India, a democracy is known for many aspects around the world, 72 years of Independence, flag on Moon, Mission Mars, some of the richest people on planet, home to lush flora and fauna. A land of rich cultures and traditions. A country that is home to some of the brightest minds on this planet and yet a country where there are endless problems with no concrete solutions. A nation where people are more focused on the quicksand of Ram Mandir & Babri Masjid rather than the godforsaken situations at hand.
Better known as the ‘Ayodhya Dispute’, the case had caused chaos and hatred amongst the citizens of the country for one another. The spark took a form of fire in 1992 after Hindus demolished the Babri Masjid citing that a Ram Mandir once stood in its place, the place where Lord Ram was born. Tension rose amongst Hindus and Muslims as and when years passed. After 27 long years, a recent court verdict has finally managed to create some balance. Hindus and Muslims can finally take a sigh of relief, because without this verdict their worlds could have collapsed? A temple or a Masjid clearly holds more importance than the questionable issues at hand.
Even after witnessing World Wars, Freedom Struggle and Terrorist Attacks, the people of our country seem more focused on building a monument and not the entire nation. Have we as humans, citizens of this beautiful country took a moment from our extremely busy schedules and wondered out loud, is this all our country needs? The ideal answer that should come to our mind is a big and clear ‘NO’. We contribute 30% to taxes and yet we ignore to question what we deserve. We need to look way beyond Ram Mandir or Babri Masjid, we need to broaden our horizon. Look around and we will see that none of our real-world problems have been solved with this verdict.
Our problems lie in aspects like education, health care, law & order, jobs, economy and security but in our minds, all this has taken a backseat. While finally a verdict has been passed, let’s find out what else impacted the country when most of us chose to focus on a place of worship.
The Lynching of Education System
While we do have many bright minds in the country, the education system isn’t doing justice to their intellect. ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, ‘Padhega India, Tabhi to Badhega India’ and many such campaigns and slogans later we are still suffering at the hands of poor management. Public Schools that were created with the aim of providing education to every child within the age of six to fourteen years have failed at serving their purpose. Parents prefer keeping their child at home rather than at a Government School. Cheap Infrastructure, adulterated and unhealthy midday meals, lack of qualified teachers and unhygienic environment are just some of the many issues that kids tackle at these schools. Midday meals that were offered to children to suffice their nutritional needs is a nightmare for many. Rats in the meal are a common occurrence. In UP 81 kids were served 1 liter of milk mixed with water; the nutritional value of this concoction is beyond the understanding of any nutritionist. Salt as a substitute for dal or vegetables, served with roti, is that a healthy meal or can it be even considered an edible meal for a child? These meals have taken the life of several kids, made many in UP, Delhi and other states severely sick and yet these are regarded as ‘Nutritional meals.’
People always run towards a substitute in case of any problems with their usual choice. In the case of education, the people who can even barely afford two meals a day have admitted their children to Private schools. The fees at these schools can give a heart attack to a poor person but for the sake of a better future they take the pain like a bitter pill. People living in rural areas are suffering due to lack of schools. Often times people are forced to abstain their child from receiving free education as the schools are located at extremely far distances. A Private school in these scenarios acts like an enemy masked as a friend but one that at least ensures some benefits.
Health care or Health we don’t really care?
Apart from education, healthcare, a fundamental right is another sector that is neglected every time. As per the Economic survey of 2017-2018, Government spends INR 2.25 lakh crore on public health, yet 2.4 million people die every year due to conditions and illnesses that are treatable. An ever-growing population, rich getting richer and poor getting poorer has made healthcare inaccessible to many. The ideology is, if you are poor, you receive healthcare poor too. An ideology that barely makes sense. Sanitary Napkins are a dream for majority of women, their prices are too high for even the lower middles class, the poor are out of question. Contraceptives, basic medicines, or even a prescription for fever comes at an unaffordable price for many. It took years to free our country from Polio, but that was probably just the beginning. Many government hospitals more than often do not even have general medical amenities, some even fail to have a first aid kit.
