Thursday, October 20, 2005

Are we (really) there yet???

Until an year ago, living in India, I always used to believe (& dreamt) that we are going to be a developed nation pretty soon...may be within the next 20 years. But thanks to the "Sarkars" of India, I was always wakened up to the reality of India and assured that the dream of a developed India may always remain a dream.

The last week's earthquake in South Asia is a good example of the defects and potholes that still riddle the bureaucracy inherited from the Raj. The way the state & central administrations failed to stand up for their own people in the hour of need just shows that we have a very long way to go in terms of being a developed nation. Here was the one opportunity where we could have won the hearts and minds of those disgruntled percentage of kashmiris who might be having hard feelings towards India and we floundered it real bad. It's pathetic. What else could describe the situation when even after one week aid hasn't reached to some parts of the state????

India's economy is now growing @ 7-8% an year and is forecasted to maintain the same or even higher growth rate in the coming years, progress is being made in providing health care,education,drinking water,good infrastructure throughout the country , the quality of life in general is increasing and we have a USD 143.435 billion forex reserves ( and counting). IT has been and still is a major factor in fueling the present growth and it may eventually take us to the top. But...Is it enough to sustain us at the top for ever? The answer is simple...NO.

Also the question here is...Is the wealth that is being created reaching the poor? Around 40-45% of the 1.3 Billion population in India still lives behind the poverty line,the same percentage of people are also illiterate, corruption is still a major demon that needs to be tackled,minor ethnic and communal strifes still plague the country.....the list goes on....

I'm an optimist. I believe that we could still make it to the top league, but we need an initiative from the political establishment that would usher in the golden days that people in India are waiting for the last 58 years. India as a nation has three valuable qualities--a vibrant democracy,a secular identity and sovereignty--which a very few nations in the world could boast of having. And I believe that as long as these three form the pillars on which the nation stands there is always HOPE.

P.S. : The Photo above is of a Kashmiri boy trying to stay in line for the supplies at a relief camp.

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