Image Courtesy: Google 😉
We have come a long way, or have we? We celebrated our 65th year of Independence yesterday with the same glory and splendor that we do every year. Yes, we are an independent, young nation standing at the brink of development and prosperity with a majority of our population falling under ‘working class’ bracket. Yes, we call our country a developing country. And boy, developing we are! But our growth is stunted; our nation is plagued with corruption. Now don’t you judge me for being a pessimist! I am just playing the devil’s advocate here.
Yes on the face of it, we are doing well. But that’s a distorted reality. We are just seeing the development of tier 1 and tier 2 cities, which in no way, is the index of the entire nation’s development. Even today, the majority lives in villages. How well the growth is trickling down to the remotest of the villages is the question to be asked. Basking in haphazard and often sporadic development (sadly) of Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore is like living in denial. It’s like seeing only that part of a film we love and ignoring the darker and more real part of it, however important. It’s like seeing only what meets the eyes. It’s like liking superficiality. It’s like favouring cosmetic makeover over inner beauty (ya I know it’s off-the-mark description… but you get the drift of it).
For me India will be truly developed and free when:
- Every Individual will have access to basic amenities needed for survival
- Every Individual will have easy access to a clean, hygienic** loo.
- Every individual will be educated and not just literate (btw, definition of literacy in India is ridiculously lame… anyone who can just sign their name is a literate)
- Every individual will have health insurance and convenient access to good, unadulterated and affordable medicines
- Every individual will have a job or some means of livelihood
- Every individual will have equal opportunities, irrespective of his socio-economic position
- Every individual will be able to get things done without resorting to corruption or graft
- Every individual will feel and understand that ‘bribing’ is not a natural way of doing things
- Every individual will be allowed to pursue his dreams and ambitions
- Every woman will be treated with respect and dignity
- Every woman will be allowed to do what she likes
- Every woman will be free to chase her dreams without a dozen people pulling her back
- Every sister will be treated as preciously as her brother
- Every senior citizen will live with a feeling of security and well being
- Every senior citizen will get enough pension to afford at least 2 square meals
- Every child will be allowed to do or be what he/she wants
- Every child will get a chance at good quality education and access to a PC
- Every individual will be tolerant of other people and will not try to sabotage anyone’s freedom (wishful thinking)
- Every family will be able to afford a holiday at least once a year (not really that wishful I hope)
- Every woman will be able to walk freely at any hour of the day without the fear of being groped, assaulted, kidnapped or raped.
- Every city will have good infrastructure (bridges that don’t cave in and roads that have no potholes) and good sewage
And I could go on, but I guess the above points truly tell how developed and liberated a nation is. And these are not even fancy things that I am wishing for India. Just the basics. I once read somewhere, ‘The condition of roads and toilets tell you a lot about the country’. Nothing can be truer. Once we get these above mentioned things in order, only then, we can think of real progress.
What do you think?
P.S. I don’t love India any less than you do. I am just saying that at individual level also, there are many obvious OFIs.