Whither India….. withering India

Two hours of heavy rain bring the NCR and metros like Hyderabad to their knees, turning roads into rivers, flooding posh houses in posh colonies, causing massive traffic jams and impartially distributing garbage allover. This has not happened for the first time. It is a recurring phenomenon every monsoon even sixty nine years after independence.

Who, and what, is responsible for the ills our country faces today?

It is easy to blame the current Union and State governments. But are they really responsible for the mess we find the country in today? Can we blame the AAP government alone for what Delhites faced on Tuesday/Wednesday? Hardly. They inherited a system which was on the verge of total collapse and the trend could not be reversed in the  short span of eighteen months it has been in power, even if the government had tried.

We had inherited some very good systems when the British departed. Roads were swept and garbage removed before sunrise everyday, traffic was disciplined, trains ran on time, buses routinely entered bus stations and took passengers who had purchased tickets from booking windows, crime was low because policing was effective and the rule of law was strictly enforced. Load shedding/power failures were unheard of.

We needed to build upon them. Instead, we regressed. It took us less than two decades to do it. Now, if roads are cleaned at all, it is hours after sunrise-contributing to chaos of crowd of commuters hurrying to their offices, garbage removed infrequently at any time of the day, most trains run late, buses stop outside bus stations and the conductor issues tickets to such passengers who succeed in fighting their way aboard. Thanks to the netas’ patronage to goondas the police is afraid of taking action against them. Load shedding/power failures are normal.

Our population is a major factor. There has been nearly four fold increase in a short span of sixty nine years since independence. At this rate, we will be the most populous country in about a decade. No government ever made a serious effort to bring down the growth rate. The country is bursting at seams. Even a zero growth rate would not be good. we need a negative growth rate.

The second major factor is CORRUPTION. Not day to day corruption. Corruption in high places. Corruption involving crores of rupees. Our corrupt politicians are busy filling their already overflowing coffers, serving their own interests instead of serving the country. It has always been in the interest of politicians to keep the masses uneducated, ignorant and uninformed so their vote banks remain intact. All leaders/political parties are interested only in somehow coming to power and then, in retaining it. The development of the country or welfare of its citizens is the least of their concern.

Granted that the country has made some progress but it has been lopsided. We boast of being a nuclear power, of having successfully launched Chandrayan but large number of our citizen still starve. We proudly plan to have bullet trains while our existing trains lack ordinary amenities. Would it not be better to use these thousands of crores to first improve the existing services? Or is it too much to expect?

We have been hearing slogans like ‘garibi hatao’, ‘shining India’, ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’, ‘achhe din’ etc. If our leaders really mean to transform  India into a strong nation they must rise above their petty squabbles, get together, dedicate themselves and work together for the betterment of common man, without which, an already withering India is bound to decay and die.


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