I was sitting in a cafe with a couple of friends when the talk of Black coffee turned to Black Money and we ended up discussing the failed system of India. I don’t know how and why, but every time we talk about the evils meandering in the society, we end up talking of India! As the talk continued my friend said “Dude. Nothing, absolutely nothing good can happen in this god forsaken country. I bloody hate this country.” I looked at him with a wry smile and added “Well, that’s true.” I didn’t want to get into another unfruitful debate. Another friend of mine added “I don’t hate this country but I won’t live here after my graduation.” And they went into an hour long discussion of the dos and don’ts for India to become a Great Nation, the one portrayed to us by every politician. As we got ready to depart, I asked them “What do you hate exactly, India or Indians?” They looked at me with nothing to say, maybe they understood that it wasn’t a question really.
On 26 January 2012, India commemorates the date on which the Constitution of India came into force as the governing document of India, 64 years ago. It’s a day when every Indian feels a bit more patriotic. So with patriotism in my head I was wondering why would someone hate his own country. And the other half of me also wonders why do I love my country? I don’t have an answer to either of them but I do have a question, is India a bad nation or Indians the bad people?
We Indians are the biggest hypocrites. We will complain about the dirt and filth lying around in the society but will never care enough to walk a few yards to dispose of our used cola cans. On the other hand, we expect every other citizen to pick up the chocolate wrapper lying on the floor. Citizens of India, always complain about the lack of management in the country and the ill-mannered people of India who never obey the rules and regulations. We are also the people who will point out the various reasons to hate India while smoking a cigarette in a public place. We are also the people who will talk about rules and regulations while driving a bike without a helmet.
India is a very corrupt nation, agreed. In fact, India’s image on tackling corruption only worsened with the Transparency International‘s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) placing it at 94th rank out of 176 nations last year. But aren’t we Indians, the first one to break traffic rules. If we are really frustrated with the rising rate of corruption then why are we not ready to pay the proper fine to the traffic officer? Why do we tell him “Keep this 200? Let’s forget this thing ever happened?”
India gave us such a vast historical heritage. The world knows about the various monuments in India, especially the Taj Mahal.
India has such a vast scope of tourism. But did we not ourselves pollute the holy river Ganga? Aren’t we responsible for “engraving” the names of our “lovers” on the beautiful pillars of our country? Did we ever think of cleaning the pond after Ganpati Visarjan?
We are not technically advanced enough. We have very poor transport facilities. Our bridges take years to be ready – the Bandra-Worli sea link took 12 years- for use. But how will the nation improve if each one of us runs out of the country as soon as he finishes his graduation? I really find it unethical actually. You owe your life to this nation and all you are doing is helping some other country in its own development. We also have a huge population problem, but we all know it’s not INDIA sleeping with your wife.
A girlfriend of mine told me “I will run to the USA, as soon as I am done here”. And a few friends of her supported her. I asked her “Why?”
“Well, there are many reasons. Primarily, safety is the biggest issue. I am scared to wear short clothes over here. There is so much sexual harassment and danger of being raped over here. USA is much safer.”
I wanted to punch the bloody statistics on her face. USA has quadruple number of rape cases registered every year compared to India, even when it has a population quarter that of India. The UK has 15000 rape cases registered, and it has a population of 62,000,000. If you want to leave just leave don’t give stupid reasons.
You might ask me if I think India is a Great Nation. No, I don’t think ours is the greatest country in the world. But I do believe that we have the potential and strength to become great. All countries, be it Pakistan, USA, UK or India, are economically, socially and culturally different. I might sound offensive to many when I say this, but whenever we suspect losing in a comparison we clutch to our favorite refuge, culture and tradition! America is what it’s because of its strength and they do not have a bad culture at all, it’s just a different culture all together. It would be very wrong to claim that theirs is a culture inferior and ours are laudable. The biggest problem is all that we do is fight within ourselves whereas we should be fighting against illiteracy, over population and corruption. Every day in our streets we either here someone saying or are mostly the one saying “This country is going down, dude. It is on the path of destruction.” If we just keep saying this, then one day we will actually land up there. And it’s you who needs to find a remedy. Yes you, the one reading this the article right now. Not just the members of the parliament, or the police but each and every one of us. We keep blaming the government for our problems but when and if we step into their shoes we will do the same thing. The dalits blame the brahmins. The Hindus accuse the Muslims; the Muslims say the Hindus have depraved them of everything. Then in what way are we great? If we do something wrong, we point fingers to someone else and the fingers just keep on going until they reach the prime minister where the buck stops. We all just keep accusing each other. The fact is that we are all to be blamed. The problem lies in you…me…all of us.
It is WE, the people, who have to take the responsibility of change. India will not change on its own. WE have to be the change. The garbage will not fly into the dustbin; WE have to pick it up. The technology will not improve with the help of our ‘culture’; WE have to do it by working for India rather than driving taxi in New York. WE have to protect our monuments. WE have to choose ISRO over NASA, Mahindra over BMW. Mainly, WE have to choose hard-work-in-India over ease-in-Switzerland.
I hope now people understand what the real problem is. If you still think it’s just the governments fault, then we just have to agree to disagree. But yeah the next time make sure you write “I hate Indians” rather than “I hate India.” Have the guts to write “I hate myself”, if you consider yourself an Indian at all.
A very Happy Republic Day to all the Indians out there. Take a pledge to serve the country, not leave it in distress. Take a pledge to take India forward, not leave it behind.
Remember, “No country is born perfect. We have to work to make it perfect.”