Monday, April 26, 2010

My 'Dream India'

The first point that comes to the mind of almost every Indian, when asked about how to develop India, would be to eliminate corruption, right from the grass root level. If the debate gets hotter as to who are responsible for this omnipresent and pervasive corruption, many of us tend to blame the politicians. But are they the only ones to be blamed of? We should remember that, to blame others, first of all, we need to be free from all blame.

We, ourselves encourage corruption knowingly or unknowingly, in some way or the other, at some time or the other. Haven’t we faced or seen a situation wherein a traffic constable gives us two options when we violate traffic rules: “Pay Rs.200 fine if you need receipt for the fine or pay just Rs.100 if you don’t need the receipt.”? Or haven’t we encountered a situation when an employee in a government office says to us, “Pay a few bucks more and your work will be done soon.”? In such instances, we generally prefer the easier way, though it is illegal. Why don’t we remember then that we are contributing to corruption? Sometimes, even if we aren’t willing to, we are forced to bribe, because we are left with no other option.

As a common man, there is nothing much I can do than to follow the norm. So, let me place myself in the shoes of Prime Minister of India and this is how I would approach the situation.
As a first step towards my ‘Dream India’, I will introduce a new wing of the Anti-Corruption Bureau called ‘D-Wing’ (Disguise wing). This wing will comprise of officials who go in disguise and find out the corrupt officials in all government offices. I will introduce a toll free number 111. Dial 111; mention the office/location where you see someone corrupt and officials from D-Wing of ACB will be there to catch the culprit red handedly.
In the last decade, none of us imagined of ‘108’ service, which is now implemented successfully and being appreciated by everyone. Similarly, the concept of ‘111’ service may seem to be a wild idea now, but I am sure it will reach the heart of public.

As a consequence of the introduction of the D-wing, the number of cases in the courts will add to the pile of pending cases already present. What is the use of pronouncing judgment after some decades, when the accused/victim is old and about to die or already dead? Hence, I would introduce additional benches of all courts. I would also introduce additional shifts for the courts.

By the implementation of the above, employment opportunities will be increased in courts, police stations and ACB. This will create a need to increase revenue for the government to give compensation for these new employees. The best way would be to hike the penalty for all the crimes, especially for the corruption cases. This would solve our purpose of increasing the revenue besides discouraging crimes and corruption.

I would start concentrating on social welfare activities, once the corruption starts to be on the decline, because welfare activities do not reach the needed people, in a corrupted environment. This is what is happening at present. The government keeps on introducing many new welfare programmes but most of them are not reaching the people who really need it.

Illiteracy is another point of concern. The literacy rate in India has been growing at a very slow pace. In order to increase the literacy rate, I would develop the existing government schools to provide at least the basic amenities, so that there won’t be any drop outs. Then I would explore all the possibilities of construction of new schools, free education for all and financial assistance to the needy for higher studies.

Riots are another hindrance to the development of India. Communal riots have lead to the loss of public property, worth hundreds of crores. We may be different by our customs, culture, traditions, regions and what not, but not so different that we cannot get along with one another. At this juncture, I would like to share a short story.

A ten-year-old boy went to an ice-cream shop, sat at a table, and asked the waitress, ‘How much is an ice-cream cone?’ She said, ‘Seventy-five cents.’ The boy started counting the coins he had in his hand. The he asked how much a small cup of ice-cream was. The waitress impatiently replied, ‘sixty-five cents.’ The boy said, ‘I will have the small ice-cream cup.’ The boy ate his ice-cream, paid the bill, and left. When the waitress came to pick up the empty plate, she was touched. Underneath, were ten one-cent coins left as the tip.”

The young boy had consideration for the waitress before he ordered his ice-cream. He showed sensitivity and caring. He thought of others before himself. If we all thought like the little boy, we would have a great place to live – a peaceful place without any riots and crimes.

There is one more thing to be changed, the most important above all and that is the attitude of the people. “Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference.” Even after ‘111’ service is introduced, if the people prefer the illegal way, what can we do? I would do my best to change the attitude of the people by ordering the media to voluntarily publicize the need of a corrupt-free society and the purpose of '111'.

Finally, let me get back to reality! First of all, I am not a politician and I don’t aspire to be one, even in future. But, I hope that, one day before I die, I’ll have a friend or an acquaintance who is an honest politician – one who has the earnest desire from the bottom of his heart to develop the society, one who would listen to my ideas and look into the feasibility of its implementation and one who has the courage and dynamism to implement it. Then, I am sure I’ll be able to see my ‘Dream India’- The India in which there is no corruption, no illiteracy, no unemployment, no riots and in which only peace and harmony prevail everywhere. Jai Hind!

If you are the one who is going to make my dream come true, kindly get into touch with me for more of my thoughts. :)