Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A nation's journey through 59 years : What next ?

For an individual 59 years would mean a lifetime experience of love, friendship, betrayal , death and the other shades of the spectrum of life. For an organization 59 years would mean the mature time when it sees itself propelling towards future based on the momentum gained during the growing past years. But what would 59 years mean for a nation ? It’s too short time in the pages of history where a decade is dedicated at the most a chapter or two.

As a nation we carry historical baggage dating from the Gupta era when Hinduism shaped itself distinct from the prevailing Sanatan religion of the Aryans, absorbing incessant attacks from Western frontiers and ultimately absorbing its attackers into its fold that reached its peak in the glory of the Mughals to the last 200 years of colonial rule. So even before 1947 when India declared itself to be an independent nation its characteristics traits were shaped long back in history. Only thing that was in suspense was how we would carry our heavy luggage down the lanes of future.

Looking back at the last 59 years as a nation we seem to see almost all. As they say in detective stories follow the money , if we see the nations economic history it has seen the Nehuruvian socio-economics, the license raj of Indira to an IMF scripted turnaround by opening itself to the world and suddenly finding itself amongst one of the largest growing economies. Indian IT industry pioneered the emergence of Indian companies which was reflected in the manufacturing and service sector as well. Some of it was an outcome of a conscious effort and some of it happened because it was destined to happen.

In our growing years of democracy we saw the fading importance of rule by a political party with a national base. We saw the black emergency years when Indian democracy choked itself in the same hands it was supposed to be freed. Luckily the situation didn’t prevail for long. Slowly the emergence of regional parties brought about the concept of coalition government. In an utopian situation this scenario would have been applauded as regional agendas would be weighted with the same importance as the national one. Unfortunately in India politics is meant to be largely vote bank based. And if the largest section of the voters are illiterates then democracy is dragged down to be a mere comedy of arm-twisting and ass kissing.

During these journey we saw ourselves engaged in war too with our neighbors. Fortunately nearly every time we were able to maintain our sovereignty although the costs were sometimes too high. But the in-depth analysis of the weaknesses and preventive as well as remedial actions are still in the to be done list.

The 59 years is also marked with partionist and communal movements ranging from demand for separate states to separation from the state as well. Most of them started within the foray of parliamentarian politics and later emerged as a battle against the state. Gradually they lost the very essence of their cause and everybody interpreted the cause with their own understanding and resorted to terror tactics. A part of the fuel to the fire was supplied by international war-mongers in pursuit of future of weapon business. The net result is that till date India has been the biggest sufferer in the era of global terrorism. What started from neglected north-eastern backyards to the over-protected valleys of Kashmir reached the heart of the nation. Now we are used to the fact that the next big bomb blast could happen anytime.

Each of the last six decades of our national life had its own flavor, unique aspiration, characteristic problems and their solutions. The next decade could be marked with the undomitable aspiration of being big. But that aspiration would be hindered with fighting terrorism home and abroad and the growing disparity of the rich and poor , the gap which will be widened day by day of these non-uniform progress. All these will go parallel with the obvious degeneration of the politicos until someday somebody decides to do something very very drastic.

But one thing will never change. What started as a dream to reach for the skies and was minimized to a mere survival was able to turn around and is now being looked by the remaining world as the probable next big thing. The promises the nation holds to its future citizens will manifest themselves in reality is still the big question. But the momentum has already given the extra push in the inertia. Only if we could ride on and propel the acceleration in the right direction another decade from now on another prouder Indian will be writing about even glorious seventh decade of the nations history.


biplab said...

Just a point about your comment: “And if the largest section of the voters are illiterates then democracy is dragged down to be a mere comedy of arm-twisting and ass kissing.” – I think our political problems stems largely from “Literate” people.

Bishu said...

Biplab-da,thanks for your comments.On second thoughts I blame all Indians both literates and illeterates for the sticky situation we haved landed ourselves in.The literates have allienated themselves from the politics allowing it to be the dirtest show on earth.But since large portion of our voters are illeterates, it's easier for thugs like Mulayam or Lallu to take them for a ride. I think it was Subhas Bose who propagated the idea that for India to become a successful democracy you need all Indians to be literate.Only then they can distinguish the black-n-white and not rally behind someone who have mastered the art of playing the caste or minority trump card better than any of the proffessional gambler.