India, the second fastest growing developing economy of the world is a country of extremes – with Forbes billionaires on one side and poverty, underdevelopment and malnutrition on the other! 65 years has passed since the end of British rule with democratic governments at the center and states to manage our affairs. One cannot say that India has not developed much since Independence; yes, India has, but the problems of ordinary Indians still persist. Thousands of people die of poverty, hunger and communicable diseases. There are a significant percentage of Indians who lack basic amenities like food and housing. Per-capita income of an average Indian is only around 1100$, which is lower than that of many African countries. Dreams of millions that India will become a developed nation within a short span of time after Independence didn’t realize. Who can be held responsible for this? The Central Government? The State Government? Or some one else?
History of India
The land, which derived its name from river Indus was one of the richest nation in the world for thousands of years. Her wealth and abundant resources attracted many foreign powers, but the highest damage was done by the exploitative European colonial rule. The near two hundred years of British rule from 1757 to 1947, saw India fall from the height of the richest nation to one of the poorest nation of the world. It was never easy for a nation with around 40 crore population (in 1947) with diverse religions, beliefs, languages and culture to recover. But under the eminent leadership of Nehru and Patel, India united to rise.
Problems of India:
A proper analysis on problems of India will help from refraining any prejudice on the topic : why India still not a developed nation like United States or Switzerland.
Mindset of Indians
During the 18th and 19th century when the west flew in the wings of science, technology and industrial revolution, India was limping. Our education systems had its limitations, Indians were not free to think beyond their traditions, caste systems and superstitions. It was the reluctance of orthodox Indians to think forward which added to their plight.
Inefficiency of the Government and Corruption
India, the largest democracy of the world has Parliamentary system of administration. There federal system provides for governments at both Center and State. The 65 years of free India saw different parties ruling the Center and State – Congress, BJP, CPI and so on. Now the political scenario has changed in favor of small regional parties, and as no single party gets absolute majority, coalition culture turned out as a necessity. The focus in coalition politics is retaining power than good governance, and hence vote-banks, nepotism, corruption etc became new additions in political dictionary.
Pluralism in India
Often India is known as a land of unity in diversity. The chain of unity is not made of steel or iron, but with only the sense of nationalism. No other nation in the world manages 121 crore people with as diverse religions, languages and cultures as India. The treat due to this pluralism today are philosophies like regionalism and communalism, watered by some anti-Indian elements in Indian soil, exploiting the soft and narrow feelings of Indians for their private gains.
Should Indian Government Deserve The Blame?
Yes, Government is the primary agency responsible, as we elect our representatives to take care of our needs. If they engage in corruption and private gains, who else to be held responsible? All the inefficient governments which ruled the center and states deserve to be at the receiving end of criticism. If criminals and goondas rule India what can Indians expect except misery. But if people of India re-elect criminals to rule them, who is to be blamed? If ordinary people engage in democracy only on the voting date, that too in exchange of freebies, on caste-communal basis, who is to be blamed?
Not all politicians are criminals. Not all governments are completely corrupt. Judge a government as good, if it can give basic amenities to the poor – if it can reduce substantially the poverty rate, child mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and malnutrition rate. Elect a government which can give food and housing to the rural and urban poor. A good government should have a vision for India, devoid of caste and communal politics. In the era of globalization, it should have a forward looking economic policy and sound foreign policy. To know what is good for India and what is not – just mere literacy won’t suffice. Right education and rational thinking is a must in this era of media sensationalism to find the truth – to realize that the reason behind our misery is not entirely due to government actions (in-actions), but partly due to our own attitude too.