What are we expecting from our Govt, or rather, What should we be expecting?
I think most would agree that post independence, there were a splurge of socialist reforms (Link). The socialist setup flourishes on the theory that the oppressed should be protected and tended to. And there is no dearth for the oppressed in our country! The poor, the working class, backward classes. You can keep on adding to that list.
So how do we address this issue? Lets hold on to that thought for now and put some light on a different sort of issue. We will come back to this later.
We see a tendency among many to put the blame of most of our issues on others. And of these, most are targeted to the System. Though it is cliched, “The system has to be changed”, “System is corrupt” has become some of the most common getaways. In the same vein, the solution for all this is also expected from someone else. We expect someone to start cleaning the system for us, promise us to take to the “La-La land”, while we wait for that.Under most circumstances, this someone would be Government, or a leader/party, or even a spiritual guru. I would like to stick only to government here considering the scope of this post.
Simple Question: “A beggar comes to you for alms and you give him. What does that make him? Still a beggar isn’t it?” “What if you refuse him? still a beggar right?” “But what if you try to empower him?” He may very well still choose to be a beggar 🙂 . But the point here is, there is a window of opportunity for him.
I dare not equate us with the beggar, but I do believe there is a slave mentality, which might be a by product of the socialistic reforms, where we look upon to the government(state as in socialism) for everything(or may be most of the things).
But I what i want to suggest is something similar to the opportunity presented to the beggar. To put in a better way, a level playing field for all. The opportunities present for everyone must be same. I do accept that we have a backlog of oppressed people for whom special care should be given. But what about future generations?
Prof R Vaidyanathan in this article link, explains the inverted trapezium problem that Developed countries will face. And the Hexagon situation where Developed countries like India will find ourselves in, related to demography.
So when we reach the Hexagon demography, with maximum youth, what is the situation we want us to be in?. To still have the slave mentality and act just as a work force? Or to challenge the staus quo, innovate and strive to be the leaders? Wouldn’t it be great that rather than have cry babies, we have innovators and visionaries with opportunities?
I answer in the affirmative for the latter. For this I want my Government not to hand out doles (la NREGA), but to give the new generation opportunity, give them a level playing ground for healthy competition, an atmosphere which breeds innovation. At the same time, I think its inevitable that we continue to take care of the already oppressed as mentioned early.
I think the Government is taking initial baby steps towards this. Its time for us to pick up ourselves and embrace that. Shed our negativity and be men of action. Think of ways to innovate. Gain knowledge. Try to empower ourselves. In the end, the Government may succeed or fail in its attempt. That need not stop us from trying
As Swami Vivekananda put it:
“We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.”