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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is India shining?

This was an interesting article appeared in Hindu. I thought it is worth sharing and so I posted this for those who do not have access to "The Hindu"

'Let my countrymen awake'

Can we regain the lost glory?

Mirle Karthik

An e-mail that I received compelled me to write this piece. The mail is about the achievement of Indians in various spheres both at home and abroad. While the veracity of the data in the mail may need closer scrutiny, even a cursory glance at the points mentioned therein makes interesting reading. The top names in the world’s leading IT companies are Indians. If Sabeer Bhatia is the founder and creator of Hotmail, the world’s leading web based email program, Vinod Dahm is the creator of the Pentium Processor. Azim Premji has overtaken the Sultan of Brunei in the list of the world’s richest men.

There are some more interesting statistics. 36 per cent of NASA scientists are Indians. 34 per cent of Microsoft employees are Indians. 38 per cent of doctors in USA are Indians. The mail then goes on to elaborate about the achievements of ancient Indians, purportedly mentioned in a German magazine. From metallurgy to surgery to mathematics to art and culture, it is obvious that Indians dominated the world with their remarkable accomplishments. For good measure, quotes from famous personalities like Einstein, Romain Rolland among others are also included.

Finally, comes the question “Why we are where we are today” with the exhortation to all Indians to rise and bring back the lost glory. The first thing that occurred to my mind was our appalling lack of self pride.

Anything that is Indian immediately means that it is inferior. Be it in our dress, food habits, mannerisms or lifestyle, it must conform to Western standards. The next thing that pulls India back by ten steps for every step forward is corruption.

From the highest level downwards, such is its stranglehold that it has virtually sapped the life blood of our country. All projects and schemes have their innards emptied by this monster which struts about in the form of officials for whom all the world is their stage.

Erosion of values

Caste and religion are the veritable albatrosses around our necks. Merit takes a backseat in front of caste considerations. Caste politics is a convenient tool for politicians to create schisms where none exist. Bright and deserving people have to silently gnash their teeth as less deserving persons sail past them on the basis of their castes.

Corruption, nepotism and favouritism are the visible signs of a sick society that has cut off its connections with its austere past and adopted an alien lifestyle marked by brash and consumptive living, devoid of moral and ethical values. Under such conditions, is it any surprise if enterprising Indians go in search of greener pastures?

And we, the gullible populace, who allow ourselves to be fooled election after election with promises of heaven on earth, are also to blame for we couldn’t care less about the country as long as we are comfortable. Granted, there are islands of green amidst this ocean of gloom. But they are few and far between.

Tagore’s statement “into that heaven of freedom, let my countrymen awake” must be interpreted as the freedom from all the aforementioned ills, if India has to regain her lost glory.

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