India of my deams:What it should be but is not?

India is a country which has >1 Billion people, >400 million middle class, rapidly growing economy, increasing quality of life for at least the middle and upper classes and is being increasingly accepted as a global player. It received an India-specific NSG exemption for nuclear trade at IAEA, Vienna last year without signing NPT and despite the efforts from China to stall this exemption. It is one of the candidates for the UNSC permanent seats. Previously, India used to be bracketed with Pakistan but now it is with China. India and China are two countries which are mentioned as the engine heads for the global economy. These are not small achievements. We should be proud about this all.

Having said that, we should not be satisfied until India becomes the country with the highest/top GDP growth, economy, political/strategic/military strength, quality of life and a place in UNSC permanent membership.

We should become a caring society whose citizens are well-mannered, utmost moral and universally regarded as decent citizens. It would be difficult but not impossible.

India would have been at a much higher position if we did not have to deal with several deficiencies/problems which have become even worse. These issues have continued to drag us down from the growth path and our destiny.

If we want to be truly a global player, we have to deal with these issues/problems.

I will outline what I think are the issues which need to be dealt with;

1. Corruption: It has become a python which is strangulating all aspects of our national life. It is very common among the bureaucrats and politicians. LOK AYUKT, Independent Commission against Corruption and Courts would have to be given wide-spread powers to deal with this problem effectively and expeditiously.

2. Lack of accountability: No body seems to understand the concept of accountability. An engineer can pass a bridge which was built with substandard material and which collapses, killing hundreds of people with hardly any penalty for the engineer. A politician can mis-spend money on parks/statues etc when people are starving and no body can effectively question that politician today in India. A doctor and lawyer do poor jobs and unlike western countries, they are not held accountable in India. We have to learn the concept of accountability and practise it.

3. Ignorance of rights and obligations concept: We may know what our rights are but not many are willing to follow the concept of obligation which goes hand in hand with the rights. Public education via mass media is required.

4. Education: We may have millions with BA, BSc or PhD but often their knowledge is confined to books only. Practical and real education is lacking. If we are indeed educated, why will we allow the criminals to win the elections and why do we vote for a candidate based on the caste/religion? Our education system and curriculum need to be reviewed. significantly increased investment must be made to improve the standards in the schools and universities. It is shameful to see that no Indian Uni is in the top 100 World Universities.

5. Poverty: We have massive poverty and see poor people everywhere. Why have we not created the employment for our people by providing practical/vocational training? Why have we not created a proper welfare system for those who can’t find employment or can’t do any job due to physical/mental incapacity? The answers are obvious.

6. Health System: We have two classes of health system. Rich people can go to private hospitals and can get the world class treatment but poor people have nothing except some vitamins and third class antibiotics from the public hospitals. They are left to die at these public hospitals. Govt needs to invest in Public health. The concept of hygiene and preventive health needs to be promoted in our day to day work, life and business. We have to reduce the maternal and infant mortality.

6. Police: Our police is behaving as if India is still ruled by the British. They have no respect for the people and often, they behave as the criminals. Why the police is not able to be a professional force with associated requirements in crime prevention, investigation and prosecution? No wonder, custodial deaths are far too common. Major changes are needed urgently. National/State police commissions with involvement of relevant people including the public are needed to review what needs to be done to make our police force a good force.

7. Manners, etiquette, and public behaviour: Rudeness, arrogance and discourteous behaviour is far too common. If we can be  model citizens when out of India, why we can not be similar when in India? Urinating/defecating openly and spitting are just few examples which must be stopped soon. Public education via schools and mass media is needed. Penalty regime like Singapore will have to be thought about.

8. Public servants or the masters of public: Bureaucrats behave as if they are our kings/queens rather than public servants. Drastic changes are needed in their work, attitudes and behaviours.

9. Politicians: We have openly corrupt politicians and many are criminals. We should not allow any one who has been convicted of a set of defined crimes to contest election. Elections rules must be reviewed and revised.

10. Reservation: Reservation was brought in 1947 for 15 years but it has become permanent. Sons of IAS and ministers are getting the benefits of reservation even in IITs, medical institutions and judiciary. Caste based reservation must be stopped and people from disadvantaged parts of the society irrespective of the caste should be given help to improve themselves but there should be no reservation in either qualifying exams, jobs or promotions.

11. Judiciary:Trials can go on for decades before any judgement is delivered. Justice has to be delivered quickly. We would need more courts and judges to deal with this problem. No case can go on in one court for more than 1-2 years.

12. Government leaders:  Ministers should be appointed because they are capable, not because of any other reason. A foreign minister should be the one who can deal with the intricacies of foreign affairs and a finance minister should be the one who has concepts of finance management. Politicians and ministers should know that there is something called retirement. Either they retire themselves after 70 yrs or political parties should not select them after this age.

