This week’s edition of the magazine “The Week” is the independence day special and is based on a theme titled “Wake up, India!”
The edition has a series of articles on areas where India has failed miserably. The cover reads “Slick and surging India hides a painful truth: one half of the nation is grappling with child labour, starvation, manual scavenging…”
As we celebrate our independence, our 8% rate of growth of GDP, the Olympic gold, the arrival of the MNCs, the ‘Bangalored’ phenomena, the nuclear deal etc, it is also important to recognize the fact that a vast portion of the Indian population has not benefited from these developments. I am not taking away anything from all these achievements but it is important not to be either ignorant of our failures or worse still, disregard it and adopt an ostrich like attitude.
The series of essays on issues ranging from illiteracy, gender injustice, malnutrition, famine, lack of proper health care, untouchability and alienation of minorities make a very disturbing reading. For example it is very painful and shameful to read that people die for lack of food while Rs.58000 crore worth of agriculture products gets wasted annually. It is a shock to learn that manual scavenging still exist in India and untouchability is practised in its worst forms in most villages.
The lead article of the issue is by Dr.Prakash Amte, the winner of Ramon Magsaysay Award for this year. In this he stresses upon the need to harness the positive restlessness among the youth. Very often we find that we are dissatisfied with the state of affairs, want to do something badly, keep postponing and ultimately it gets lost in the hurry-burry of our individual lives. I am no different. But once in a while the questions come back to haunt us. Reading this special issue is one such experience for me.I urge you to have a look at the magazine if you get hold of a copy or the internet version of it.
I have now started thinking on what can I do. I am sure each one of us can do something even in a small way to make a change. As Mahatma said, we should be the change we want to see. Let us on this independence day take some time and reflect on the change that we wish to see and how we would do our bit to make that happen.
Here is the link to article by Dr.Prakash Amte, http://week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/theWeekContent.do?contentType=EDITORIAL§ionName=COVER%20STORY&programId=1073755753&BV_ID=@@@&contentId=4362210
You can find links to all articles here : http://week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/theWeekSection.do?BV_ID=@@@&programId=1073755753