‘Republic Day is a good time to examine who we were, how we got here and where we can go.’
Every year, Indian Republic Day instills as well as sustains ‘Hope’ in me. The economic development in India followed ‘Nehruvian’ socialist-inspired policies for most of its independent history ( since Congress party ruled most of 67 years since Independence), including state-ownership of many sectors such as banking, core industries etc. After fundamental economic reforms in 1991 ( thanks to Dr Manmohan Singh for his trailblazing budget as FM) and their renewal in the 2000s, India has progressed to become a leading regional ‘free market’ economy in the world.
At political levels, we are still fighting several problems to bring about effective governance in our country. India is a diverse country accommodating multi-cultural, multi-lingual culture with nearly 300 spoken dialects and 15 nationally recognized languages in practice. This ‘diversity’ has become a major challenge in coalescing people of India. ‘Many people and Many languages’ will naturally create several problems in effective communication. In addition, India being a secular country, has its masses adhering to different beliefs and faiths. No other country in the world has such diversity to compare with. Unfortunately, this diversity has been mis-used by our illiterate, self-centered and short-sighted political leaders to meet their own interests. There are .. many polling stations in our country where the number of contestants fighting the elections are more than the number of voters in these constituencies. This growing lacuna needs to be strictly controlled and candidate qualifiers placed to monitor how many political parties can really contest in an election at any polling station.
Unfortunately, several United States-bound Indian students still suffer from a ‘foreign bug’ as an outcome of being ruled by white-skinned colonial rulers for more than 150 years in the past. Though I realize and accept that .. the new generation and the current youth in India is more patriotic in their thinking. And also, the developed world is looking for new ‘developing’ markets in India, to earn profits from their business enterprises built through collaboration with Indian corporate sector. India is the most promising destination to them because of her inherent advantages in English communication, praise-worthy under-graduate education, demographic dividend/ advantage and sheer magnanimous size of consumers in number. So now, there is much less exodus from India to the developed world. The number of Indians who go abroad is very negligible when compared to those who do not wish to go abroad for their livelihood and settling down there. Many have realized that going abroad is not the ‘only’ logical solution available to them. There is a ‘price to pay for living abroad’ and most students in India do not want to pay that price anymore.
Involvement of Indian youth in our nation-building efforts is on an alarming rise .. so much so, there is a fear of rise in vigilantism ! Corruption, that is widely prevalent in most developing countries, is not tolerated in India anymore. ‘INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION (IAC)’ movement – has mobilized Indian public opinion in unprecedentedly large numbers. The new political party ‘AAM AADMI PARTY (AAP)’ has successfully created, engaged and sustained public opinion in its efforts to ‘wipe out’ corruption noticeably. Citizen-initiated ‘sting’ operations are mooted to put a sense of fear in the minds of bribe-takers and bribe-givers. Corruption-free Indian society will only expedite our country’s progress. Much finances will be saved and rightly spent if we control corruption in government enterprises. It will also develop a thought of wisdom in those who ‘run after’ life opportunities to ‘build’ wealth unreasonably .. which wealth is of no use to them in their lifetime. In the process, maladies such as Greed and Jealousy will be corrected and removed for reasons helping better health. Social mind-set in India is bound to change if our efforts are successful in making our society free of corruption.
‘Rome was not built in a day !’ .. goes the old proverbial saying ! Have patience. Compare your country with what it was earlier and genuinely involve yourself in nation-building in order to find remedies and not mistakes. Do not compare an Orange with an Apple ! Such comparisons will only dis-hearten you and get you frustrated !
Wishing all Indians .. Happy 65th Republic Day ! 🙂