India was constituted as a republic country on the 26th day January 1950 and today we are 60 years young .. from a ‘fledgling’ democracy India has grown into a regional power and is poised to compete with China for its global ‘second’ place in the next 20 years.
Six decades ago, it was just a post-colonial upstart and India copied everything from model of constitution to structure of democracy from the British. We were ‘Nehru’ socialistic at the start, in contrary to UK and still are, though in a declining stand due to growing capitalism in the country. In the recent years, Indian economy earned its rightful place in global markets, with increasing foreign investment in India. Democracy in India has changed for better, with electorate quite sure what they want! Still, there are divisive forces in India – mainly due to large scale ‘susceptible’ uneducated masses, opportunistic regional political parties, and as a result of adopting secular structure accommodating multiple religions.
Our major success has been telecommunications’ revolution in the last decade that has made Indian communication industry effective and competitive. The telecom market in India is still growing with abundant masses in villages not yet tapped. The ‘financial inclusion’ is another achievement that started with nationalization of banks owned by few industrial families besides ‘economic reforms’ initiated in the year 1992. And there is ‘growing middle-class’ first generation entrepreneurship! We have the famed demographic advantage of having the largest ‘young’ and productive population in the world. But, other factors of a developing country such as – child/ women education, control of explosive population, child labor, gender inequality, inept government policies especially when it comes to implementation, abuse of democracy at top levels in political parties and establishments, unsuccessful attempts in removing poverty, lack of health care services in villages…continue to remain challenging!!
‘Riding the ‘Indian’ tiger’ has never been easy, but the ‘young’ in the country have to be guided, encouraged and rewarded to build a better country – in the same spirit and vigor – like ‘Gandhiji’ did motivate them to get independence for our country. ‘New India’ needs a government as a good enabler and not as a patron. The delineation of enterprise from bureaucracy and government control has to be expedited to meet the fast growing needs of global markets.
Every Foreign direct investment (FDI) does not necessarily bear the fruits of its labor and the reasons are : lack of government efficiency, red tap-ism, corruption, infighting between central and regional governments. This self-destructive behavior of governments/ establishments has to stop! Right to education and Right to Information should not remain only as ‘theory’ on paper but they have to be practiced in the earnest way. We have to think beyond populist measures of food subsidy and loan waivers, during the election times. Lackadaisical approaches will not work any longer!!
The revolution in the Indian mind set of the population is evident – with emergence of a federal political structure in the country wherein only coalition governments will work indicating evolution of concept ‘collective responsibility’ in Indian politics. Accountability of regional parties are being watched by the voting population and these parties have to yield results to remain in power. Each state has to compete with the another in their state’s progress.
Let us stop criminalization of politics, get tougher on corruption, educate the underprivileged masses consistently, focus more on family planning benefits, elect the capable and the young, sustain our country’s growing economic clout, encourage more ‘free enterprise’, and break down the obstacles to transformation.
Let us be the ‘change’ ourselves – in our fight to get our deserved place – in a global world full of increasing opportunities, especially in the next 20 years.