13. Public mentality and attitude: “Chalta Hai” attitude is harmful. “Muft Khori” is not helpful. We need to have the concepts of self-worth, self-esteem and nationalism instilled in us with the help of curriculum and mass media. Pan-Indian identity should be promoted and encouraged in preference to region, caste and religion based identity.

14. Compulsory English and computer education: Every student must be taught English along with a local language. English has remained the link language and Bollywood films has taken care of Hindi. Similarly, every student must have a minimum standard in computer/internet use and familiarity.

15. Civic sense and moral education: While our GDP/economy has grown, the civic sense and moral standards have fallen. You would see that rubbish is thrown out on the streets from the homes. No body lets the elderly get out from the buses/trains easily and helps them in doing so.  People do not care who falls as long as they get in the buses/trains. Profits and selfish gains are everything for a significant proportion of our population. Proper emphasis on Civic sense and moral behaviour must be given from the formative years.

16. Human rights and value of Life:We have the National Human Right Commission [NHRC] and similar ones in the state but we still have serious violation of human rights in India. “Life” has hardly any value. A doctor and a hospital will often refuse to treat a critically injured person only because they have not lodged a FIR. In the process, critically important time is wasted, leading to preventable fatal outcomes. An intense and massive mass media campaign on human rights and values will have to be commenced.  NHRC will need to be given more powers to investigate, prosecute and punish the culprits which often are the bureaucrats and police authorities.

17. Aged care: It is not uncommon that people do not care for their elders in India these days. This is not universal by any means but not uncommon either. The State must take initiatives to ensure that elderly people are able to live with dignity. Lok Sabha had recently passed an act which has provisions to protect elderly people from abuse from their relatives.

18. Naxalism:When the state is not doing what it must do, we see the births and growth of extra-Gov forces. Multi-pronged strategies need to be adopted in controlling this menace.

19. Terrorism: India will face this problem for long time because it is not likely anytime soon to have a good relationship with Pakistan. We need to remove our “soft image” and become ruthless in eliminating the terrorist elements. It does not serve a great purpose to keep a convicted terrorist in Tihar Jail for years when even supreme court has rejected the appeal. President of India must not keep the mercy appeals pending indefinitely.

20. Effective foreign policy: While we set our house in order effectively, we need to have a good foreign policy which is able to adapt itself with the changing scenario around us and far afield. It should be managed by those who are the most competent to run the Foreign affairs. We need to learn from China in  these matters and need to study how it has befriended Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mal Dives and Burma, often at our cost.

There is a need for a “Commission for national development”which should be entrusted with the job of finding out the priorities for the nation building and national development.

We may not like to admit it but we will need to study with full seriousness, the ways and methods which China adopted in achieving what it has in the last 30 years.

Having said all what I have said, it still remains a fact that nothing would be achieved until we, the people of India, change ourselves in regards to who we are, what is our self worth, what are our rights & obligations, what type of politicians and Gov we want to have, where we want to go, and where our country ought to be going. It is us that must change the most.

I will keep thinking on these topics and will keep updating this write-up. I look forward to your views.

Yadu Singh/Sydney/13-10-09

25 thoughts on “India of my deams:What it should be but is not?

  1. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for India of my deams:What it should be but is not? « Yadu Singh's Blog [yadusingh.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com

  2. Many of the probems you mention have their common origin in corruption. Corruption has completely eroded the efficacy of governance in India. Whatever we have achieved is despite that governance. Imagine the state of affairs if we could take out corruption and all the government schemes start reaching their intended beneficiaries. Their quantum effect would be mind boggling.

    Sanjay Uvach
    Corruption in India

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    • Thank you. Corruption is a real big problem. Rajiv Gandhi once admitted that only 19 paise of the 100 paise is reaching where it is supposed to go. No wonder, poor are getting poorer. The political system, bureaucracy, police and some in judiciary are corrupt.

      YS

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  3. Dear sir I went through this. I think we can add one more think to this that every person should become a responsible citizen and do his work sincerely, instead of talking whole day about how India can be improved and how bureaucrat and politicians are not doing there work, if people do some introspection then 80% of people will realize they themselves have not done anything for country either morally, ethically or financially they just want to blame others.if every person each day does even a small act thinking of betterment then our country can grow exponentially. Swami Vivekananda said it is better to do one small work then doing hundred big talks. if people can work on this quote of Swami Vivekananda they can improve their own life and prospects of our country. I have seen many people who have many ideas but don’t have guts to take actions. our country have one more problem for a long time that people know too much about what not to do but hardly know about what to do. this also tell people are under confident. There is one very big disease in India where people are shy of taking action because they think “KI KYA KAHENGE LOG”. I will end this blog by saying “YEH HAI DUNIYA KA SABSE BADA ROG KI KYA KAHENGE LOG”

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    • Thank you Vishal. Your comments are brilliant and I agree with you. Major changes are needed in our thinking on morality, ethical behaviour and duties towards our country and countrymen/countrywomen.

