whose story of integrity and commitment will inspire generations, long after he steps down as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on September 29.
Make sure you read our story on him, and the nine others, plus a photo feature on the things that make us proud to be Indians.
Editor, Forbes India
Twitter id: @indrajitgupta
(This story appears in the 31 August, 2012 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)