Narendra Modi went to Amrika (Indian way of pronouncing America). He did not get a visa a few years back to do the same but now he gets a red carpet welcome. Not getting into the politics, but hope he gets some insight on the vast difference between the two countries.
His glorious dreams of India being like any other developed country and his endeavour in working towards the same is all appreciated and clapped about. He would make impressive speeches there too like he did in Japan, when people came for his grand oath taking ceremony, at the independence day celebrations or on teachers day. It sounds very good to the ears after a decade of muteness.
Well, all good so far. But as any other city-chap citizen I would like to SEE some (good) changes happening around my house. I think only then I would say that yes, he is not like the others who he claims to be difference from, and that he is indeed working for the welfare of the country.
I hope he takes some cues from how the lifestyle is there and works for getting that done in here – shining India.
Mr. Prime Minister, or rather Sri PM ji:
When I go to get vegetables from the nearby shop, I don’t want to stand next to a cow-dung cake and choose my vegetables, or hop my way to shop dodging all the rain-water-turned-mud-water filled potholes. When I stop a taxi or auto to hire, I don’t want to bargain the fare, or ask him to charge me as per the meter. I do not want to call up the water supply board and fight everyday why the water is muddy or smelling like sewage. I don’t want to keep buying potable water from outside, or to keep buying water purifiers of higher filtering capacity when the current one fails to filter the smell or mud properly, especially when I am not sure whether what I ultimately drink potable or not. I am forced to do that because I do not have any other option. I don’t want to dodge vehicles when I am walking down the street or any damn place in this country and never be confident that the vehicles will stop at zebra crossing. I don’t want to see everyone with a suspicious eye drawing my purse closer or wrapping the dupatta around my neck tighter or just hiding myself altogether if I have to go out alone anywhere lest I be the next talked about unfortunate victim. I don’t want to ask my brother or any other male member to accompany me to the nearby ATM to withdraw money.
I don’t want to feel good about feeding the kid on the street who chased me to buy his stickers. It pains to see the joy on his face when he knows I am buying him food. I don’t want to discreetly give away change to the poor lady who relies on alms to make a living. I don’t want to see people having to live so close to the busy streets that their food knows what vehicle is passing by or the pedestrian has no option but to see their living space so openly laid out in the public view. I don’t want to give up teaching my maids kids in frustration because their basics are so bad and their interest level so low, because they know that no matter what they do, they have to follow their mothers suit. Heck, I don’t want to call her a maid or servant but we have been conditioned so intensely that, that is the way we refer to them knowingly or unknowingly. I don’t want to feel good, or make her feel good by paying more than other households are paying, where I very well know that whatever she makes by breaking her back daily is not going to give her a living anywhere close to being decent. I don’t want her to feel grateful to anyone who gives her food when she is working in house or by giving her a holiday on sundays. I know labour is cheap in India because there are so many people and that’s the way the demand supply ratio works. But it’s not fair to build world class bridges and not be able to give everyone a decent living. To me it doesn’t make sense, and if you think, you would know I am right. If not, think harder.
You say you were from a humble background, so where is the humbleness gone when signing multi-million dollar deals with all the rich countries for having higher speed trains when we are not able to manage the already 100kmph trains and people are dying at railway crossing every freaking day. How are faster trains going to make India better? Do we have the capacity and modesty to assure quality construction and maintenance?
When I can eat all the foreign chocolates and shop all the international brands, why can’t I drink water straight from the tap like in US, UK, or France? Why can’t I step out of the house and not find dust everywhere I look. Why don’t we have grass to cover loose soil, when we swear by the fertility of our land. Why can’t I visit any public toilet without having to hold my breath during the entire time I am around that premises. Why can’t I get any work done in any govt. office without fights or complaints or any recommendation from someone I know high up there? A simple thing as getting a drivers license in a pain in the neck. I don’t want to bribe the RTO or the passport office or the traffic police or any damn person to get my work done.
While you are there, I really hope you see how things work there in one of the most developed countries and get some lessons back home, and IMPLEMENT it, before the public goes really frustrated with yet another govt.