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.