August 15, 2010

To be free

As my country celebrates 63 years of freedom, here in no particular order are some (only some) things I want to be free of, things I want India to be free of:

* Reading about yet another case of great corruption every day in the papers.

* Reading about dishonour killings every day in the papers.

* The reality that of about 200 million households in this country, 120 million don't have toilets.

* The worry that educating my children's generation will be one long encounter with coaching classes aimed at one exam or another, rather than an effort to exercise and expand their minds.

* The immature hostility that greets even mildly critical mention of India or Indians.

* A readiness to turn mortals into gods simply because they play cricket, or act in films, or sing songs. Or indeed practice politics.

* Poverty so overwhelming that plenty of Indians cannot afford rice priced at two rupees a kilo.

* The idea that everything on the road, people most of all, is subordinate to the car.

* The need for an Indian, any Indian, to travel 200+ km for elementary healthcare, as I saw plenty of Indians doing in Chhattisgarh.

* The anger and resentment that characterize all sides of almost any issue we face, whether reservations or Maoists, delivering justice or SEZs.

* Car drivers who think they are required to speed up to prevent older Indians on foot from crossing the road in front of them.

* An apparent unwillingness to recognize the depth of human potential in this country and what realizing it to its fullest would do for India.


Rohan said...

On one hand there's you.
On the other there's a certain Saffron party.
Happy Independence Day. And thanks.

Jai_C said...

Sujai Karampuri's is the place where I came across this following idea first, though it could be echoed in lots of other places and maybe earlier:

Our Independence is not a done deal; it is an ongoing event, yet unfinished. Meaningful freedom has not been achieved for many.


wise donkey said...

lets hope work and pray for it.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Thank you, TOC!

Respect billion as a number said...

I don't care much for criticizing India. In fact, it's a shithole that deserves to be treated thus.

But criticizing "Indians". That's something that annoys me because it involves random generalizations. Please criticize me or another person or a specific self proclaimed group. To club 1 billion people is just insulting to the number 1 billion more than anything else.

AK said...

I did a mental exercise - imagine our parents having the same list when they were our age. What has India been freed of? NOTHING

* Corruption is still healthy and actually growing
* 'dishonour killing' has always existed but now it is reported
* Basic necessity for a house has worsened due to increase in urban poor
* Education has become a cramming exercise (plz... IIT/IISc/TIFR etc are a mere drop in an ocean)
* No idea about 'hostility on critical mention' - so cannot comment
* Poverty is also healthy and growing thanks to urban poor and decline of agriculture sector (no this is not 'Peepli Live' influence, majority of my family members are farmers so I was already aware of it)
* Elementary health care may be slightly better
* 'anger and resentment' has increased (I loved the way you put it)
* Now we have more cars on the same roads with ever increasing population
* Barring few visionary individuals, pride is usually misplaced and confidence as a nation is severely lacking

.............. in short, what has changed since the previous generation?
Call me a pessimist or India basher but where or how do you find hope?

Albeit I must point out developments have happened but they affect only a thin slice of the society, ex, IT industry has increased the spending power (note I did not say life style) of people in service industry who have driven up the cost of living for everyone else.