So I just waited for the entire hullabaloo to end – the Independence Day frenzy.
It is good to be patriotic, but not selectively patriotic on one out of 365 days.
Plus who says we are independent?
Are we really?
If you say, we are independent of someone ruling us, then yes – but only independent of external rule.
How many maladies are we battling today?
1. Problematic neighbours who keep firing without reason. Their only problem is their lust for our territory.
2. Internal problems of naxalism.
3. Pseudo nationalism. This is more pronounced now – because of which you see demands for separate states like Telangana, Bodoland, Gorkhaland, Harit Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Paschimanchal, Vidarbha. Everyone just wants their piece of the cake. Nobody is bothered about the nation. Each new state would mean new money, new seats, new chief minister – so grab your pie mister minister!
4. Mediocre public sentiment management – Every government should have a direction in which they should sway the electorate. Electorate is like a mould without a brain of it’s own. People still dance to the tunes of a packet of Biryani & a bottle of beer.
The government has to give it a direction, not free funds through MNREGA.
Giving someone free funds makes them lame, tame & toothless in the long run.
5. Flagging economy – Burgeoning current account deficit, lack of clear roadmap for manufacturing & agricultural sectors, falling to jingoism of the opposition & not opening up the economy for FDI are just some of the biggest concerns.
6. Law & order – This is in tatters. Naxalism & internal security are too big to even put forth & I agree that there are no clear cut solutions for them, but not able to curb rapes across the country, open goondaism by politicians & big ticket scams by the biggest names in the political circles are just some areas which show how inept the law & order apparatus of the country is.
7. Judicial reforms & police reforms – Long pending, but never taken up just like cases in our courts.
8. Infrastructure – The government had earmarked 5 billion USD for 5 years in 2009.
4 years later
• Are still woefully short on track length,
• Are woefully short on facilities & quality for a country which boasts to be the third largest economy by purchasing power parity & woefully short on safety.
Highways & roads :
• The most neglected area of infrastructure development.
City infrastructure :
• The top 10 cities are crumbling over their own weights. Water is an issue, roads are an issue, power is an issue, space management is an issue.
Wonder where the 5 billion USD went!
9. Education – For a country our size, we should be spending 30 times what we currently spend on education.
Education is the panacea for all problems.
An educated Indian :
• Does not spit on the road
• Does not defecate in public
• Tries to look for a dustbin to throw garbage
• Does not fire in road rage
• Most importantly does not rape.
I just realized that I could go on & on, but that’s not the point.
The point is –
Despite the macro challenges like above – Can things be rectified?
My heart definitely believes YES.
In the 3+ decades of my existence, I have seen India evolve from nothingness to what it is now.
So I assume that the next 3 decades will be when we come into our own.
But is it easy?
Definitely not with our current political class.
Every single party is corrupt. There are exceptions in a few leaders, but yes, each of their outfit is corrupt.
Just look at them scurrying & uniting across board to exempt themselves from the ambit of RTI & you will know what kind of fabric they are made of.
What we need to do is punch a hole in their racial memories so deep that they are scared of the electorate to death.
For example, something like what Anna Hazare did.
He played with the psyche of Indian national congress to the extent that they were bewildered, to the extent that they were blinded & did not know what to do & how to react. Mind you, I am talking about the government of the third largest economy & the largest democracy in the world.
Now, how is it possible?
This is where I fail as a citizen. :(
We need a concerted move to boycott either one of INC or BJP so badly that they go to the extent of being scared of the electorate.
Right now, they think that they can get away with anything.
Just imagine a scenario - If such a concerted effort indeed takes place & say INC gets under 10 seats in the whole country, it will scare the shit out of their fragile backsides.
In such a scenario, the other big one, the BJP will also behave itself knowing very well that if it doesn’t perform, then it’s head could be next on the block.
All this starts with a VOTE.
Each year, I as a humble citizen encourage, provoke & if that doesn’t work, threaten or even abuse people whom I know – to VOTE.
Please use your brains & vote for the right people.
Every constituency has honest leaders – the problem is they don’t have the money to distribute a biryani & a beer.
But again, use your brains, take the biryani, take the beer & vote for the honest guy.
This is exactly what an intelligent auto rickshaw driver did last elections, he told me this grinning ear to ear & I couldn’t stop admiring him.
If a simple auto rickshaw driver can do it, then why can't we?
I often quote Sharukh Khan for this memorable line that he once said –
“You are never stuck in a traffic jam. You are the traffic jam”
2014 is near.
VOTE sensibly & VOTE for sure.
We could relax after a couple of decades & say “Happy Independence Day” because by then we would’ve earned it.
Till then, it's a lot of work to do.
What's new with me?
I feel i have grown up.. because these days i look down on the younger generation :)
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