Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Republic Day

So, am back again after another break. Tomorrow I shall start classes after a well deserved hiatus.

Anyways, one thought which always lingers in my mind is development. More specifically, I mean India’s development. I always wonder when India will become a fully developed country. Not for quite some time, at least, since it is plagued by a host of problems, most of which we are quite aware of, yet we refuse to do anything about it. If I start talking about all of them, I have to type for over 24 hours. So giving my fingers a break, I shall only focus on the major issues.

1) Overpopulation- This is the first thing that comes to my mind. Surprisingly, the Government is doing very little to curb population growth. One reason for this is, ‘More the people, the more votes we can get’ philosophy followed by many inept politicians. So let people produce more people and so on. Okay, enough of blaming the Government. Why can’t we do something about these ourselves? Everyday in the newspaper, I come across poor people who claim they cannot feed their family, comprising of 5-10 children. If you knew that you have financial problems, why on earth did you create so many children in the first place? Okay, some people will condone the poor guy, saying that he is illiterate, so he does not know about family planning. But I wonder, does one need education to understand the basic principle of ‘Short and Happy Family’? Can’t one use some common sense to realize that sustaining a large family is costly, as well as detrimental to the individual, society and the nation as a whole? Apparently not. The desire for a male child, combined with ignorance and superstition, is still the order of the day.

2) Corruption- Enough said, little done. Nothing is being done to break the nexus between criminals, politicians and law-upholders. Greed for money towers over everything else. I wonder what these people will do after siphoning so much money. Take it with them to the after-life? Eat it? Consume gallons of imported whiskey? Who knows. All we can say is that corruption has rooted itself in every section of the Indian bureaucracy. One step towards embellishing integrity, is the initiative taken by Nandan Nilekani. I am of course, speaking about the Rs. 150,000 crore Unique Identity Project.

3) Infrastructure- Even after 60 years of Independence, we have failed to establish or implement an impeccable Infrastructure design. Our roads are full of ditches and potholes, causing delays in transportation of goods(especially FMCG)- which results in losses worth millions of dollars per day. Go into any Government building, and you will be eager to get out ASAP. Not to mention the red-tapism which causes unnecessary delays. The private sector has done quite a lot, in this regard, but still the condition must be ameliorated further. Starting from schools, to hospitals, post offices and railway stations- we need a Total Refurbishment. If we even want to think of matching the Developed World Standards, ie.

4) Education- Any country which wants to get developed, must place the maximum emphasis on education and career development, especially in a country where the average age of people is quite low. But quite tragically and ironically, our country has neglected education more than any other sector(apart from maybe, health). At the beginning, the funding was abysmal. Now, the funding is there, but still little is being done. India actually has more number of educational institutes than the European Union and the USA combined, around 18,000 in number. Yet, quality-wise it lags far behind any developed country, and also many developing countries like China, which has gone light-years ahead of us as far as education is concerned. We just have a handful of colleges that provide good quality education(and they too are facing faculty shortages), and we are still following a monopolistic, unidirectional trend of education- that of engineering and management(Even in that we lag far behind compared to developed countries- No Indian institute even features in the top 100 worldwide). Whereas most of the developed countries follow an omni-directional approach, giving equal stress on Technology, Science, Research, Literature, Commerce, Law, Music, etc. In India, education is simply considered as a business. Rapacious businessmen set up colleges, since they know that most Indian students are degree-hungry. For the sake of a degree, they are glad to sacrifice everything else. I will continue discussing about education in my future posts.

5) Finally, comes the most important part- the Will. No country can get developed if its citizens refuse to participate in the development process. The trouble is, greed and poverty has acted as severe impediments for this progression. Most of the Indian citizens have not raised themselves above their self-interests for a greater cause- their country’s development. The reasons for this may be many- ranging from poverty to selfishness, to indolence. Japan was demolished after World War 2. Yet its citizens worked hard, and selflessly devoted themselves for their country. As a result, it is one of the biggest economies in the world today. Same was the case with the United States of America, and similar is the trend currently shown by China. Unfortunately, we Indians have failed to emulate this principle. We still stand divided, under the banner of nefarious political parties. We are busy accusing and blaming one another, rather than working in harmony. We like to protest, bash up people, and destroy our own national property. Our sadistic and lackadaisical nature has allowed ragging to flourish even today, in most colleges. We are busy filling up our own pockets, and backstabbing our colleagues at the same time. We claim to be united, but we fight in the name of religion, caste, sex, creed, state of origin, etc. The only reason why most of us go to school and colleges is just for a degree, and jobs, and not for learning or for gaining (and spreading) knowledge. We have not learnt to treat women on par with men, and crime continues to be rampant. Yet, we still proclaim ourselves to be righteous citizens of India.

The time for change is NOW. We must act now, for the betterment of our country, and our fellow citizens. We must learn to rise above our self interests for achieving a common goal- India’s All Around Development.

Happy Republic Day. Jai Hind!


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