      YS

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  4. Thanks Navjot. India can become a model country if its citizens want it to be one. Nation building is a task which not many are interested in. The “leaders” do not even know what is the meaning of the word “Leader”. Your comments are very correct.

    YS

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  5. Dear Yadu, This is indeed an excellent article. I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. In my recent article “The Third World – A Redefinition”, I have written that the most shocking reality about India is the fast disolving ethical and moral values. I feel that India is a “Third-World Nation” not by the virtue of wealth and it’s economic status but simply by the simple virtue of the attitude and mentality of the people who inhabit the nation. India does not really need 250 TV channels but it does need 25000 decent schools. India will truly turn a leaf when the people that make up the nation want a change within themselves.

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  6. Yaduji, there are several points I do not agree on. Every country has good and bad side. So has India. Do you think in Australia is very good, developed and a lovely or a country of anyone’s dream. NO. Like India, corruption is here too but a bit more dignified, people urinate in the open here as well — make a trip to world square at night, at the Greenwood Hotel and adjoining Car Park. Health is as bad as in India. My wife has undergone several test (torture) but no one has been able to DIAGNOSE her problem. In India (As Avijit describes a third world country) the doctors just diagnosed accurately by just reading her pulse. And she is better now.
    Education: I think, there are more rude and arrogant staff , mostly year 12 drop outs. You will be surprised to know that there are 300,00 Australians who can’t read and write and TAFE is training teachers to make them literate,at least be able to sign.
    It is not important to learn everything in English. Germans learn in German, Chinese in Chinese, French in French. So Indian won’t lag behind if science and technology is taught in Hindi, China, France, Germany and Spain etc are looked upon as role models and most of the research is happening there.
    Yes, we do need to learn about work culture, ethics and respect for time.
    I can say a lot more but I feel phir bhi dil hai hindustani

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    • Thanks Ashok. As I said, I wrote this to generate a debate. There are several other things which are not good and I encourage people to make comments. My write-up is not about comparing India and Australia. Bad things will remain bad irrespective of where these are done.

      I see merits in many of your comments. I am however not sure about this business of making diagnosis by feeling the pulse.

      You have made some very good and valid points. Thanks.

      YS

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    • It is interesting to read about diagnosis by pulse.

      Some one recommened me to one in Gosford.

      This Indian gentle had done training in Germany.

      Unfortunately not he has left for New Zealand.

      His diagnosis was the best I have ever had. His diagonsis of alminents were so accurate that stunned me.

      I cannot say about the treament thereafter as I did not go through as he had left for Kiwi land.

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  7. Dear Yadu
    Excellent article…raising awereness as you are doing is very impt, as bad habits become ingrained overtime and that’s the problem India today has..the reversal will take time ..next yr’s commonwealth games may be a good point to put things in media..that all indian’s should become patriotic and good citizens

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  8. I was fascinated by what Dr Singh has written about he aspires for India. It is interesting that I was talking to my son about say three weeks ago on the same. My reaction was that if every thing was similar to the western system than India would not be the same. It is this “craziness” that attracts us today our motherland.

    However this is not to say that there are many things that cannot be improved. What always worries me when I visit India is issue of treating a person with dignity.

    This dignity comes in many ways. The one I am raising here is about adequate pay for the job or work they perform.

    This pay should be equated with safety.

    I was surprised to see during my last visit to India that workers were compressing the hot asphalt with thongs on and at one of the major metro construction site whilst adequately wearing safety hat and overall but no foot protection.

    It is this type of devaluing of human being that annoys me.

    I made sure that the money I offered for the services rendered what I thought was correct-mostly higher than I was asked.

    There are sub issues under the topic of health. The one being that of mental health. This I am passionate about. I read on regular basis how the families in India disown them.

    This leads to the issue of disability.

    I spire for India that it will put human dignity above all.

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  9. Thanks Harish. You have made very valid comments. We have many problems in India. You have rightly pointed out the stigma attached to mental health in India. Work place safety is another issue which is often not goven enough importance.
    Thanks again.

