My Call is based on an idea supported by a good number of people for a good period of time that I know. Since I wanted to make it an original writing exercise where I speak from my heart for the common-man, I discussed various issues with a select group of friends time and again and we have named the group as "Build India Group". The inputs from the said meetings, my memory, and random thoughts form the core contents of the present work.
We do not have a national festival except for January 26 and August 15. These two festivals are more in the nature of official festivals. Sixty years have passed since we won our independence but we do not have a National Pledge worthy of the name. A National pledge envisages commitment, love and loyalty of an individual to his country. Can we combine these two: i.e. National Pledge and the National Festival and make it "National Pledge Festival".
It feels great to say that the response has been a resounding "yes" as most people feel that this is going to create a wave of nationalism and love for the country. It is my belief that a strong sense of nationalism will help us shape our national character. It will help strengthen the country from within. This will work as a great force against terrorism and corruption.
For the last several years, I have been feeling that India is a country of god-fearing people. It is home to many religions, diverse cultures, languages and habits. But after independence in 1947, hardly we have done anything to unite the whole country emotionally. My 73-year-old mother even today says nothing could be a greater religion than loving your country, soil and the land and that is India.
While writing this small book, I have already had encouragement from her. Every time I spoke to her over the telephone, she would ask me how far I had progressed with my work. With the power of her affection and blessings, I gathered courage to talk about my idea with a number of people from various parts of the country. There is not even scope here for me to name all those with whom I talked about it. Some times I had written some inputs on small pieces of papers and newspaper clippings without consciously noting down the datelines or even addresses as it was not a planned attempt to write a book. Such was my single minded devotion to a pledge for India. My group of seven friends and colleagues Sudha Passi, Gautam Basu, Avtar Nehru (all journalists) Shanmugha Patro, Nishant Dutta, Kiran Patra (all lawyers) and Nabajyoti Das (management consultant) never knew that I was to attempt writing this book. They had been frank with me and attended meetings diligently; and actively participated in brain storming sessions. R.C Rajamani, editorial consultant with The Statesman, journalist friend C.S.Rajnarain, friend Surya Prakash Loonkar, publisher S.D.Singh have immensely encouraged me in my efforts. The biggest, although unsung, contributor to this effort was my wife, Kuni, for being steadfastly beside me through this Endeavour from the time I conceived this book to when I gave it tangible form maybe a decade later.
It sounds like a fairy tale for me when we thought of a national festival of people of all faiths on a particular day and all over the country in unison. For me it is like a dream. For my friends like Nishant Dutta, Prasant Verma, S K Rout, it is a magic. If this is magic and likely to work in the interest of the nation then this is for you.
Hence this work is dedicated to you all Indians who love this country. This is the reason why the book begins with a personal letter to you with an expectation that you will join us start a new movement for the greater glory of this land.