Season’s Greetings Folks, in this Season of Goodness. The Good in Good Governance folks. (Whatever might that mean to you! – the UN Definition will come later); 25 December is no longer Christmas Day – a day of Sharing, Caring, Love, Brotherhood, and Hope. It is now Good Governance Day.
But Hope remains, if not the rest because, Good Governance brings hope for the new year, and for the future! The other elements are a bonus. Either way, the spirits are high during the season, because whether it’s Christmas or Governance, the essence is Goodness. But do we have enough of it to go around? Goodness Gracious Me! Is it the wrong question at the right time?
Good Governance Day is observed in India since 2014, annually on the twenty-fifth day of December, the birth anniversary of former-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In keeping with this principle, the Government of India has decreed Good Governance Day to be a working day for the government. The rest of the days… Well, they too are Working Days. It’s a priceless feeling, our government working while we holiday! But this year – Good Governance Day fell on a Sunday! And so…
Good Governance day is used to foster awareness among the Indian people of accountability in government. The first time I read it, I read it as countability (I always had this image of lots of people and very little work!) and missed the ‘a”. My bad. But now I’ve become aware that it is not the case. As must you be, but where do you find it? That, the awareness program does not say! Next year’s might, so stay tuned.
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights , Governance refers to all processes of governing, the institutions, processes, and practices through which issues of common concern are decided upon and regulated. While there is no internationally agreed definition of ‘good governance’, it may span the following topics: full respect of human rights, the rule of law, effective participation, multi-actor partnerships, political pluralism, transparent and accountable processes and institutions, an efficient and effective public sector, legitimacy, access to knowledge, information and education, political empowerment of people, equity, sustainability, and attitudes and values that foster responsibility, solidarity and tolerance. My Goodness me! That’s a lot for one day. One might find parts of it if it’s spread over 365 days! like in that recent Jigsaw Puzzle and others that followed it?
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels
Happy New Year?
At the end of this Season of Goodness, we usher in a New Year, hoping against hope that the Goodness we experienced in the last week of the year beginning with Good Governance day, will spill over into the New Year. We know better, but the spirit is high, barring (the correct word?) a few.
It’s a cause for celebration. Because we believe things will change. But nothing does. Not the shape of our bodies, personalities, politics, society, community, religion or anything else except the numbers on the calendar. Even the sun rises and sets the same way. We become one year older and get closer to our graves, but none the wiser. And that’s a grave situation, don’t you think?
Yet we ring in the New Year in style and with a revelry that often gets out of control – because we have worked hard to keep things under control for 365 days previously! And then comes the D Day when we believe it’s time to change. Because we have looked behind and didn’t like what we saw or did? Hopefully, because history tells us that it is the right way to do it.
The Roman Emperor Caesar established January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honour Janus, the Roman god of beginnings whose two faces allowed him to seem back to the past and forward into the longer term which was a part of his reforms. And this is what we do every year. Look back to look ahead! That’s the mystery of the Rear-view mirror and the Windshield explained. You will get a fair idea of who or what’s pushing you ahead!
But the mystery and thrill of a New Year can best be explained thus…
There are 12 months between January and December. But there is not even a day between December and January! And that is why perhaps, we scramble to review our past – literally scramble in the last week of the year – in the hope, it may give pointers to a better future come the new year! But unfortunately, we never learn!
Or maybe we do. It is in that hope that we make New Year Resolutions to resolve persisting unresolved issues, after revisiting our lives in the year gone by (it’s the high point of our year in mental pics!); with this exercise, we hope to resolve all our old discomforts not realizing every resolution we make will create new aches that we will review at the end of the following year for new year resolutions! All the highs and lows as do all the self-styled news and views outlets revisiting the events that shaped the news and coagulated views in 2022. Maybe they are not pointers to the future, but a time to reflect on how we want our immediate future to reflect in the distant future.
As GK Chesterton wrote in the Chesterton Calendar, “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose, new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man, made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” And this should be our resolution: to start afresh and not repeat our past mistakes. Mistakes that include, and the list is inexhaustive, Multiplying our divides, Halving our Sharing, and Ceasing to care what the least of our brethren think and feel. And in all this, we may find that this is where the Goodness in Governance and Christmas intersect.
We all know, life is full of ups and downs, which will also reflect in the New Year on our person and our society. But these ups and downs do not follow a set pattern like an ECG to tell you all is well. But the fact that we experience these ups and downs itself, erratic and sporadic as they may be, tells us that All iss Well, just like an ECG does.
It is in this context, that the song from the Bollywood Movie “Three idiots” tells us exactly how we must approach 2023 with the bell Aal iss well ringing in our heads!
Murgi kya jaane aande ka kya hoga
Aree life milegi ya tawee pe fry hoga
Koi na jaane apna future kya hoga?
Honthon ki kar ke gol
Seeti bajaa ke bol
Aal iss well!!!!
We at NewsKarnataka wish you a very fulfilling News Year! Full of ups of downs, ups and downs that tell us All iss Well!
Cover Photo by micheile dot com on Unsplash
This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.