THERE AND BACK

On the 15th of August 2009, Chief Ministers of various states pledged to uplift many of the aliments currently plaguing the society. The most shocking of which was when the Bihar CM assured his people that no one would die of hunger in his state.  What is still astonishing is that now even after 68 years of freedom, we are fighting for the basic needs i.e., water, food and shelter. Sadly, we are still short on the most indispensable necessities of life.

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India is soon to start its own astronaut-training centre. A grant for Rs. 10,000 Crore has been asked of the central Government. To even think of something of this magnitude, and anticipate its execution is a colossal expectation for a developing nation. But the real questions here would most likely be- are we a developing nation? Do we have lopsided development? And is it right to compete with the developed world in matters which require a huge amount of capital?

We are, without a doubt, a developing nation. Yes we do have lopsided, yet rapid, development. And there is no reason to not compete with other nations while sustaining growth and development. While these are primarily my own opinions, I am fairly certain that they are not erroneous. The greater part of the Indian population resides in the rural areas, completely oblivious to the decisions their elected leaders are making.

Yet, the most surprising of all is that we, the literate, educated, and so called worldly wise sit back and let this lopsided progress continue. This advancement to nowhere has carried on for so long that it has now become a way of life so cumbersome that no one wishes to fix the various problems ailing the system. In fact, most of the solutions we come up with are short-term ripostes not long-term solutions.

We are all aware of the wave of farmer suicides that took place a few years ago. During that time, 46-47% of the country had been hit by drought. Our agricultural sector had seen a major slump in production; rice becoming almost unavailable, while the government assured us that we had enough supplies to last us up to 13 months. But what use are those depleting reserves when the farmers who produce our food sentence themselves to the gallows due to lack of provisions and trepidation of debt? In the end we have 2 situations, a multimillion project to research space or sustained development from the grass root level. In the light of the recent elections, I think it would be fair to say we decide where we stand.

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