Medical camps and free medicines are a ray of hope for these people. Lack of awareness and education has often driven them further away from the already striving healthcare system. Kids born in such conditions succumb to death due to infections or jaundice which is treatable. Vaccines that are compulsory for better health of the baby and mother are not provided on time. The new mothers are left with the risks of blood loss or contracting infections that can be fatal for health.
The economic welfare losses that come along with these deaths show an unimaginable figure, $6 trillion as of 2015 to be precise. Many medicines that are provided at a meagre cost in government hospitals are sold to private hospitals by the middle men to incur more money. The loopholes in this system has prevented many individuals from receiving their rightful share of healthcare.
The Healthcare system is for the people and still majority of the population thrives to receive their rightful share of this rather big peace of cake.
Law & Order, out of order
Coming to Law & Order in India, we are often left speechless. The rise in crime related to corruption, women and several unlawful activities are ever increasing but justice comes at its own pace. As per a 2017 government report, 90 rapes are reported per day. It is understood that the number of unreported cases is way higher. These are figures from 2017, now in 2019 the numbers might scare us all. Rapes, trafficking, scams, murders and much more heinous crimes have forced the people to protest for justice. A major chunk of millennials believe that mob must take actions on their own instead of relying on law.
People choose social media to express their outrage when the streets fall short. The conviction rates of rapists have fallen just like the receding faith of individuals in law which creates a disappointing picture. Apart from rapes, several other forms of crime against women like marital abuse and trafficking are also high. On many forums’ tourists often express mistreatment and eve teasing by men on their visit to India, this has created a vicious picture on an International level. When rapes take place at 8 pm, it starts sinking in that time, place or size of clothes are an excuse that are constantly used to defend rapists. Worshipping goddesses is useless when we cannot respect the women around us. We idolize God, Allah, Jesus and yet we fail to abide by any of their teachings. Instead of spending crores on building statues if we focused on spending security measures then maybe we would prosper without too much efforts.
Fear in the minds of criminals has ceased and until the law & order doesn’t do something about it, the rates of such unlawful crimes will not marginally decrease. We seek justice and without it we will never be able to live with peace.
The Promised Jobs
A normal individual may have somehow managed to tackle all these issues but then comes the question of money, jobs. Securing a job is equivalent to running in a race where even with the highest amount of efforts and talent you might still not win because there is someone better. The demand and supply in the job sector is in a terrifying ratio. At present India has the highest population of earning category that is citizens who fall in an age group where they are eligible for working. Still there were reportedly 18.6 million jobless people in 2018. 18.6 million people who could have generated revenue for the country, supported their families, but were left jobless. This number is supposed to grow this year and be approximately 18.9 million unemployed people. This is a period when India can marginally increase its economy. But how do you assign a job to a person when there are already 15 vouching for the same? The lack of job opportunities has driven people towards depression, many have chosen to take up jobs inadequate abroad while others just wait for their turn.
Recession may have still not knocked on our doorsteps but Indian economy is clearly suffering. The record low drop in August of this year has shown how every aspect of the society is co-related. The lack of job opportunities has reduced the income capacity and savings of individual, indirectly reducing their purchase power. A fall in sales of four-wheeler and two-wheeler vehicles as well as number of domestic fliers proves this theory. This fall can impact not just the present but also the future of Indian economy.
Economists have openly voiced concern about the current state of our economy. The pace of growth has slowed down at a time when we have more hands than ever. Corruption, scams and mismanagement of funds has wreaked havoc on our nation.
With such crucial issues at hand, it is baffling how certain people are more interested over a place of worship. Faith and religion were created to imbibe good qualities in people, they were created to enlighten the followers. Keeping in mind the present, tackling issues that can actually lead to offering a good life to people should be the real aim. Shaping up the future of our nation is the goal.
The world is a far bigger place than we think. Our identity will forever remain associated to our motherland. Respecting, guarding and nurturing of India lies in our hands. It is time we realize that we must put a combined effort in an act that will build our future.
As Mr. Ratan Tata rightly says, ‘I am proud of my country. But we need to unite to make a unified India, free of communalism and casteism. We need to build India into a land of equal opportunity for all. We can be a truly great nation if we set our sights high and deliver to the people the fruits of continued growth, prosperity and equal opportunity’.