When I read the newspapers, I tend to find an article covering the appalling situation of poverty in India, almost everyday. Well, frankly speaking, India is a rich nation that has remained poor. By the term poverty, I do not intend to highlight the Human Development Index where India ranks 124th amongst 173 nations or some startling statistics on India’s ‘poor’ status. I believe this nation of ours, or rather our Motherland, will remain poor because today, all her sons and daughters like to live in poverty, not just with respect to finances but also most importantly our thoughts.
I wonder if this is the nation that taught zero to the world or invented steel. Because the present situation in India is exactly reverse. We might have progressed when in comes to aping the ‘western’ trends, but what we lack today is the originality of thought and it is in this respect that we continue to be poor. The sons of this soil who had the capability to lead the world have somewhere lost their thought process or have rather lent it to other ‘developed’ nations. The fact remains where it was. We are a rich nation be it culturally, emotionally or intellectually. The only problem lies in our willingness to explore the untapped potential within ourselves.
Perhaps, being ruled by some other nation for nearly 150 years, we have lost that fire in the belly, which every Indian must have within himself or herself. Only then can we empower ourselves, empower each other and make our mother proud. We need to dream and dream really for it is this dream of ours which will propel us to put in efforts to create something which can be proudly labeled by the world as ‘purely INDIAN’. At the same time, we also need to establish the philosophical and economic basis for the India of our dreams.
The aim is to create an Indian with a difference where every individual gets an equal right of living happily, and who channelizes his energy towards innovations which would bring about a change in the society. Another area where we need to take great strides is achieving equality for all. An area which I can’t refrain from discussing about is politics. The rich and poor divide which has dominated many a headline in our dailies has been in a way promoted by our politicians who continue to have nothing but the lust for power. Fine, we don’t expect our leaders to be saints, but then they should give what the people ‘need’. It is the good governance which can shape this countries future.
The Government’s attitude to food is the same as it is to healthcare and education. University education is virtually free for all the Indians, but this has made our temples of knowledge crumble before our eyes as they are starved of funds, so the rich send their children abroad and the ‘poor’ suffer. Things have gone terribly wrong with our idea of the ‘welfare state’. We need to introspect about the direction in which our nation is moving today. The initiative has to come from the people and of course for the people.
If we discover the shortcomings in our system and holistically work towards them, we can eradicate poverty in every respect and world leadership, whatever it may be, will definitely follow. As for the rest, there will always be changes, we only hope for the best.
Amogh Girish Sanzgiri