Even the most optimistic of Indians have started asking the question “Is it possible to salvage Mother India?” Despite the fact that it is the oldest continuing civilization in the whole world, India remains home to more than 25% of the world’s poor. It has one of the most corrupt ruling systems in the whole world. It has immense material wealth and highest caliber human resources in the entire world. Yet a substantial section of its population does not have access to good food, clothing and shelter. Children are under nourished. It produces much more food than what its people require, yet a good number of its citizens still go to bed without food. It has unlimited employment potential; yet is forced to have one of the largest overseas populations in almost slavery conditions abroad.
Earlier we used to blame the foreign rule for all our problems. India was under foreign rule for almost ten centuries, first imposed by Genghis Khan and then by the British. But for almost a century now, we are ruling ourselves. In almost all aspects of life, we are fully self sufficient and we need no external help whatsoever. Yet we are struggling in almost all facets of life. If we cannot guarantee the basic minimum of food, shelter, clothing, health, education and employment to all our citizens, what is the point in claiming to be the world’s greatest democracy? We have chosen a ruling system by the people, for the people and of the people. But more than half our people are always unhappy.
Who is to blame for all these? Now we can only blame ourselves for all our problems. We have opted for democratic rule, but we continue to elect corrupt and inefficient people to rule us. Merit does not come into our minds when we cast our votes. We get carried away by the surname, wealth, religion, caste and colour of the candidates. Those who have proven their merit at lower levels of government never get elected to state and national levels. Anti-national and unpatriotic leaders are repeatedly elected to power for irrelevant and undefined reasons like secularism. Indian ethos has always been secular and it will always remain so. There is no need for any political party to proclaim that they are more secular than others.
India is becoming the world’s youngest nation within a few more years. And very soon we are getting one more opportunity to cast our votes to elect our rulers. If we can cast aside the unwanted bogeys of secularism and communalism, and vote for meritorious candidates we can make a marked beginning in turning the tide. It is possible to bring in a paradigm shift in Mother India within one decade if we can make a beginning now. Vote only for those who can govern the nation and have proven track record. If we waste our votes again, the question of salvaging Mother India will continue to haunt us forever.