By Nishith Sinha:
To the country which has the second fastest growing economy in the world. To the country which has the second largest pool of doctors and engineers in the world. To the country which has the third largest stock exchange in the world. To the country which is the 5th largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in the world. If you turn up and say, it has not developed, it is like saying the sun rises in the West and sets in the East.
The total number of mobile phone users in the country, as of June 2011, was 852 million. This implies that 71% of the country has a mobile phone in their pockets at all times. I fail to understand then, how has India not developed?
When I read on the Wall Street Journal that India’s per capita income doubles every seven years, I fail to understand then, how has India not developed?
When even political parties offer mixer grinders and laptops as freebies to the voters, I fail to understand, how has India not developed?
When the government distributes AAKASH, the world’s cheapest tablet to government school going students, yet again I fail to understand, how has India not developed?
But, hang on. Is the grass actually as green as it appears to be? I hear that the planning commission guys have decided the cut off point for BPL families as Rs. 32 a day, which is three times lesser than World Bank standards. And even after using such ridiculous numbers, if 41.8% of the rural and 25.7% of the urban population lies below the poverty line, I fail to understand how India has developed.
When I hear that according to UNICEF, India has the highest number of child labourers in the age group of six to fourteen years, I fail to understand how India has developed. When I hear stories of a girl child being found in a dustbin on the day she is born. Or when I hear about a woman being gang raped in a cosmopolitan city. Or even when I hear about child marriages still being prevalent in a significant part of the country, I fail to understand, how has India developed?
When I see how corruption is slowly and steadily eating up the entire governmental setup just like termite eats up any wooden furniture, yet again, I fail to understand, how has India developed?
The thought that pops up in my mind now is- “Yes, India as a nation faces several serious problems at this point of time. But is there actually something that we can do about it?” If you were to take my opinion, of course there are lots of things that each one of us can do that eventually would make a huge difference. Instead of wasting our weekends on get-togethers, Facebook or Twitter, if we start getting together to perform creative social activities like cleaning the environment, raising standards of the poor or educating the people, we can surely make a difference. What we need now is selfless dedication towards on cause, one brand, one word, one motto and one desire- INDIA. After all, if not us, who? And if not now, when?
Nishith, a first year engineering student has great passion for writing. He has written for various national level newspapers such as Hindustan Times and Dainik Jagran.