Amidst global slowdown, India has been widely acknowledged as an emerging economic superpower. The upward swing of the Indian growth curve has helped the country to garner support and restore faith of the global investors. The recent passage of the GST Bill have highlighted the strength of India’s democratic and federal structure. When enforced, the GST will not only mean unification of the Indian market, but also benefit the poor states like Bihar, Odisha, UP etc.
In the last one year there were several achievements such as commissioning of women fighter pilots, India becoming maternal and neo-natal tetanus free, Kozhikode airport completely operating on solar energy, Perumanna Gram Panchayat declaring the first water policy, 2nd phase of Mission Indradhanush being launched and ISRO’s ambitious satellite launches among others which made the nation proud. Yet, incidents such as atrocities against Dalits and minorities, student protests, parliamentary logjam, intolerance debates and censorship became talking points for the global media.
Similarly, when it comes to international politics, India managed to become members of the UN Missile Technology Control Regime, but failed to garner support for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The Prime Minister’s address at the US Congress and the bonhomie with President Obama ensured that the two largest democratic countries embark the 21st century’s most defining partnership. India’s alliance with global superpowers such as US, Japan and Australia will mean peaceful and smooth international trade across the Asia-Pacific region.
However, the problems of the common citizen has been increasing with the changing times. Despite economic growth surpassing China, India has not been able to keep the prices of essential commodities such as pulses and vegetables at affordable rates. Being highly vulnerable towards climate change, the country faced two years of consecutive droughts that highlighted the gravity of water crisis in India. The government’s vision for a open defecation free and a clean country are yet to be achieved. Food wastage, crop losses and traditional methods of farming are threatening the food security of the country.
With all the odds against the growth of the country, it has become imperative for every citizen to contribute to their full potential towards development of the nation. The first Prime Minister of the country once said, “We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?” Somewhat, his statement still remains appropriate even after 70 years of Independence.
With India being seen as one of the future superpower, the responsibility on each individual is more than ever. Today, every citizen, whether man or woman, must realize what the Iron Man Sardar Patel once said, “Every citizen of India must remember that…he is an Indian and he has every right in this country but with certain …duties.” There are millions of Indians still suffering due to poverty and social injustice. With time, their problems have only aggravated and the solutions have become limited. There is an urgent need for innovators, entrepreneurs and startups to provide solutions that improves the quality of life across the country. The welfare and empowerment 49% of the Indian population cannot be ignored anymore, rather work participation of women needs to be increased.
It is understandable that government alone cannot do everything to meet the rising aspirations of the common man. Corporations, individuals and civil society need to rise up to the occasion to reduce the rising disparity between urban and rural areas. Peace and development can be the only way to achieve the set national goals. Not only that, India has the opportunity to take advantage of their demographic dividend and provide surplus workforce to the world in various sectors.
Therefore, on the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, let us come together as one united force against all the issues, groups and nations that divide us.
Let’s take giant steps for building a nation which is united & has strong foundation at the grassroot level.
Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!
By – Rahul Choudhury
Media & Communication