Today, we are celebrating 71 years of India becoming a Republic and Constitutional Country. The event will include various cultural activities, celebrations, parades, dances, singing, and speeches. However, I still see a missing piece, every time I see my India, maybe because I dream of a more beautiful version of India. More peaceful, uniformed, equal, organised, systematised and transparent.
The speciality of dreams is you can watch them with your eyes open too. You can stay in a dream, soak-in, feel its beauty and weave a story about it. Dreams have no boundaries, dreams are lucid, dreams are free from manipulations and discretion.
I am a little bit of everything that India is made up of; I am in the colours of Holi, flashes of lightning in Diwali, I am the sweet taste of all the ‘mithais’, I am a prayer in Temples, and azaan in a Masjids, Gurbaani in Gurdwara and prayer in Church. If I have tasted the flavour of kheer, I have also relished sheer khurma with an equally happy vibe.
I am North, I am south, indifferent I stand apart. I am a little truth, I am a little anger, I am the ray of hope and I am a vivid dreamer. The beauty of India lies in its cultural diversity. It’s rich cultural heritage dharohar, ethnicity, traditions and beliefs. But some elements are harsh, bitter, corrupted and unjust and they ruin its beauty. When I dream about India, I can only see a few things in my dreams. I wish for the era when I could see the end of a few things I have outlined in this article.
With the recent events going on around the country, one after another, I feel devasted, I see social media flooded with varied opinions. Opinions and views sometimes deceive, manipulate and influence others. And in this process truth gets neglected.
Whether we talk about one of the most opposed pieces of legislation like the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), JNU protests or revocation of Article 370, we have seen a major turmoil in the form of protests, hatred and different opinions leaving a bad taste in the minds of Indian citizens.
I observe things, understand them but still, I don’t prefer to have any political views, but yes there is one thing I strongly believe in, “Mazhab nahi sikhata apas mein bair rakhna” (Religion does not teach us to bear ill-will among ourselves). I have seen every conversation, argument and discussion ends at this point, which is literally a no-man’s land.
I think activists and journalists have said a lot about the current affairs and their repercussions, but today as an ‘aam naagrik’ (ordinary citizen), I want to put forward a few things which disturb me, as a responsible citizen of this country.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau, there have been cases where children just disappear overnight, as many as one in every eight minutes.
India has high numbers of reported child trafficking cases. Children are taken from their homes, sold, kidnapped or tricked, via false promises. In India specifically, it is estimated that there are around 135,000 children trafficked each year.
They undergo mental harassment and also sexual exploitation, at a very tender age. Whenever I see a kid begging at a traffic signal, I just feel like asking him or her, “why are you doing this? Is someone forcing you to do this?”
If at all you get time, just try to look deeper into their eyes, they look merely like stones, with no hope for tomorrow, no desires, as if they have become robots to their masters.
In my opinion, this is the biggest social stigma prevailing and spreading like an unstoppable fire. Because it is uncontrolled. With the rising incidents of sexual harassment, people have come up with different ways and means to pinpoint survivors.
I believe when a woman is raped or mistreated, she loses life inside her; no man can understand the amount of pain she goes through her whole life. Yet, she is judged and questioned, on her character, dressing, working late hours, getting promotions, good perks.
Whenever a rape is reported, instead of focusing on the culprits, people search for the survivor and start passing judgment on her lifestyle. No matter how a girl prefers to live her life, she never invites this life-threatening trouble, under any given circumstances.
With each reported case, we see a higher intensity of crime involved. I have waited for historic judgments, which could prove to be benchmarks and teach the culprits a lesson. But so far, I have been waiting, and it seems the wait will last for an eternity, as society is busy running after trivial matters.
India was once addressed as the ‘Sone ki Chidiya’ (golden bird), but sometimes, it is perceived as a poor nation, because of the picture we present to foreign visitors when they visit India.
I am referring to unhygienic conditions, polluted environments, garbage, and waste. I agree that with “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” things have changed, but still, on a broader level, something is still missing. We need more awareness, a more hygienic environment, more wellness programmes, coming directly from the government.
We still need more medical facilities for the underprivileged, as well as each and every citizen of this country. It this too much to ask for? It is a very basic need of each and every individual, breathing as an Indian Citizen.
I do agree, that with the new advancements and innovations, the doors have to open to new employment opportunities. But still, people with a good amount of knowledge and degrees, struggle hard to find a secure job.
We have the seventh pay commission and various payment structures for government jobs and also for semi-government companies. But, in my opinion, in private companies, nothing is uniform. No job security, no fixed pay, no job-recognition.
There exists no structured pay scale. In ABC company, an MBA gets 60,000 per month, and in XYZ, the same MBA gets 20,000. I know, it will be a topic of debate for many, who will question the calibre of the candidate; but have a look around the pay scale, perks and benefits of government employees, and have a reality check on the criteria of the job, and you will find the answers for yourself.
A company always has the option to extend probation, give warnings or even fire the underperforming employee. But for that, first, we need a fair chance.
Women who want to return to work after their maternity break or after a long break due to family constraints, find it very difficult to get back on the career path. We hardly have any companies which provide childcare to employees, so that they don’t have to quit working.
The case shouldn’t be restricted to women, it should be for men too, who are single parents or want to take the responsibility of a child as equally as a mother. The opportunity should be equal and open to all irrespective of category and gender.
Now, this is something we struggle with, in daily life, right from a clerical level government staff to the highest of authorities. To get something done, that too, from a government-run institution is still a tedious task.
First of all, it will not happen at once; you will be sent from desk to desk and secondly, you will be asked for several documents to get the work done. People are still not clear about many of their basic rights and the people sitting on the other side of the desk, often misuse their power.
I’d like to support this with a recent incident – my friend lost his Mobile Phone, and thanks to the IMEI number and mobile phone location, he could trace the exact location of the phone. He is a tech-savvy person.
He reported it to the police, seeking help and the reply he got from them was epic; they said to him, “If you have searched for the location, then why not find the person as well, it will save our time.”
For them, it must be just a mobile phone, but nowadays, our whole world is in that palm-sized gadget. It becomes very difficult when something like this happens, because we have so many important apps, wherein our login credentials are mentioned. In the wrong hands, this could lead to a heavy financial and emotional loss for an individual.
There is an indefinite list of issues we all deal with daily, and I know the government cannot take charge of everything. But, just because of this ‘chalta hai’ attitude, we are losing a grip on things, and its high time people understand their responsibilities as citizens, for a better India. It is indeed a collective effort, but for a flower to bloom, it’s the root that needs to be intact.
I dream of a clean and responsible India. India is incredibly beautiful and I wish to see a better India with better facilities and opportunities. This my dream, ‘mere sapno ka Bharat’. What do you think? No matter which country you belong to, you always dream about a better tomorrow.