oppn parties India Has to Change to Keep It's Tryst With Destiny

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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India Has to Change to Keep It's Tryst With Destiny

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
68 years have gone by since we started our tryst with destiny. But a look at the present state of the nation clearly shows that this was definitely not the destiny foretold for us. The sone ki chidia has become a garbage bin. Along with allowing their brains to be filled with assorted garbage, Indians have turned the country into a huge open garbage vat. No Swaccha Bharat abhiyan is going to be successful unless the garbage in the brain is flushed out.

India could have leveraged its geographical location, richness in minerals, fertile land and human resources to emerge as a strong manufacturing and exporting nation ( after all, foreign invaders did that for over 200 years). Instead, government control and arbitrary decisions â€" leading to a licence-quota raj â€" lead to 44 years (before the opening of the economy in 1991) of unbridled corruption and crony capitalism when a certain portion of the politico-bureaucratic and business class cornered all benefits for itself. Competition was crushed. Mediocre products, made at a huge cost, were sold at even greater profit by corporations that were favoured by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. When 1991 reforms happened, the government of the day made the mistake of not making decision making transparent. Crony capitalists had a field day and multi-crore scams ensued.

In the interim, politicians and political parties kept dividing Indians on the basis or caste, community, language and region. In the process, a pan-Indian identity went for a toss and we increasingly became Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains or SC, ST, OBC or even Bengalis, Punjabis and Tamilians. Spurred by access to easy money from government welfare schemes, politicians carved out small empires for themselves according to whatever way they could manage to divide the people. They and their hangers-on prospered. Even lanky Leftists started sporting pot-bellies, while the people remained unfed and unemployed. Every politician pointed fingers at others without finding a solution to the problem. India remained, and remains, submerged in a cesspool of mediocrity brought about by its ruling classes. Individual Indians excelled and shined, but as a country India was left way behind in the community of nations.

Now, as we stand on the threshold of an economic revolution, petty political rivalries continue to spread nails on the pathway, much in the manner of the tyre-repairing shop that does it on the highway to get customers. If India does not undertake electoral reforms, bring about transformation in decision making by making it transparent, does not introduce a mechanism to weed out and punish corruption, does not reward innovation and enterprise and does not cut down on red tape by enacting modern and efficient laws, we will not be able to keep our tryst with destiny for a long time to come.