INCLUSIVE INDIA – A FAR OFF DREAM?

Indian subcontinent, since time immemorial has been bestowed with an abundance of life and bounteous nature. The northernmost part bounded by the Himalayas and almost 3/4th of the countries peripheries covered by water, people here never had to worry about foreign invasions until it became a wider  phenomenon somewhere between 5th century BC across the globe. People living here never developed the audacity to loot and plunder the neighboring countries or states,  instead of exploiting the nature and the other forces of the world,  they started inquiring about how to attain inner peace and how to live a fresh  in spirit. The natural conditions were abundant for this thought to be developed and history and the current period is witness to this fact. Invasions over the centuries brought many cultures which intertwined with the local conditions present and India never lost its identity. This is truly remarkable for the simple fact that people of different ideologies, dialects, race, caste etc are still holding strong and its diversity is still intact.  There is a growing body of  evidence in everyday walks of life of how culturally diverse this part of the world is but it also carries repercussions which will be highlighted later.

Speaking about the 21st century, India is on the verge of competing with established world order. Various leading Economist and think tanks have highlighted the prospects of how it could be achieved. India can build on its potential since 65% of its population would be under the age of 35  in coming decade and there is no doubt that this would give it a competitive edge, unlike many countries which already have reached the threshold and are finding it hard to sustain the balance.

Colonization followed by capitalism and globalization can have far reaching consequences in developing countries. Problems like lack of shelter, sanitation, education and clean water are the by-products of the social and political structure and this is what India  faced when the seeds were sown under the crown rule which swayed over Indian territories in the 19th century and its after effects are still visible.

What is more important is to acknowledge vital accomplishment that this country has achieved in challenging global powers. Green revolution which kicked off  in 1960’s made India self sufficient in food. ISRO established in 1969, down the decades has demonstrated the world its mass potential and would exhibit in years to come.  The 1971 strategic atomic weapon test was a necessary step in order to neutralize the effect our neighbors were up-to and  was a significant footing in order to become one of the global players. The 1991 economic reforms speak for themselves. Economy accelerated in a subtle pace but the aim of eradicating poverty still has to go through some rough patches. Major exercise in decentralization of power was achieved by the panchayti raj amendment act in 1992 which was of up-most significance. Some of the above factors have been vital in their own ways. From G77 to G20 and now all the eyes set on UN security council, There is no looking back for India.

Surely India has come a long way and would continue to thrive in the near future, but there are some aspects of this country which are holding it back and are certain blips, when enlarged, the root cause can be seen with infectious wounds too rugged to heal. To put it briefly, the social stratification which has been deeply ill rooted in our society, dignity of  labor is being abused everyday and  power in India means oppression, and not to serve people. Vote bank politics has been dividing people since Independence and shows no signs of slowing down. This is the curious case of India. We take 2 steps forward and 1 back.

No nation can prosper if it does not give importance to dignity of labor. Hardworking professionals such as cobblers, coolies, drivers are looked down with contempt amidst thousands and thousands of working class people. Social stratification in India continues to dehumanize labor which can have disastrous effects for any country to progress. To carry this unwanted weight along the lines of building a stronger and inclusive India seems to be a far off dream.

India’s diverse geography coupled with it’s rich cultural supremacy can be a blessing in disguise which can only  help in fostering the spirit and enable it to reach its potential to be one of the global power players in the near future.  An inclusive society is only possible when our diversity becomes our strength.

A country where 1/4th of the population open defecates and millions die of hunger and poverty is preaching its state subjects to go cashless? How ironical is that?  Everyone has to be tagged along if we dream of an inclusive society. It might take decades or centuries but the dream is still alive

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