GDP growth estimated at a stunning 7.5 percent-plus in spite of the unprecedented recession.
Foreign exchange reserves at over 277$ Billion USD.
Mushrooming malls, improving telecom connectivity, booming industries.
Rivers and superhighways (concrete and wireless) criss-crossing the nation.
Radical economic and strategic pacts with the United States, the European Union, and Southeast Asia. Fast track special courts. Fast-track negotiations on nuclear deals. Fast track Young Scientists programme. Fast track Free Trade Agreements, fast track to eco-tourism! Do these just decorate drawing room talks, weekly magazines and text books? Is that all?
There is more this time!
There it is: in the passengers of the Mumbai local train, in the streets of old city of Hyderabad, in the faces of the nationals, in their whispers, in their articles, in their movies, in their songs, in their courage, in their hope, in their anger, in their will to fight, in their acknowledgement of the fact that this is much more than a boom..a feel good factor that we are now looking at a resurgent India, a socio-economic and military powerhouse striding firmly towards its rightful place in the world.
Yes, there are still millions with no access to potable water, electricity, decent housing or even good roads, literacy rates need to improve steeply and we must try hard to reduce the growing ecological ravages. But there is “hope” now! The Indian has realized that criticizing the system is a matter of pointless indulgence now. It is only a parochial sentiment.
And no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of the common Indian, and he seems to be feeling good now. Untouched in spirit, in soul; tears well in his eyes, but it stares these obstacles in their eye with the discovery that his hope is not only an orchestration of his mind.
E-Governance, networking communities and building collaborations between government and citizens, mainstreaming the rural people who are most disadvantaged and underprivileged, decentralization of the administration, monitoring and evaluating the developmental programmes that will ensure accountability and transparency in their implementation, people’s participation through cooperative societies, financial assistance and professional guidance to self help groups, accessibility to banking, improving transport and infrastructure, taking BPOs to smaller towns with fewer job opportunities, training the unemployed youth in vocational skills, promoting customized programs for youth and women in the age group of 18-30 years from economically weaker sections of society, and empowering them to gain access to opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and growth in the new economy, gainful employment contributing to the GDP growth, SEZs creating jobs and facilitating an environment for business, farmers becoming stakeholders in the SEZs, channelizing our resources, reinforcing and consolidating on our strengths, we are hopeful of marching forward with more wisdom, strength and ability to work for a better and brighter future.
With multi-faceted guidelines for development, enormous natural resources, abundant manpower, and rich cultural heritage, we Indians are empowered to realize our goal of a strong nation. We’re on our way and we are right on track.
The nations feels the pulses race, the seeming corpse has awakened to life and to power, and in an oddly quiet aggression is saying, “Yes, we can!”
In the Muslim neighbourhood clustered around Chandni Chowk, from behind the chick-blinds of her window, the widow is saying, “Yes, we can!”
Amidst his insistent rattle on ministerial resignations, the non-descript opposition member is saying, “Yes, we can!”
The strategy consultant, preparing his presentation speech: “We must take note of what resources and options are available to us and what is on the horizon”, is saying, “Yes, we can!”
The fancy-peddling young rickshaw-wallah who spent too much money on liquor last night is saying, “Yes, we can!”
The South Indian cabinet minister, speaking in a press conference: “We are working out strategies to propel affairs for the next decade if we study and understand the changes occurring in the present generation- which will determine our future” is saying, “Yes, we can!”
The school girls at the bus-stop, giggling uncontrollably at the prospect of saying something in unison, are saying, “Yes, we can!”
The Seth, shooing away the little clustered whirlwinds of flies around sweet-meat on his counter, is saying, “Yes, we can!”
The itinerant street vendor, packing berries for the little urchins in twists of paper, is saying, “Yes, we can!”
On the CST train platform, the clerk, standing wreathed in smoke, waiting for the 8:10, is saying, “Yes, we can!”
The flicker of candles lit to cement our belief that “we can”, the hope of the hundred million Muslims of India, the prayers of middle-aged ‘satsang’ women, the indignant voices of media reporters, the angry jostling of boys in bus-queues, the restless honking at traffic signals is saying,
“Yes, we can!”
And we will!