Happy Birthday India

Tears rolled down my eyes when the Indian flag went up and our national anthem was played at the Olympics couple of days back. Abhinav Bindra had won the Gold Medal for India after 28 years and of course its the first individual Gold by an Indian. India last had won the Gold in 1980 in hockey and at that time I was a student of class VIII and in my hostel wardens room had heard the commentary live on his radio.

I was just changing channels on the TV at home and suddenly came across the Mens 10Mtr air rifles final on. Abhinav Bindra was in the second position after 7 rounds. I felt he was in a great position to get India a medal so called every one at home to see the moment. After 9th round he was tied with Hakkinen at the top. I just told to everyone he is going to shoot a 10.8 and he did that. I shouted out of joy seeing the moment of India’s first individual glory in Olympics in 116 years and after 2 billion births in this116 years. I was suddenly proud of my country. The last 3 days have almost 3-4 pages dedicated to Abhinav and I believe now every body in this country knows each small thing about him – how his father has built for him a private shooting range and a 2000 million INR hotel he is going to get as a gift from his father etc. etc. Suddenly there are new columnist born in newspapers – his class 3 schoolmate, his high school principal, his sponsors, his sister. Every body had known from when he was born that this guy had talent from his birth. Suddenly Abhinav on his return to India tonite will find new friends and relatives.

Any way, I am proud of him like any other Indian for giving me that precious moment in my life when I saw my country flag go up in a sports event. Other wise the politicians and leaders had made our golden land into a drama stage – a drama no one wants to watch but are forced to act. My friend Rajesh’s father had an appointment at the Apollo hospital today but they had to come back midway as one political party had jammed all roads in the country protesting some religious decisions. I heard in the news few people died as there ambulance could not reach the hospital because of these blockades. Billions of public property is burnt and damaged by these political parties – bought from tax payers money – unfortunately only 3% of our people pay taxes. The media also adds fire to these political dramas. If our media is proactive these things will not be spreading. What ever positive we hear and see in India is just because of individual brilliance of people of this country. We are amongst the most intelligent community in this world and if we get a support from the Government India’s growth can be something which no economist can even predict.

There is so much of apathy from these govt. officials in every thing they do. No clean air, no pure drinking water, nothing moves without the wheels of money, absurd misuse of power, no basic infrastructure, cast ism – I mean it can be such a huge list that you at times feel punished living here. And no solution in sight. Its such a mess. Life remains nasty for far too many Indians. India is in the bottom third of the human development index.Poverty and illiteracy is still a major problem. Bribery is rampart. Corruption is in every sphere of life. Economic growth has not touched majority of the population. The human cost for this is rising farmer suicides.

But its not all that is bad. Our democracy is something for which we all Indians should be proud of.Its election machinery, given the scale and complexity of the task, is the best in the world.Using purchasing-power parity, India is now the world’s fourth-largest economy. The economy is expected to grow by 8 percent annually and account for more than 12 percent of world’s economic growth in the next 15 years. India will jump from 24th to the 10th biggest trading nation in the world. Unlike China’s foreign investment fueled growth, Indias growth is self generated. There are more MNC’s India produce then chinese or other developing countries. Its Indians like Mittals or Tatas who dream and make it happen when they take over bigger entitities then they are to make India proud.

When I see Phelps Michael going up the podium for his 5th Gold , 11 golds in Olympics as of now and expected to win three more in this Olympics, I don’t know what emotion does each American go through. But whats so special about these American or Chinese sportsmen that we don’t have. I am sure talent is not missing in this country , its the system which is rotten.

2 days from now we celebrate the 61st Independence day. I am not sure this is what the freedom fighters dreamt when they fought for our independence. I am also not sure do we want our children to live in this country as it is. I know for sure that all these politicians who play with our sentiments – there children don’t live in this country.

Every birthday brings new hope and new possibilities. India today is the youngest country in the world. I am confident the young generation will slowly takeover and rebuild this great country.History shows India has always picked itself up and kept going. I am sure it will be same now. Happy 61st Birthday India, I love you.
(Some inputs and data in this blog has been sourced from an article by Mr. Ramesh Thakur in www.chowk.com)

August 15, 2008

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