Republic Day, perhaps may be meaning poles apart from one person to another and from one community to another. While to some it is a deep routed patriotic connotation and remembrance of a self-reliant constitution & democratic values, to some it may be sloganeering and emoting to make their political “Ullu Sidhaa,” and yet to many, it may be just another day for whom dates do not matter.
Amidst razzle-dazzles of the metropolis with sizzling media upbeat on the 9% growth of our economy, we also need to remember the hard reality, that in several composite social indicators (nutrition, infant mortality and child health), India is lower than Bangladesh and even Sub-Saharan Africa. India is truly poised! Poised not because the big “B” says so, but for the reason that we the so called educated citizenries like to believe as gospel truth, that market force and consumerism can bring the desired development of the nation.
There is no denial that we are into the saga of rapid economic growth. But to what extent this growth has translated into development is anybody’s guess. Many a times I wonder, am I a confused person? May be so. Confused, because instead of counting the increased number of cars on the road (a sign of growing economy), I count the number of children who run to beg as soon as the cars stop at a traffic signal. Confused because of not counting the growth in the informal sector such as increased number of Wada Pav, tea stalls and several shops selling daily consumer goods, I see increased count of children serving tea & Wada Pav and running during the whole day to reach household goods on a phone demand, instead of going to school or playing in the evening. I am also confused when I see that the increased number of companies selling bottled water rather than the system being able to in-filter the faith on us that every source of drinking water is a safe source.
For all those who do not have the access to the basics of life that the constitution guarantees, 26th January is just a date and unfortunately they are still in millions. All of us see them everyday, some of us notice them and a few of us even reflect on them. For all of us who see them, its time to fly and we ignore the scene faster, for all of us who notice them, its time to run away by leaving the scene behind with a small discomfort in the heart and for all of us who reflect on them, its time to say, let me walk with you and explore if we can be friends. Because with encouragement we build confidence, with fairness we build justice, with security we build faith and with friendship we build self acceptance. All these put together generates self esteem. With concern for people, good governance and upholding the spirit of our constitution, I am sure we can augment self-esteem of millions of our poor and unfortunate children, thus creating one India so that we don’t have to hear the big “B” saying, there are “Two India’s”.
– Samir Ghosh Director, Shodhana Consultancy