Old or New?

There are numerous reports regarding the state of Indian politics especially in this election time – who should we support ? Who was more corrupt? Who will bring the country back to the growth path? Etc. etc. Well, I am joining in the fray too 🙂

India needs a lot of improvements at present. Indians are famous for reminiscing on the past and forgetting that daydreaming or wishful thinking does not create the future. Look the the TV serials we have for example – daughters-in-law worshipping mothers-in-law, staying at home to look after the household, and the list goes on. While in reality, women are working as long hours as the men and contributing to the economic empowerment of the family; a family structure which is getting more nuclear than any TV show will ever portray.

The criteria I have for choosing the next candidate would be the following:

1. Emphasis on culture

India has always been strong because of her culture – her emphasis on knowledge, on education. In olden days, it was in grukuls for boys and home for girls but both had education, albeit for their roles, a system which may not be applicable today. Today’s young parents and youth do not value education as much as they do – they are alright as long as children pass and do not emphasis for excellence under the aegis of holistic education. The system is also not conducive to a good education. For me education is different from getting marks or a degree. The number of kids who don’t have basic logic sense in India today is quite unnerving. Companies have to teach IT graduates all about technology because universities cannot do it is a shame.

This education should also be universal, meaning, do away with the damn reservation system. Ensure schooling places for all kids, and support them in their ability to attend, have the necessary infrastructure, books etc but whether the kids learn or not should be up to them and the help of  teachers, parents and society. Providing guaranteed places for kids regardless of how much they score has meant that India presently has a whole host of sub-standard graduates who are used to entitlement.  The really good students left ages go, for countries which give them a fair chance in life – and these students will not come back.

The education should also take pride in the Indian culture. The situation today that kids can opt out of learning their own mother tongue is shameful to say the least. More then 40% of the current generation in Tamil Nadu do not know Tamil – how will the culture improve? More importantly, how will a country on borrowed culture (English in this case) ever be a leader? For the records, in my opinion, language is a big, a really BIG part of culture. If a person knows how to read / write a language, he can be exposed to the original literature available, and that leads to a understanding of the culture and history – and India has a lot to teach from it’s history.

2. Supply chain

I recently read and article which  mentioned that full 40% of India’s agriculture output is lost due to inadequate supply chain facilities (cold chain, proper storage areas etc). This is disgraceful. For a country which churns out IT graduates who run all major institutions in the world, can’t we establish a good system for our own produce? It’s not easy I know, but it can be done and it’s not being done. We have a good rail infrastructure – how effectively do we use it? We manage to go to the most remote parts of the country to deliver polio vaccines, why cannot use this knowledge to reach the farmers? Why can’t we have a more effective middle management system whereby the farmers getting their due which helps them get out of grinding poverty? Where is the micro-finance facility for the agriculturists? I know Punjab farmers are quite well off, but what about the rest? Where is modernization in farming? The quality of vegetables in the Indian markets is abysmal. Why? These are tall orders, but it’s the job of the government to help split this tall order into achievable parts and actually do something.

3. Leadership

I have never, and will never, accept a non-Indian running the country; a country of 1 bn people cannot find it’s own citizen to run it? Manmohan Singh was a disaster during his term. However, I am no political expert and going by various reports, he was not the person pulling the strings. Nevertheless, he is still an adult with long political experience and I expected more backbone from him but let’s leave it at that.

What India really needs is a leader who is not afraid to make decisions, the right decisions, damn what others say. If someone threatens to walk out simply coz his constituency does not get priority, so be it. This is not easy in a coalition government, but that’s why I say leader, not a manager. India does not really need a democracy at this point, some authoritarianism is fine as long as things get done. We also need to take a stance; criminals who do not have control over their own lives, have no rights deciding others. Housing and god knows what other privileges government folks get should be curtailed. There has to be a minimum education limit. We ask for Masters and PhD while running a simple firm, why not when running a whole nation? I never understood the democracy argument that anyone can join politics, over having basic educational background. If they don’t have a education but are good enough to be leaders, then fine, go do the IAS. But some basic qualification is needed…for education is the best path to knowledge bringing me back to the first point.

That’s all for now. Again, am not political expert but I firmly believe these and more should be done to make the country achieve what it is worthy of.