Yes! It certainly is shining in the malls, in the PVRs, in the pubs & nightclubs, in the flyovers and high-rises of the metros. It is shining in the glitz and glamour of the high income class living in modern luxuries, earning high salaries. We have certainly come a long way from what we were. The revolutionary economic changes made after the 1991 economic (India’s Balance of Payment) crisis has certainly changed the face of the country for the better. BUT…..this is not the whole picture. This is just a very small part of the real picture of the nation taken as a whole.
- Still people live on the streets and pathetic slums.
- Still the homeless are dying in the severe cold of winters and the burning hot summers.
- Still dirty scantily clad little children of poor construction laborers can be easily found playing around, who have never thought of going to the school.
- Still women, even the educated & working women, are harassed for dowry, leading to dowry deaths.
- Still several villages are without electricity & pucca roads.
- Still agriculture depends on the monsoon and farmers are committing suicide due to crop failure and debts!
- When a fire breaks out in a high rise building (Bangalore case), trapped people suffocate to death, because the fireman do not have masks to enter the thick smoke!
- The police fight over the issue of ‘whose area is it’, when an accident victim is lying on the road, bleeding to death.
- Drains & manholes are callously left open for people to fall and die.
- People are dying because of cranes and pillars of under construction sites falling on them.(The Delhi Metro work has claimed several innocent lives due to careless engineers and supervisors).
- Parents kill their children for the sake of honor, if they marry outside their caste.
- Parents hand over motor vehicles to school going children.
- People rush in hundreds, to listen to fake self proclaimed Godmen.
- We spend hours stuck in traffic jams, and
- Bribing is a common practice in the government circle.
We still have a long-long way to go, because still-
- Men smartly sit on seats reserved for ladies and senior citizens.
- We feel proud in pushing others and breaking the queue.
- Bullock carts, trac tors and cycles still travel alongside the Mercedes & BMWs on city roads!
- Govt. offices are still stacked with age old files, and work still crawls from one file laden table to another amidst sips of tea and gossips.
- A small screwdriver passes through baggage check in one airport, but gets caught in another!
- The age old dhabas on roadsides have now become encroachments due to the Commonwealth Games! And,
- Walking or driving on our roads is an ‘out of the world’ experience. It is like ‘Moonwalk’. Full of craters!
Industries have become the backbone of our economy. Exports have taken over imports. Even the Indian slums shone in the Oscars.
Amidst all these shine, we still have to polish a lot more sections of the society.
Education, the basis of social and economic prosperity, still has to spread and seep into the entire land of our otherwise beautiful country.