My everyday tidbits...

India Poised: Really?

The Times of India recently started a campaign named India Poised. Like the NDA government's India Shining campaign, India Poised spoke to a great extent about the buzzing economy and growing global influence of India. All over the national capital as one moved past swanky malls and glassy corporate offices, one could see banners and posters of the great Indian growth story. But move just a little further, into the outskirts of the city and the growth story is abruptly replaced by wretched poverty and starvation.

How can a nation be poised and shining when the majority cannot benefit from it's growth? What about the 200 million Indians who can't even earn a $1 per day? The growth story and swanky malls mean nothing to those who have to labor hard just to earn a meal per day! There is no doubt about the fact that India is actually shining and growing at a remarkable pace, but at the same time one should not forget the sizeable poor of the country. India's growth has actually hurt them as the inflation - the tax on poor - has shot up. For them living has become harder and their lives more miserable.

Thankfully, or out of pure political compulsions, the top leaders of the ruling party have sought to play down India's achievments. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently talked about the vast segments of our people who are untouched by modernisation; who continue to do backbreaking labour. His views were repeated by Sonia Gandhi who alluded to the dehumanising poverty in this country. No country can continue to advance for long when a majority of it's population gets deprived of basic human needs.

There is an urgent need for reforms to uplift the poor. But what can legislations do? Especially when the administration is rife with corruption and red tapism. The policies donot benefit those who need them the most and only a minute percentage of allocated funds actually reach the poor. Most of the allocated money is usually guzzled by politicians and middle men.

Hopefully, with legislations like Right to Information and the generally awakened middle class, the currently problems would be reduced in the near future. It is then that the growth of the country would start benefitting people across all sections of the society.

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