    YS

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  10. Dear Dr. Yadu

    First of all I appreciate that being a Doctor you spare so much time to compile these long debates/articles. Doctors are rather too busy in their profession but then it comes back to community service/personal satisfaction. The points you raised about India are well said. The problem is that this culture of corruption and castism is for ages and it will take a long time to weed it out, but we do need a start to have a model image of our country. To stop corruption we have to have control on population as well . These two are very related. No one has patience to stand in Q and wait for their turn to be attended. They want to pay under the counter and get the things done. The political Gundagrdi is very much there. I wish we should have some more well learned /respected leaders like Manmohan Singh. We being NRI here can only contribute little about it. The main impact will be if some society takes up these points on serious grounds there.
    Your time and efforts are highly appreciated.
    BP Arora

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  11. Please mujhe maaf karo, lekin:

    What is Issue No 10 “Reservations”!!!? I have never heard of it!!! What are the essential features of this issue? Why was it brought in, in 1947 as you say? What purpose was it initially designed to serve? Has it served that purpose and/or has it added to the nasty vicissitudes of the caste system?

    Aur point No 18 “Naxalism” yeh kya hai, bhai saab??? I have never heard of this one either!!!! Please elucidate and enlighten.

    Perhaps Vishal Sarawat, in Reply No 3 and by quoting Swami Vivekananda, has made an excellent point – log bolte to hain lekin karte dharte kuchh nahin. Yadu you have done a sterling job in bringing these issues to light. Lekin while you have suggested under each heading what should be done you do not say how it should done, or who will do it!!!!

    Any suggestions!!!!!?

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  12. Dear Yadu

    I left my comments on your page but I dont think it was accepted
    . You can now put it where it should be

    “I am indeed impressed with your passion for India which I whole heartedly share with you . I wish there were more people like you to change this country of Gods.Lets keep on reminding the people in power that its our home which must remain the most vital issue in restoring its integrity. dignity, glory, prestige, progress & above all its unique cultures & traditions of love & honesty. जिस सुबह् कि खातिर जुग जुग से हम सब मर मर कर जीते है जिस सुबह का अम्रत पी भर को हम ज़हर के प्याले पीते है
    वो सुबह कभी तो आयेगी May God give you the strength to lead us into a new world which Sahir dreamt of Regards Shailja”

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    • Dear Shailja Ji

      These kind words are my inspiration & encouragement from some one who is a great Indian, in addition to being a senior of mine from the great King George’s Medical College, Lucknow, India and for whom I have great regards. Thank you again.

      Yadu Singh

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  14. ” India of my dreams” now this blog has become very old.. i don’t know whether people are still interested in reading and doing something about the problems of our country. today i went to this blog after a long time and thought to add few things.
    last month i was reading a book by shashi tharoor elephant monkey and cellphone. today i was thinking there are many million of people in india who have become looser because they dont have any ray of hope in life, but there have been instances where ray of hope have been infused inside them by providing some basic things to them by our very own corrupt politicians. now after going thru the book mentioned above i remember an instance in early 90’s when mulayam singh yadav in uttar pradesh announced that “dasvi aur barvi ke exam main bacho ko nakal karne deni chahiye” this was his main agenda in those elections and he won the elections and was elected the chief minister of uttar pradesh. now the question is who voted for him ? he won the elections by the vote of those parents who thought ki is bahane bache pass ho jayenge aur bade hoke kuch ban jayenge. this tell there was a big ray of hope amongst people after they heard mulayam singh promoting plagiarism in exams. Here i am not supporting plagiarism , i want to request to people to come up with ideas and implement them which can bring ray of hope in peoples life. i want people to take leaf out of mulayams example and do something to make our brothers fighters in life if not winners. second example is again from mulayam singh yadav , when he was last elected as chief miniter of U.P. he distributed huge number of bicycles to poor people and just asked them to have a flag of his party on them. bicycle to poor man is like a merc to rich man. he won the election with huge margin. I am not any supporter of mr mulayam singh yadav but i want to wake up the government and the well to do citizens and nri’s of our country to come up with ideas to bring hope in poor peoples life, government should ask its management school’s to come up with ideas with help of students to do something to encourage our poor people. big money invested in IIM”S should not be only about management of multinational companies.
    what mulayam singh did was he bought happiness in peoples life for few months for his own selfish reason to win election . but we can do something very unselfishly to bring permanent hope in peoples life and infuse some energy in them to become productive.
    I want to spread a message through this blog that we should come with some productive ideas to make people life’s better. I know there are many well to do people writng and reading this blog who can spread this message . we all will be happy if we can do something to make this dream possible . it will not take a huge financial investment to do this.

    Wishes

    Vishal Sarawat

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    • Vishal

      Thanks.You have made some very pertinent comments. We all need to think and debate re what we have to do, to generate a ray of hope. I agree, people in India have accepted defeat and they need to re-start believing in them. Regards

      Yadu Singh

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  15. Sir,

    let us put our blog in peoples eye so that something is initiated. u know the right means of making people hear us..
    I think we can do it. we can even attach our blog with amitabh bachan or many other young energetic leaders..

    Vishal

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