We have the most affluent / rich people of the world living here in Mumbai which also has the largest slum in Dharavi. We have people as educated as Manmohan Singh, Amartya Sen, and yet half our population is illiterate. We have people who are using the latest technology in every aspect of life, yet there are villages where there is no electricity yet. We have become the healthcare destination of the world, yet 1000 people die daily of diarrhea, TB, and many other diseases. We have rivers like Ganga, Yamuna… yet we have floods and droughts, every year in different parts of the country. Our child malnutrition rate is pathetic, and even basic amenities are eluded from many Indians.
Somebody has rightly remarked that India lives in many generations. People have become used to live and co-exist with each other. We dont feel strange when a beggar comes asking on a traffic signal while we are sitting in our air-conditioned car. We dont feel bad when we spend thousands of rupees drinking at a bar when that money could sponsor the education of many children for a year. A traffic cop once stopped me when I jumped a red light in a hurry, I took out a Rs 50 note, and he said “Mininum 100”. I said “wow, minimum amount as a bribe”. If you discuss these issues with people, many will reply “We are like that only”. OK. Agreed. We are like that only. But is it OK to be like that only. It is certainly not right to be like that only. Where the inequalities between the rich and poor is increasing day by day.
Why we dont think / act about the issues facing the neglected segment of our population? Being privileged with education, jobs and a good lifestyle, we should be the people who should make efforts for the unprivileged. But no, we are happy to go clubbing after a day’s work and see the plight of the poor being exploited by some news channel on TV. We will blame the politicians, crib about it with friends, but one thing we will not do is ACT. And to justify it, pat comes the reply “We are like that only”
This is an issue which all of us must have felt deep regret for sometime in our lives. While going ahead with the world, why are we leaving our unprivileged brothers behind? When will this change? I am going to leave this issue open for discussion. You are free to comment on why our attitude has become so “sick”. How long can we continue to be “like that only“?