A Dream Called India

The other day, I was having a cup of coffee when one of my friends from Delhi called up. While conversing, she made a rather heartfelt observation that as we chat, somewhere in Vidharbha, a poor farmer, shunned by his government; must be contemplating suicide. Or a child must be out picking trash instead of being at school. This made me think really hard about the Indian dream: The very same dream that our founding fathers must have seen on the night of August 14, 1947.

Just what is this Indian dream? Aren’t we already realizing it? Our economy is the second fastest- growing in this world. No country in the world today can afford to ignore India. We have the world’s third largest army and a potent wartime strategic capability. We have the cheapest telecom rates in the world and we are home to some of the world’s finest companies and intellectual capital. And all this is just a subset of what we have achieved. Then, where does the problem lie?

Maybe the problem lies in the fact that “India” is a small part of Bharat. We have the world’s largest slum in Mumbai, largest number of poverty-stricken people in the world and we constantly rank low in human development indices. This all belies the Indian dream, doesn’t it?

The Indian dream is the one where every citizen of this great country has access to the right to earn his or her living honestly. It is the one which gives us the confidence that no force will be able to stop our march towards justice and freedom. It lets us believe that we are potent of achieving something great. It has the power to turn all of us into dreamers. It is said that only those who don’t have to worry about their next meal can really dream. Perhaps. But an Indian dream is the one that eradicates such worries and lets us dream freely. It leads us to an India where no-one is judged or treated unfairly according to his caste, religion or sex. Its time has really come but then what’s stopping it?

The answer is: Us! We, the people of India. We, ourselves are the main roadblocks in an otherwise smooth ride of this dream. How so? My answer is: a lot of points. Consider America. We normally think that Americans are less intelligent than us. May be or may be not. But they surely know that they deserve the best. That’s why they voted Mr Obama to be the next president of the United States. But what do we do? We repeatedly vote in those people who use us to solve their purposes. Those who divide us as Hindus or Muslims or OBC’s or Brahmins. Never once in his campaign Mr Obama “played” the race card. He asked the Americans to vote on his merit. Can we imagine something similar here? A mediocre and illiterate politician can sway the educated among us by just playing the divisive politics. We get what we deserve. We get who we are- ourselves.

We, as citizens, have utter disregard for our country, its property and fellow citizens. How many times have we seen “love birds” scratching their names on a historic monument’s walls? How many times have we witnessed burning and destruction of public property even on the smallest of issues? Some of the minutest issues crop up and we go all out to make sure that public property gets destroyed: something whose cost is paid from our taxes.

We have prejudices in our minds against our fellow Indians from other castes and religions. Then how can we dream of equality? Americans have shunned every racial prejudice for the sake of change, an able leader and above all, their nation. Can Indians do that? Sadly,no. We can’t because we don’t want to. Then how can we realize the Indian dream?

India needs change. And for that, we have to change. We have to take charge. We have to take responsibility. We have to build our nation into the greatest of them all. We have to do it. The time is here and its now. Let’s do it India! And see the great Indian dream fly high.

Mayank Sharma

[Image Source: http://www.guardianweekly.co.uk/images/articles/59.jpg]