India Shining or glowing in the dark before the candle is extinguished?
In the last two days I’ve come across as many articles/blogposts about India, that question where we are headed as a nation. The first one about varanasi (this one is from 2008) and the second one about the power failure. From the reactions of a lot of people to the article about Varanasi was that its biased and that the person writing it has no understanding of Indian Culture. The fact that it was written by a Chinese/Taiwanese tourist, gives us the excuse to say that this is about India being better than China. I don’t think so. How can anybody look at those pictures of dead bodies floating by while people bathe a few meters away and think that this is a great nation? Its beyond me. And then there is the second power failure, bigger that the one before it, leaving 670 Million people in the dark. The same day that the power minister gets promoted to become the Home Minister. Both these incidents are symptomatic of our political system, of the fact that our politicians or political representatives if you will, assume that it doesn’t matter what they do. Its not that power blackouts don’t happen in other countries, and neither is it that other countries are cleaner or more sanitary, its that there is no sense of responsibility and accountability. How can the Power Minister be made the Home Minister, after the first blackout, on the eve of the second? As Indians, we’ve long given up on our political system and even though we grumble about what is being doled out to us, we go along with it anyway. The India Shining slogan and campaign was good for our morale and it was needed but its time to look beyond. Its good to be proud of our history and of what we have achieved, but its apparent that its not enough. We need to step up and look for alternatives, we need to clean house before the garbage buries us all.
As Ramchandra Guha says at the end of the article “India needs to stop strutting on the world stage like it’s a great power, and focus on its deep problems within.”