One of my biggest dreams has been to do something for my country and set an example. To do something which helps India take a step forward on the road of development, of becoming a better place to live in.
Every time I think on how to contribute in my country’s development, I fall short of ideas. Nothing comes into my mind. I feel that I am nobody in this country having the second largest population in the world, with no authority or power to change anything. The only feeling that comes into my mind is that if I had the authority and the power to do something, I would definitely have changed the way this country is run.
If I were in politics and held a responsible position, then I would be more concerned about the frequent power cuts, unavailability of water and such basic needs rather than spending time debating if Sanya Mirza has the right to play for India after marrying Shoib Malik or debating if girls going to a pub! But alas, am not in politics and can do nothing about it.
If I was in our honourable Judiciary system, I would have speeded up my work and tried to move forward on the tonnes of pending cases and files that are still awaiting a hearing. We are still fighting a case for an extremist who was caught alive in 26/11 attacks on Mumbai. It is clear and a known fact that he has killed a lot of innocent people in cold blood. On top of this, he has admitted that he enjoyed killing these people. Our government and judiciary is still spending crores of rupees to defend this person! I would have closed such cases by giving him capital punishment. I would have felt that it is a question on my ability that such cases take such long time to reach to a verdict. But fortunately/unfortunately, I am not in judiciary too.
If I were in media, I would have been a responsible journalist who doesn’t ask a widow/mother on how she feels about her husbands/child’s death in an accident or a terrorist attack! I would not telecast a dog’s marriage on the television the whole day! In simple words, I would not sensationalize a piece of news to increase TRP and try to focus on issues that are more relevant and important. But then, I am not a journalist either!
I am just another software engineer who sits in front of a computer and spends most of his time away from his family more often than not working for people in US/UK or elsewhere. Lazy as most of the other software engineers are, I also prefer to sit back at my place on weekends, switch to some news channel and blame politicians and every other citizen apart from me for the situation of our country. Am 24 years old and like most of the people in our country, I have not voted even once till date.
I was like this till I watched a very famous advertisement “CHALO INDIA”, where a small school kid tries to push a heavy tree trunk lying across the road in rain causing heavy traffic jam. Seeing this kid, everyone follow suit, lift the tree trunk, and unblock the road. This simple advertisement has a very strong message which says that you take the initiative and the world will follow. It also showed that common people can solve a lot of problems themselves, provided they take the initiative. This advertisement motivated me more to do something for the country. It told me that I am someone important and can do things if I want to.
But I am an Indian, and we Indians forget things very soon. The excitement faded away way too soon, and I was back to the lazy software engineer sympathising on our country’s situation without doing anything to change things.
A lot of people I know are working abroad. These people used to tell me that the places abroad are very beautiful. Spec clean, no corruption, efficient system. This made me think. Its sad to say this but the same Indians who pee on Indian road sides, Spit in underground passes and railway stations and inside compartments, clean even their dogs shit when they go abroad! If only they had the same attitude while in India, we could have talked about our country as we now talk about others!
We are the most law abiding people when we go abroad, but try to find loopholes in rules created in our country! We park our vehicles under a “No Parking” board. The corrupt system doesn’t help either as we know that we can get out of any mess by paying a small bribe.
There are friends who have driving licence for a two and four wheeler but don’t know how to balance a bicycle! Pay 1500 INR and you will get your licence at your doorstep. Driving Licence, which is accepted as the basic address proof of any Indian citizen can be forged if you have 1500 INR.
We do not ask for bills to avoid sales tax. Even if ten lakh people pay 40 INR sales tax on a purchase of 4000 INR, it sums up to be 4 crores! We have so many rules broken on roads everyday that even if our police force do their duty properly for one day, Indian government will be able to collect crores of rupees from defaulters! A single day of proper work can add around 10 crores to country’s income. We have not even covered 1/10th of the population of the country and can already see 10 crore income! That is the strength and potential we have.
I am living in Bangalore now. The most commonly used vehicle over here is an autorikshaw. Each autorikshaw has a meter attached in it. But no one bothers to use it. People living in Bangalore are ready to pay whatever the auto driver demands. They demand, because we are ready to pay them what they demand. They demand 50 rupees to places which are 25 rupees distant and we give it to them. If at all someone puts meter, and the sum comes upto 36 rupees, you have to pay 40 rupees to the auto driver. He keeps the remaining four rupees as if it is his birthright! Imagine if we stop boarding auto’s who don’t use meter (or have digital meter) for a couple of days. These people will have no other go but to start using meter. If police cracks down on auto drive’s who don’t have digital meter in their autos (which is a rule), more than half the auto’s n Bangalore will go off road. But then we are not ready to do it. Ask yourselves; if you are not ready to fight for your own rights, then what right do you have to blame country’s politicians? Or any other person for that matter!
We have to understand that we are a part of the system, and this system will not progress unless we work to do so. These are small issues which can be corrected only by us people.
I decided this when I was doing my final year engineering and am following it ever since then. I can proudly say that it has been three years that
• I don’t throw garbage on roadside and neither do I allow my friends when they are with me.
• I walk on the footpath if there is one.
• I pay my taxes.
• I treat people around me with respect.
• I don’t spit in public spaces.
• I do not bribe officials to get my work done.
I have also decided that I will vote next time there are elections.
I know this is not much, but then, it is one step forward. Me not throwing garbage around in public places will not make India clean, but if I am able to convince even one person not to throw waste on roadside, I will consider it as an achievement.
Today, I was watching “India has got talent Khoj 2”, where a team of sand artists did a beautiful act. They showed 26/11 mumbai attacks using a sand painting. As a judge on the show very rightly said, these artists did something that even they may not have realized. They gave a tribute to all martyrs of 26/11 in one of the most beautiful ways possible and they did that on national television. I thank them for doing that act. They not only took part in the competition, but also used it as a platform to send a message to the entire country stating that we are forgetting the path shown to us by the father of our nation.
Their show also inspired me to share my thoughts with people. The best way to do that is blog, and hence my first blog entry.
As it was said in a very famous Hindi movie, “No country is perfect; we have to make it perfect. We have to work together to make it perfect”.
Let’s make India perfect. This is my first step towards a perfect India.
Proud to be an Indian.