The Civic Sense

So a friend of mine had just finished dining in a restaurant in Germany and had paid his bill. He was getting up to leave when an elderly gentleman stopped him apologized and said, “My dear friend, today you have wasted a lot of food. Maybe you can afford it but as a nation, we can’t.”

Look around you, what do you see? You see the world’s largest democracy, you see the second most populous country on the planet, you see the people, the governance and the infrastructure. You see an emerging super power. The world looks at the western countries and conveniently tags them developed, and then they look at us, and by default we are under developed. I’m quite confused actually, I mean if you really look at it, 38% of the doctors in America are Indian, 36% of NASA scientists are Indian, 34% of all Microsoft employees are Indian. And while America suffered severely from depression in 2008, we remained fairly stable. I mean look at us, from Ayurveda to Algebra to chess, you name it, we made it. And yet here we are. We are under developed, we are economically backward, we are poor. We are the third world. Don’t you wonder why?

Well, while India is all that, it is also the home to one-thirds of the world’s poorest, one of the highest ranking countries facing the pangs of malnourished children, the host to the largest number of illiterate adults in the world. Now add to that an exponentially growing population and a corrupt and misleading government and there you have it. We are back at square one.

So why aren’t we a super power yet? Well it would be easier to blame the government. It’s their fault anyway! I mean, why should we do anything for the uplifting of the country when they were appointed to take care of us and provide us with everything from cradle to grave right?

What we as a population fail to see is that a government, any government cannot function without the cooperation of each and every citizen. So yes, go ahead make a thousand laws but it will be of no use if we don’t abide by them but search for loopholes instead. Set up a hundred school and again it will be futile if parents don’t invest in their children’s future but use them as income sources instead. It is easier to say, they’ll do it, they’ll take care of it…. They, they they…. They who? Want to see a change? Well stop being lazy, turn off that TV, stop texting and go be that change you want to see. Start with the man in the mirror. We are probably, by far, the only generation that can say we have the resources, we have the potential but we’ve not yet made it big. This is only because we sit there refusing to do anything about the problems we face. We’re not that far from extraordinary…. It’s just a matter of that little extra. But then, in the end it all boils down to that big question. Why put in the effort? Well, think about it, 2000 ethnic groups, 1652 different languages, and an 8000 year old civilization with over a billion people with tremendous potential. I think it’s worth it.