It is not that we have to emulate everything that is Western for us to consider ourselves a developed country. Indians have accustomed to certain standards which has also been proved to be healthy. Our ayurvedic methods and eating habits is being admired by the global audience. Yet when it comes to the metrics by which the outlook of a nation’s hygiene and infrastructure is measured, we lack the authentic dominance. There are certain things which should, first, be accepted by us. Chewing paan may be alright in a sense but spitting the same on the road is not. Positioning the highway milestone wide enough to lay a six-lane road is alright but neglecting to construct a pedestrian or cycling path is not.
The Young Outsider
Consider a foreigner from, say, Australia. What will his thoughts be when he looks at a beautiful highway dotted with stools of a variety of living kind, including humans? How will such a foreigner who has been glorified about Ayurveda in his homeland be ready to shed his clothes to a stranger in a filthy dungeon? The most important of all… How will a foreigner lady be a goodwill ambassador for India that considers women as Goddess when she gets disturbed by our men in the name of molestation? In simpler terms, how will an outsider feel at home when our country is in such state of affairs?
Most of the discussion points on lack of development in the past decade is pointed towards policy paralysis. Even to construct or complete a half-finished flyover, the loop in bureaucracy hinders progress. These are what I term as visible nuisances. The lack of infrastructure development is currently such that it is easier to fly out of the country and move to greener lands than to be a wanderer within. The higher the strata of people use a service, higher the budget allocated by the government. But despite spending thousands of crore on our airports, they are still not even above average in the global standards.
There is one other issue that bothers us which I term as invisible nuisances. These are the self-discipline and social-discipline of our people. Within ten minutes of walking in the road, one can witness at least 3 – 4 people spitting on the road. Partly due to unplanned development, half of our roads are only used as parking lots. Only two lanes can be used in a 3-lane road. Even the rules are not clear in certain cases. The one who commits the mistake should be penalized in general. But here, more often, the one who happens to get the injury in a traffic violation gets the sympathy of law.
An Optimistic Hope from the Young India
Having chosen a stable government for the next five years, we highly expect this democracy to change a lot of things for our own betterment. The first and foremost should be the readiness to concede the past mistakes and root for progress. Next comes the inclusion and policy making actions. We have lived the way we are now, not as brain-dead citizens but in the confidence that we can initiate changes sometime in our life-time. But only after completing almost a third of our life, we get to realize and take part in the democracy. We strongly anticipate the like-minded people to actively pledge our participation for a better India, as soon as possible and hopefully, within the next five years.