When India attained its independence, not many gave it even a twenty percent chance of retaining a successful democracy for long. Even fewer believed that the nation of this size could hold up and not break down into fragments drawn by the lines of communalism, casteism, regionalism and language barriers. The reasons of defragmentataion were more than the chances of sticking together. The leaders of the time, chacha Nehru, Iron Man Patel, J.P took these chances and through painstaking work stitched this nation together.
To an outsider, India is and always was an enigma. Its own citizen fails to understand it completely. A Harayanavi is as adept in understanding the ways of a Madrasi as a Rajasthani is of a Bengali. But to hell with it, in the inside we are all Indians. The core fabric from which one is woven reeks of an Indian odour and that makes us unique in our own way, different from the world at large.
Now that we have stayed as a nation for so long, what have we accomplished? We haven‘t attained the level of living that we can associate with a socialist nation. We sure haven‘t had the advancement in economy to be called a capitalist. We have tried hard to follow a middle path and failed miserably in the process- we neither have the economic growth nor the standard of living and yet we act like snobs looking to conquer the world.
Let‘s just look at the facts. Our education system has failed miserably, the number of people living below the poverty line in the nation is mind boggling, the democratic system is in shambles, inflation is rising by the day, the rupee is on an all time low, the number of infant deaths makes your heart skip a beat, the grains rot away while people die of hunger, the black money stashed in foreign banks is the GDP of many a small nations.. the list goes on.
Come to the people living here. And this, my friends, is the hardest part to digest. We, the people of the nation are so proud of our past and what a name India was, the sone ki chidiya, some of us still pat ourselves in the back for it. Seriously? The educated class seldom goes to vote and then sits comfortably in the living room complaining on the deplorable state of things. The lower class is so downtrodden that it sticks on to whatever hope it sees on the horizon. The middle class is so obsessed with making money that it forgets living in the struggle to amass it in its banks. The upper class doesn‘t care. The old is just too tired of having made it so far. The youth is just good enough to make a page on an issue on a social network and thanking himself on doing such a noble cause for the society. One class of children is just too obsessed with becoming engineers of doctors to think of anything else. The other class has it laid it down by their fathers- a politician‘s child will become a politician, an actor‘s actor and so on- if not, unees bees ka hisaab hai.
Our constitution makers were so hellbent on giving no one a lot of power that they reduced everyone with a little power. China was not so different from us fifty years ago but now has the might to make the US bow. We had the world‘s third largest railway network before even the second world war and still never had an industrial revolution. The bubble of economic prosperity came through the reforms in the regime of P.V. Narsimha Rao. Before and after that, we haven‘t had a single policy that facilitates growth. In the time when the governments were a single majority, it never happened. We have a collation for some years now and will continue having it in the future, what can one hope for?
Our nation has always followed the middle path. Didn‘t align to either Soviet or the USA. Couldn‘t succeed as a socialist nor could become a capitalist. Is not the poorest of poor but can never be the richest of the rich. We just are what we have always strived to be, knowingly or unknowingly. Mediocre.
Anubhuti Jain said:
I love your writing but do not agree to most of what you wrote.
Our education system has not failed miserably. We are the top notch people running a lot of important things around the world. So much is its worth that a lot of countries are trying to understand how Indians are so brilliant. Such is our impact that Obama openly requests Americans to study before we Indians take over. I take personal pride in knowing the total/whatever when others are fiddling with their calculators.
Secondly, we might have been mediocre in a lot of situations but we still have a life. China being the communist nation they are, you would not have had the freedom to write what you just did. Also, if you hate mediocrity so much, be the change. I heard this speech recently where the only thing I remember is “make the ball better”, which means if someone throws a bad ball at you, do not complain about it and instead strive to make that better for yourselves and the others.
I must say, its disheartening to see someone so read and learned as you feeling and believing we have resigned to mediocrity. I beg to differ and will always do!!:)
By the education system I never meant the cream which always is good. I meant the 70% of the population which was illiterate till the 80s. Our government has always felt smug of its socialist causes but a major part is still illiterate. And that Anubhiti, is a cause of worry.
I don’t question the intelligence of Indians, we might be one of the most intelligent races around, and still India doesn’t fare anywhere what many do in R&D and that’s the thing which hurts the most.
By mediocrity I mean the general life and achievements and that can never be guaged by talents of the likes of you. Its the other majority I’m talking about here. 🙂
And yes. Of trying to be the change I’m not ruling anything out. Maybe I’ll join politics in future, maybe join an administrative services. Its just the unreasonable beaurocracy that scares me!
“I don’t question the intelligence of Indians, we might be one of the most intelligent races around…”
Actually I *Do* question the intelligence of Indians….. previously my thoughts were more along the lines of there is no such thing called intelligence, everybody is equally smart irrespective of who/what they are…..
but after looking at the sad state of how easily the idiots here get brainwashed into nonsense …the religious riots and killings…..beating up couples on valentines day cuz it is not our culture (it is not our culture to what?!!)….. the idiots actually fighting with other idiots claiming their “hero” in the films is the superior one (yes it apparently happened here)….
i do question the our intelligence….
