India is shining, India is the new soft superpower, India rocks, India is on the move, India is the new superpower in the making…these are just some of the many catchy and feel-good headlines that, of late, have hogged the limelight with reams and reams of newsprint being devoted to describe how the Indian economy is becoming healthier day-by-day and how many Indian corporate czars are buying assets abroad.
No doubt, there have been many happenings (mostly on the economic front) lately that makes us believe that everything is fine with India and that we are doing exceptionally well almost on every front—be at economy, education, infrastructure, healthcare, national security, and food.
But is the country really progressing the way it is being made out to be? More importantly, have we really become a prosperous and ...view middle of the document...
A sizeable section of our population is still cut-off from all developments. Majority of the Indians still do not get proper healthcare and most of the Indian children are still badly malnourished and undernourished.
Besides, most poor people in India still do not send their children to the schools. Child labor is still a widespread curse in the country. Most girls in India are still married off even before they attain the age of puberty, let alone the legal age of marriage, at times, to grooms who are old enough to be their fathers. In short, India is still in the grip of many old-age problems that have restricted and crippled the overall growth and development of the nation for long.
More shockingly, India is still very backward than not only the many developed nations of the West but even certain poor and underdeveloped nations of Africa and Asia. According to a recent survey conducted by the Indian Health Ministry, and backed by UNICEF, almost 46 per cent of the children in India, under the age of three, are undernourished. This is more than the Sub-Saharan Africa region where only 35 per cent of children are malnourished.
So, all talks of a developing and surging ahead India, is a big, cruel joke. Ask a homeless and diseased polio-stricken urchin who stills daily sleeps on the pavement on a shivering cold January night with nothing for comfort except, maybe, a torn and worn-out shirt that a so-called kind rich Indian, zipping by in a luxury car, may have thrown at him a few days back after wiping the back of his car seat to remove the stain made by the tumbled bottle of a coke can.
Yes, India is still very much the same old Bharat that has been described as “the land of the sadhus, snake charmers, elephants and maharajas” by certain renowned historians like Romila Thapar. The only difference being social and economic inequalities in India have increased even more now, and, the chasm between the haves and the have-nots has become wider.