It’s Happy New year and yet this one year seems different. The ambience does not convey it’s the very first day of a New Year: no graffities on the road or walls, no remains of fire crackers or bottles and not even disposed food remains? Is such a sight possible on the first of every year on an Indian street? Well the question echoes the answer- NO. Then how is it possible for me to witness such a sight on January 1, 2011?
It’s not a dream that I am in but in one of those Gulf countries known for their cleanliness and excellent town planning systems. Yes, I’m in Muscat, the capital city of Oman. And my New Year 2011 is from here. And I can already see the differences.
The roads are sparkling clean and the traffic system adept. Everything is in place and it really feels like heaven here. Having been in India for the last eleven years, Muscat is not an entirely new experience as I have been here before. But what mesmerizes me about the place is how much it develops everyday. Not long before a destructive cyclone, Gonu, had hit the Gulf countries taking with it everything: numerous lives, roads, bridges, houses and everything natural and man-made.
It’s been barely 3 years after the destruction and Oman is back in all its glory, more developed and still improving. What makes me wonder is why my country can’t bounce back in a similar way, improving and developing on a daily basis. Now the scales of comparisons are different for both the countries I agree: one is a kingship while the other is democracy, one’s got oil as its backbone while the other has coal and other minerals as its backbone. These are not only the administrative and the naturally endowed differences, but these differences make a country what it is. I love the freedom my country gives, its people and its setup, but what I don’t like is the mindset of the people and the individual responsibility every citizen fails to uphold.
Lots can happen if the citizens decide it to happen. The power of democracy has to be exercised and fundamental duties must be fulfilled before one seeks for their fundamental rights. India is a country For the people, By the people and Of the people.
Let’s modify the catch line of a famous hangout brand from “A lot can happen over Coffee” to “A Lot can happen over the dinner table too”. Let’s begin from our home and expand our potentials and ideas for the country.
Author: Sangeetha Gopi- Oman