Society, Politics and Youth are the three arguable cornerstones of the contemporary Indian community. What India is today, and what India can eventually be, depends on how we deal with these three aspects of our nation in the coming years. India’s collective conscience has lately (read: for the past few centuries) been puzzled with a lot of questions. Questions which surface the destitute state of our state. Questions like: –
- “Why are we so poor?”
- “Why our progress is so slow?”
- “Why do we have so many social ills?”
- “Why are we so internally divided, so oppressive, so unfair and so corrupt?”
- “Why did or do we not matter so much for the rest of the world?”
Here, I try to come to a solution to these questions, based on my limited understanding of the world. Many before me have tried, and many have had little to great success in putting their fingers on the exact reasons for all this. I, however, do so while being a mere undergraduate student with no agenda for research work or other academic pursuits. I write this purely out of my passion for writing, and for my passion for my country. I beg your – my reader’s – pardon in advance if I go on to state some things which are later proved to be slightly off the mark.
In all the economics I have studied here in IIM, one thing becomes pretty straight-forward to me: Foreign investment is key – international capital brought into the nation. Pick up any Economics’ textbook, and you’d find the author practically screaming at you that some foreign investment never hurts a nation’s chances for development. These foreign investors need: –
- A level playing field
- Free & fair markets
- Ease-of-doing business
- Government’s commitment towards a world-class infrastructure
- A transparent and strong legal system
All these things are beneficial for the citizens of the country anyway, in ways more than one. As such, foreign investment se sab ka bhala hota hai. FDIs & FIIs are only a few solutions. Let’s talk about causes for a while.
I have strong reasons to believe that Corruption and over-population are the two big culprits for making India what it is today. Corruption didn’t just start and end with politics. It’s set in the basic values of most Indian households, which is where it stems from and scales up to take the terrifying disheartening form of national-level billion dollar scams, and anything & everything that comes in between. India mein jungle-raaj chalta hai. Ours is a power–driven society. Such societies function too, but don’t (because they can’t) progress all that much. The societies that progress are the ones that value excellence, innovation, entrepreneurship and integrity, honesty. Talent and skill should find respect and respectability.
Transformation will come out about only if everyone decides to change together. Honesty only pays if all of the society is honest. For if we are the only ones honest, we will suffer at the hands of the rest of us – the corrupt, power-hungry people. This paradox prevents change. Thus, society needs to rest its core of basic values first, and then make sure that everyone follows those revised values together. Since we don’t ever have a clear-cut list of these potentially transformational good set of values, we first need to create one. How will all of this happen and that too at the same time? That’s where leaders come in.
Now, given how divided India is, how corruption is accepted and how we lack good values, it is impossible for us to find a good leader at this point. Moreover, when someone does try to step up and take the mantle, the largely cynical undertone of our country make the public doubt that one man. They scrutinise him, criticise his every move and try to associate his actions with some theoretical conjectured personal agenda of his own, even if he doesn’t have one in the first place.
In this chaos, I feel there is a role for artists. What we lack in leaders can be made up for, to a certain extent, by art and artists. Movies, books, music – popular art forms can inject people with modern messages and a new set of Indian values. We need people who comment on the system or on the society – who look at them apart piece-by-piece and inspect for their ailing. The system changes with better policies, while the society changes with better values. But these people who comment should not just do that, but offer solutions too, otherwise all they’re doing is ranting. We must always suggest a way out, however simplistic it may be. It is a more positive attitude towards life.
I believe India has major problems. However, I also believe they can be fixed.