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Shining India

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IS INDIA REALLY SHINING? India was not some happy-go-luck rich kid born with a silver. It had its own problems, some minute, and some grave. “The progress is tremendous,” says Yogesh Lotlikar, a Marketing Engineer. “Given the problems that India has, it has made a considerably great progress. We have a huge population, more than half of them are uneducated, employed, living in terrible conditions without major health and hygiene provisions, and still India has managed to shine.

That’s the spirit of a true winner,” he says, “I am very sure no other economy in the world, no matter how developed it is, can function even a day with the kind of problems India is battling with,” he challenges and it is simply impossible to not notice the sarcasm. Sure enough, we cannot deprive India of this sort of appreciation. concerned. “I don’t think there is enough progress. Yes, if you say technologically or as per the growth rate, then it is doing very well. But there is so much cultural unrest, religious divide, illiteracy and poverty.

Diseases are common and there is not enough treatment for the poor. The basic problem here is that the rich continue to become richer while the poor are getting poorer every passing day. But there is a silver lining behind India’s big dark cloud of problems. ‘This too shall pass’ seems to be the mantra whenever a problem arises; not too optimistic, not too pessimistic ndia shining—a phrase that has been drummed into the heads of every Indian `Janta’ ever since elections were contemplated. A phrase that political parties have been toying with-both sarcastically and in dead earnest.

A phrase coined by the political bigwigs and joyfully tom-tomed by the Indian consumer market-India shining-welcome to the India of the 21st century! But the question is, Is India really shining? In other words, is the real India shining? Not from a political perspective, in terms of a progress report of the Governments activities, but in terms of the quintessence of the country that is India… India is its people-the teeming millions who struggle for a foothold in today’s world. India is the hapless middle class for whom every new day brings with it the reality that life is not easy, but that they have to live, nevertheless.

India is the slum dwellers, who do not know life beyond the hell-holes that they inhabit. India is the multitude of the unemployed, armed with the highest degrees, who lament the time they wasted studying. India is the little children who slog for a pittance, when they should be attending school. India is the rickshaw pullers who eke out a living by tearing out their lungs—indeed, India is the dirt, the grime, the sweat and the blood of its citizens—and as long as this reality exists, as long as people wonder where their next meal is going to come from, India is NOT shining-and will not shine.

India is its attitude-one where tradition refuses to bid adieu and modernity fiercely pushes its way forward. A country where the old think old, and the new think new. An India where feminism and women power are being shouted from the rooftops, while in some remote corner, a helpless female dies in the name of dowry… India is an India of fashion shows and models. But India is also an India of beggars and the underprivileged. And this is a reality we cannot ignore. Is India, then, shining? To those born with silver spoons in their mouth, life is a merry circus-a kaleidoscope of color and mirth.

They don’t fear a fall, there are velvet cushions to hold them up. Monetary concerns don’t haunt them-money flows in without their turning a hair. Power, wealth, influence, they have it all.. India for them is the grandeur of its `modernity’—the shopping malls, the gadgets that make their lives simpler, the new cars that roll out every year, and the expensive parties that they attend. Life for them is an easy journey, to nowhere in particular. To them, India shines-and will always do so. Is this the real India? And is India shining?

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