Why is India the way it is ?

 

India is a vast country.  
It’s a very diverse country. 
Within its physical boundaries, it contains a huge plethora of people.  Countless races, religions, languages and histories.  All of these combine to form the India we know today. 

India seems to have so much potential, and yet, it does not seem to achieve it. 
Why ?

Its part history, part apathy, part economics.

Historically, we have been looted for the past 1000 years. 
Ever since the Islamic invasion of India, it has been systematically looted to enrich nations and races beyond its borders.  Even when the Muslims decided to stay and founded empires, vast amounts of gold and slaves were sent out to Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran and beyond.  After a while muslims born in India began to had less ties with the "old world" of Arabia and central Asia and founded roots in India.  But by this time, others were in on the act.

When the Europeans got in on the act, they too looted India and its resources.  Unlike the Islamic invaders though, the Europeans never really settled in India and never found their roots here.  When East India Company first started to trade with India, India produced over 25 % of world’s manufactured goods.  By the time the British Empire came to an end, India produced a tiny fraction of that.  The British laid down new roads and railways to speed up the process of robbing Indian resources at prodigious speed.  Often, politicians, historians and even Indians praise the british for the infrastructure they "gave India".  Trust me, it wasn't "give", it was paid for by Indian blood, sweat and Indian gold.  The British looted a lot more from Indian than all the previous invaders put together.  

British divided and sub-divided India and Indians to such an extent, they never acted as a unit.  When need arose, they even dreamt up Aryan and Dravidian divide and called North Indians “Aryan settlers from Russia” to create a racial divide.  Their divide and rule policy has been a curse of Indian politics and even now continues to hurt our social progress.  Pseudo-socialist, pseudo-secular, pseudo-communist congress governments of India have compounded british mistakes by giving “reservation” to vast number of people based on their birth, and not merit.  Merit is sacrificed for votes and people of ability are penalised for being born “upper-caste”.  If in the past the lower castes were dis-advantaged, in modern India, it is the upper-castes who are legislated against.  Government conveniently forgets that under muslim and christian rule, these same upper-castes were also disadvantaged. 

India is poor because it was looted and politically manipulated by its invaders for nearly a 1000 years.  It will take time to regenerate the industries that were only geared to supplying the British with what they wanted / needed.  It will take time to re-set our mind and education system so that it doesn't provide clerks and coolies for the european powers.

Apathy of the government and its people is another reason for India's current woes.  The pseudo secular, pseudo socialist governments of independent India were into protectionist policies.  Carrying on various polices of the British and adding ideas from the Soviet block, they created an India that was inward looking, corrupt and closed.  The Nehurvian policies of the early years left India with a “licence Raj”, where you needed a government “licence” to do any business.  These licenses were sold to the highest bidder, often with under the table deals.  Hence we have endless number of ambassador cars and Tata trucks ruled the roads.  Licence Raj has killed off competition and bread corruption.    

Corruption is rampant in India.  Yet, no one seems to do anything about it. 
Politicians gain vast sums of money from it, so they are silent.
Officials in every government department make money from it, so they are silent.
Media highlights what it wants, not wanting to rock the boat too much just incase the government legislates against it.  So it too is partly silent.
Public is also silent though they are the ones carrying the burden of corruption.

The people, who are impacted by this the most, are vocal, but do nothing about it.  They do not protest, take action or even exercise their vote to root out corruption !  Instead, they accept it as their lot in life and carry on feeding the monster of corruption.  I can't understand why they do this !

Those who were truly hungry for life, left India and set up their own little Indias outside its physical boundaries.  They took the entrepreneurial skills and survival instinct of India, and Indians, to the rest of the world.  Indian migrants have made a name for themselves and been model citizens where ever they have gone.  In sharp contrast to their neighbouring pakistanis or bangladeshi, they have been a prosperous lot and have integrated well with the host culture while retaining their own identity.

Apathy is partially historical.  Till independence, Hindus have had no option but to be self-deprecating to ward off the jealousy and wrath of their muslim and christian rulers.  Harsh laws during muslim and christian reigns have forced Hindus to be inward thinking, looking after their own family / community rather than the city / nation at large.  Self sufficiency, making-do-with-what-you-have etc were survival traits they had to cultivate to survive under foreign rule.  They have had to learn to look after themselves as they knew the government would not.  But that's changing now.  Hopefully, in a generation or two, we will have people who will shake off apathy and rise to the challenges of modern life.

India will change when its people will realise the mess they are living in and DEMAND change.  They must demand that change of themselves and their government.  The people can't expect the government to do everything for them.  They have to take the initiative. 
The government must not expect the people to be endlessly patient.  It must by proactive and want to offer good governance to the people of India
Until these two aspect of the rulers and the ruled need to have a common goal for India to progress.

Economically, colonial looting was followed by flawed socialist economy policies of Indian government.  Forty five year of pseudo socialist government policies, brought India to the brink of bankruptcy.  In early 1990's Indian government was forced to change its ways and gradually, painfully, India opened up.  It soon realised it had an economic potential.  In the last few years, India has achieved a lot more in the global market than it did in the first four decades of independence.

India and Indians have become richer since the 1990s.  There are better cars on the road, nicer clothes in the shops, international brands sell well in India, young people have salaries undreamt of a generation ago.

BUT, side by side, we have the greatest number of poor, hungry, dispossessed, illiterate number of people on earth.  Often they live cheek by jowl with the rich / middle class.  More often than not, they even work in the homes of the middle class on a daily basis, but still remain dirt poor.  This can't go on.  One day this will all catch up and people will have a hard time understanding the rage of the under-class that is growing by the day.  Economic prosperity of the nation has to help the common man too.  If it doesn't, the gap between the two will widen to an unbridgeable gulf, leading to more upsets and revolutions later.

I am not a communist and am not suggesting the pipe-dreams of the pinko / maoists whose "experiments" have failed magnificently in China, Cuba and Russia.  What I am saying is we need to address this issue and resolve it for the good of the community.

 

 

India is a remarkable country, if only because it is the only one to survive so much destruction with so much intact.  No other country has withstood the onslaught of both Islam and Christianity and retained its indigenous religion and culture.  No other country has managed to retain so much of its past despite such determined efforts to obliterate it.  

I am sure India will make itself richer as time goes by.  I am sure it will get to grips with its population, literacy and health care issues.  It all takes time, especially when you have a billion people to cater for.

It will be interesting to study how India survived it all. 
It will be interesting to see how India will come out of her current problems.
Maybe, just maybe, from India’s experiences, we can learn how the world could survive itself beyond its current mess !!

 

 

© Bhagwat    Bhagwat_s@Yahoo.com

 

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