Today we live in a country of dual contrasts. A country divided on the basis of wealth and money. Most of us believe that we live in India. So when the name India makes wave in the world we feel so proud as if we have achieved something great. India shining.
India?s GDP growth touches 8%.India is a developing economy. And at last, life has become difficult in India. This is one of the stories we believe in and are repeatedly told. What about the other side? The other side is Bharath, dirty and dark. Nearly 35% of the total population which is Below Poverty Line is here. Their condition is equal to some of the sub-Saharan countries. Global market meltdown has no effects here, since they are perpetually under recession. Life is not only difficult here but also was and will be difficult. So are you confused about, what I am talking about? It is about the two countries that exist inside a great subcontinent called Hindustan.
2008 Man of the booker Prize was bagged by Arvind Adiga, our country man. Yet another piece of art that got the world?s attention was the movie called ?Slum Dog Millionaire?. A movie based on the life of a boy from the Asia?s largest slum- Dharavi. Though the two works received a great appreciation from the International community, many here derided them as mockery of Indian culture and disgrace to the Indians. Any way, any one who has read it or watched it will surely say it?s worth. In my opinion these two have brought out the true color of India. They have peeled off the pseudo paint of the skin of India, exposing its true nature. They also enlighten all that we have been disillusioned by the false propaganda by the media, mall culture and IT success. Though all these steps of progress are not denied entirely, an attempt has been made to tell the country men that there is something more to be done. We need to focus attention towards the growing Bharath within India.
I am one of those who would like to see my country shining as like any other true patriot. Though the party which wanted to realize this dream lost badly in the election, the dream was not completely lost from the minds of many. Sometimes I am disillusioned to see millions of lights on the night sky and wonder, yes India is shining .But this illusion fades and the lights disappear in the day?s sky. The glittering and the paraphernalia are covered by thick blanket. Darkness is slowly growing inside. Naxalites, no!.LeT or Al-Qaeda, certainly not. It is Bharath , a rebellion slowly creeping in of hatred, communalism . Yes people are creating it by their greed and selfishness. I call this enemy Bharath. It is like the Balaram who slit the throat of his employer in the White Tiger, is just waiting to avenge.
You find these people from Bharath every where in India. They are addressed as migrants. But they are really refugees from Bharath in India. Their settlements are called slums. Yes! From here the Slum Dog came. These wash the dirty cloths, clean the sidewalks, collect the garbage, drive the buses and guard the houses. Not only this they are abused, their kidneys stolen, women and girls sold as prostitutes, children made to work and all kinds of injustice done to them. When VVIP?s land, they are chased away from the streets. Now then their shanties are razed in the name of preventing Malaria and Dengue. Those who this feel happy and say, Ya! India is shining.
Let us analyze and see if these people never existed. Many feel how good it was. Instead, we would be buried in the garbage we have thrown, because City Municipality has no laborers. Streets and side walks would be upswept. No waiters and dish washers in Hotels, no drivers, no construction workers, no watch mans, no baby sitters. And life in India would be still more difficult. All would in a helpless situation. Though IT and BPO has grown we can not out source these mean jobs. We do not even have the Robots to do this. The citizens have not yet grown conscious so as to take responsibility for their country. All this makes citizens of India vulnerable.
So need of the hour is wake up and change. Let?s evaluate. Is our life style producing more inconvenience to the poor? Is our selfish hoarding of goods and money creating further shortage of goods and money? Why poor are treated like second class citizens? Why the developmental projects designed for the poor are systematically diverted towards urban areas? Why dams, industries and townships are built at the cost of the poor? Why they are given lower salaries, less education and healthcare facilities? Why Government does not give free education to the poor? And the list goes on and on.
When people from Bharath feel the heat of injustice and pangs of hunger, they will certainly not protest by strikes and harthals. They will join the naxalites, they will plant bombs in malls and markets, they will kidnap the rich brats, they will ambush Indians on the highways. Because they know it is worth die fighting. Before the White Tiger crouches and the Slum Dog tears you down into pieces, realize. They are just in your backyard.
Rohan Sequeira, Pune
Author: Rohan Sequeira- Pune