Aditya Gudsoorkar said:
couldn’t succeed as a socialist nor could become a communist should be couldn’t succeed as capitalist neither became a communist cause socialist and communist are almost same only one is an extreme form.
Shucks. I meant capitalist, wrote it wrong. Thanks.
Hmm…. since i was apparently stuck in the same debate for the past couple of days with a lot of people from a lot of places ….. here are some of the things i can copy paste from my chat logs…
IITs are great….. so we actually built a system of coaching institutes that just train the idiots all around from the class 6 to get into a coaching center which coaches the idiots to clear entrance of a coaching institute which trains people to clear the entrance of another coaching institute which trains people to clear the JEE …. instead of actually putting that effort into improving the colleges everywhere….. (@ The coaching class and reservation crap going on all over india)
”I want to get into the best engineering college of the country…. to actually throw away whatever i learn in the 4 years to get an MBA degree” (@ every 12th grade IIT -> MBA aspirant)
“I want to get into GSoC ….. tell me what to do!” …. “I want to get an internship in the foreign institute…. please give me” …… instead of even giving a thought to what exactly the work is…(@ every retard who spams the mailing list for ajob or internship opportunity – the conversation that started with this http://paulwgoldberg.blogspot.fr/2011/02/iit-student-seeks-internship-at-your.html )
“and with retards like this settling into whatever job they can get/ are brainwashed to get… with such 0 job satisfaction / interest for the work they (are supposed to) do…. leave alone innovation and creativity….. i doubt if we could even fight more basic issues like corruption and a better quality of life…”
So that part was mostly about the mediocre indian students …… which is like 90% of us…. and no….. i honestly don’t know where i fit in ….. the 90% or the remaining 10% …..
and about our great software industry – the outsourcing center of the world…..did you know?
TCS and infy and stuff…….. they “sell” labour for like less than minimum wages “there”
(like 7$ per hour per developer) and they pay the developer like 50 cent or something”
So in a nut shell get the basic job done by some crappy indian outsourcing company and then outsource the half baked product to another service company for low cost to get any brilliant product done……
and not to forget how amazing the hiring practices of these companies are ….
Now coming to the our “great” culture……
Random internet censorship in the name of “obscene content threatening our national pride” …… “threats the masterpieces produced by our amazing film industry” …. when in reality, its just an under table transaction happening between a couple of greedy….
and not to mention the media getting it’s expert opinions from retards like
( if you dont understand what the above link is for,,,, check this out .. http://opindia.posterous.com/happy-birthday-ankit-fadia-indias-best-fake-f )
but again the media is a whole different story.. so i d rather not bloat this little comment up with that…..
Its not okay to question what a teacher says …… because our great culture preaches us that “Gurudevo bhav” …. so whether or not we have any respect for the retard , whether or not we curse him a thousand ways behind his back… not to question a teacher…..
And yes… since i did such a good job of blaming the whole system and everyone around me…… i could probably end my speech here…. but lemme throw in my 2 cents too……
We are the best example of a scalability problem…… so everytime we do something… aspiring for things we dont understand..settling for just another job…submitting someone else’s solution for the assignments… not giving the credit to the people who actually deserve it …… its actually quite simple to judge if it is okay or not… simply imagine a billion people doing the same….
and ya.. culture is not the way we are supposed to live …. its just the way we live…. the food we eat, the way we dress, the music we listen to …. its the way it is because of a reason…. not because we have to be proud of it or some crap… so its better if we forget the sone ka chidia … the greatest culture in the world……. crap…. and actually use our brains for the things we do….
TOI is shit. Its not a newspaper, its ‘panchayati tamasha‘.
And well, what you’ve mentioned here, I agree to an extent. But the thing is every nation does it. But the sheer magnitude of people living in this country magnifies our stupidity.
And of course, Indians have a reason to be proud. Its history and culture is unparalleled. My only point is not to cloud the present by thinking of the past.
And regarding education system what you point out is correct. But what I was trying to say was different. Please check my reply to anubhuti on this. 🙂
Hehe its not just about TOI…. almost every news source from here, censors *a lot* of content ….. we dont even have to compare ourselves with any other nation…
and well every country’s history and culture is unparallelled….. ever country has been on this planet for as long as we have…. and every country’s culture is equally important… my point is, there is no point in the people who say we are culturally superior… (case in point….. dont you think this fucked up notion of cultural superiority is what is causing so many clashes among so many sub cultures in india? the hindu muslim thing…. the telengana andhra thing….. every retard believes that his culture is the most superior one and thats it?!!!)
Umm. No, what India has done differently is that it has preserved its culture. But that’s a futile point to debate.
And interesting. Yes, its that culture that causes the shrugges of today. Point noted. (Y)
India is mediocre in terms of the factors of ‘development’ that we now tend to adhere to. On an education level, I still think that lesser the people adhere to current education, the better it is to the world. We have lot of people who have not haven’t adapted to what capitalist world defines as successful and decent life. India offers an alternative way of life that was needed to foster the 70s. And I am only more proud if we become more mediocre. I guess my points would be more clear if you watch these two videos .
1) Shiv’s lecture on development http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_wdd7D2iQk
2) Documentary – Schooling The World (Available in Torrent) Here is the trailer link. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnzVNO_J6sk