May 27, 2024

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

“We the People”

GUEST COLUMN: Dr N Prabhudev

Bengaluru, Jan 25: Why do we Indians lag behind, even though we have all the resources? Why are we not the leaders in the world? Why have we not been able to properly exploit our resources? And why has the golden bird lost its pristine glory?
India celebrating its 75th Republic Day on January 26.

Ram has come back to Ayodhya! Lord Ram has found his place in the Bhavya, Divya temple palace complex in Ayodhya. There are almost 700,000 Hindu temples in India. Yet for many devotees it was the one that did not exist—a monument to mark the ostensible birthplace of Ram, a Hindu god—that mattered the most.
Sri Rama is universally seen as an embodiment of the noblest human attributes — the ideal to which a human being should aspire to rise. Ideal and caring, benevolent ruler, matchless warrior, obedient son, loving husband, model brother, friend in need — the Maryada Purushotham!
Rama Rajya is the ideal State or nation synonymous with justice, prosperity, happiness and equality, a model of people-centric democratic ideal welfare State of governance! “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwaas” echoes the underlying principles of Rama Rajya.

But when is Ram Rajya – the rule of Dharma or righteousness, the rule of ethics and justice, the rule of compassion, the spirit of reconciliation and peace- coming? It is for Prime Minister Modi to establish the tenets of Rama Rajya in India and the concept of Vasudiva – kutumbicum globally!
When it comes to matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption, India has different laws for different communities based on their religion, faith and beliefs. Why there is no Uniform Civil Code – a single personal law for all citizens irrespective of religion and sex?

India is amongst the most unequal countries in the world. India’s economy is growing, inequality is growing faster. Have smartphones, clean water is becoming scarcer. More expenses; not enough income. Foreign exchange reserves are good. Smartphones and cheap internet data services are proliferating. Are these the indicators of what matters most to the common man?
What bothers him are the difficulty of getting jobs; affordable good education and affordable good healthcare! Economists and data mining declare – Terrific progress! Reality – Farmers are contemplating suicide because many cannot make ends meet! Young Indian graduates are willing to do even a peon’s job because they cannot get any other.

Are we a successful nation? Yes and NO!
We are youthful and hopeful! Our nation is sovereign! India has built foundations — of education, science and research, technology, infrastructure and heavy industries. Yes, India achieved in a few years what took others a generation. From roadways, railways to airports and other smart-city initiatives, the last few years have witnessed phenomenal changes, leading to world-class facilities coming up across the country.

Cons – A significant chunk of India is malnourished, unskilled and marginalized — and unable to meaningfully contribute to the nation’s development. Per capita income — while rising — is still among the lowest amongst G20 countries.
India – a superpower! A third of the world’s poor live here. We-are-a-successful-nation-but -work-in-progress. India’s population growth comes from rural and underprivileged areas. The rise in income comes from the urban, privileged population.
Paradox- India’s population has grown by a billion in the past 70 years, health care infrastructure has not grown at a proportional rate and the out-of-pocket cost of health care has risen. India has the largest number of diabetics in the world, and 80% of all deaths in urban India are attributed to non-communicable diseases.

India is an Ailing Democracy!
India is a story of contrasts. Famines are vanquished; India grows most of its own food needs; its cities glitter; graduates from its universities are welcomed the world over. Its corporate giants stalk the world economy. It’s flawed but still robust democracy endures and deepens.

It is perplexing how the world’s most populous democracy is so flawed. The only sign of active democracy in India is the conduct of regular elections. Votes are sold and purchased. Poor vote and the elected become rich. Uneducated voters and the poor form the basis of democracy in India.
There is corruption in every strata of the society. Terrorist activities have punched a big hole in the democratic ideals. In India, democracy means appealing to caste and communal vote banks. Cash, caste and charisma- win you elections. Still elections are declared Free and fair.

Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty
Can the Indian government declare “next 5 years India will be in the list of 50, “NO-hungry” countries? This is the greatest freedom the government can offer! The Global Hunger Index- India is 103rd of 119 surveyed for 2022. Nearly 6oo million go hungry with one meal a day. 45% of children are malnourished. India has achieved the poverty reduction target – progress is uneven.
Every day we face conflicts and contradictions!
Conflicts happen because our hearts are at war.

There is not one but hundreds of freedom struggles yet to be waged, and still countless more to be won.
Jai Hind!

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