The last two weeks were full of mixed feelings for India; 2 Olympians (and all the participants) made us proud at Rio, while 3 deaths made us hang our heads in shame.
The first case was the death of Amang Dei and the scene of her husband carrying her dead body while his young daughter followed him weeping inconsolably. Second case was from Tamil Nadu where a 15 year old son of a farmer had to beg to repay expenses incurred in performing the last rites of his father and to get the compensation of 12000 from the government’s fund with a bribe of 3000. The third case was of Ram Singh Lodhi from Madhya Pradesh, who was forced out of the bus in the middle of a thick forest with his old mother and a few days old baby, his fault; his sick wife had died while travelling in the bus.
These three deaths will certainly not be a part of “Breaking News,” “Newshour Debate” or “The Nation wants to know.” We have other important issues like Sheena Bohra murder case, allowing women to enter Haji Ali dargah and of course bringing back Dawood.
Whether the mainstream media spoke about it or not, I realized one thing, it’s not just difficult to live poor but even die poor. We all know that such incidents will eventually fade away from our memory, for we know the case of our farmers.
As a nation we have definitely developed in many areas, for instance; we have the largest rail connectivity in the world, are the second largest cell phone users in the world, we are a nuclear power; we have sent men to moon and satellites to space, have the best brains in IT, we have Facebook, WhatsApp and of course Mann ki Baat, which no other country has. No doubt, we have grown by leaps and bounds in the last 70 years but we still have to work on ‘Human Development’ to a great extent. It is important to focus on development which is not just in terms of figures, but improvement of lives in our country. The entire nation has collective responsibility in solving our problems and we can’t get away by just blaming politicians and the bureaucrats.
Also,we are not the only nation on earth facing problems, all nations have problems and their citizens have to work towards solving their own problems. What is distressing about our situation is not the fact that we have problems but that we have so many non-issues occupying the centre stage of our national debates and contemporary political discourse since the last two years.
Our last two years have seen issues ranging from Ghar Wapsi to love-jihad, (very serious) threat from Arvind Kejriwal, Desh Drohi to Deshbhakti, encouraging some to have 10 children while others to have less and a list of bans.
God bless our right wing politicos who want to make our nation mukt (free) of many things. I pray that they work for a ‘Garibi’ mukt Bharat (Poverty free India), ‘bhrashtachar mukt’ Bharat (Corruption free India), ‘bal mazdoori mukt’ Bharat (Child labour free India), a ‘Jaati Pratha’ mukt Bharat (caste discrimination free India) and a balatkar mukt Bharat (Rape free India).