While I struggled to get the true meaning of the term Nationalism in my previous article Nation and Nationalism, another term Development started bothering me from then. What exactly do we mean by development? What criteria should we consider to say that a country is developed? What are the reasons for India being a developing country, even after 68 years of Independence.
When I discussed with my friends, colleagues and relatives, mostly young Indians, regarding this, I got diverse answers which I am sharing now.
We need to give importance to every field. Take Sports as an example. USA wins lot of medals in Olympics. America may not show good patronage to cricket and football, but they show their prowess extraordinarily in Olympics, a great arena for displaying our talent across various categories. In the same way people should be educated in diverse fields. Law, Commerce, Economics and various other neglected arts subjects should be treated equally on par with Science and Mathematics. Everyone in India wants to become a doctor and an engineer. This perception towards career goals and herd mentality of Indians should change. We have talented people in India and they are working for foreign corporations which is one of the factors hindering India’s development. Even though we have herds of graduates in Science and Engineering streams, where does India stand in productivity?
What ever we do for development, it has to be sustainable. Our future generations should not scold and blame us for the reckless things done by us.
Mohammad Mastan, 25, Karur, Tamil Nadu
Percapita income should be the criteria. Pathetically, our percapita income is lower than our neighbours. Still more than half of us depend on agriculture sector and still literacy levels are low and no proper affordable medical facilities are available for all.
The only solution to this is Indians have to work hard. They have to put large amounts of hard work in proper channels to make India a developed country. At the same time, government should focus more on education.
Nagavelu B, 51, Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh
If you ask me about the developed countries, developing countries and underdeveloped countries, I would say developed countries don’t do work. I mean shit work which involves large amount of labour and energy. They force other countries do their useless work and suck the blood out of them. Virtually, they are not allowing others to grow.
And the unequal distribution of wealth among the citizens. In Indian metros, we can see slums adjacent to posh and rich residential areas. On the other hand, Inflation is bothering the poor. We have to control it.
We have Bhutan, our own neighbor, which is one of the happiest countries in the world. They also support their energy requirements from renewable energy sources. Even though it fares low in economic parameters, people in Bhutan are happy. What else do we need other than happiness in life?
Saravana Kumar, 27, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu with additional inputs from Seenivasan Balakrishnan, 28, Tenkasi, Tamil Nadu
Caste based reservations, Caste based politics and undeserved reservations in the fields of education and employment is destroying us.
Srikanth, 23, Hyderabad, Telangana
Politics. We have horrible politicians in our country and especially in Tamil Nadu, they are ruthless.
Good governance is the need of the hour for all round development. If the government itself is struggling with political mess, how could a country develop? On the first hand, politicans should change. Even if a person with good intent enters into politics, it will be a mammoth task for him/her to survive the betrayals and violence of already well established players.
Please control the menace of TASMAC shops.
Valarmathy, 25, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Percapita income should be the criteria. Everyone should earn sufficient amount of money to survive. Lack of financial resources is preventing our growth. Everyone should live happily. Then only we can say a country is developed.
Dharma Prakash, 22, Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu
We have to measure development based upon poverty line. How many of us are living under it.
Coming to the happiness of people, they will never be happy. Even though they have everything, they will look for something more than that. They will search for it. I am not sure whether citizens in developed countries are happy with their country.
Gopalkrishnan, 24, Trichy, Tamil Nadu
In India, most of the families depend on single person’s income. Whereas in other countries, people work for their life time. And there is also a lot of difference between private and government schools.
Vishwanath Kumar, 29, Singapore
Everyone should have sufficient income to cater all his/her needs.
I could see several people who could actually afford for full meals at hotels having food in Amma canteens which were established to satisfy the hunger of poor people.
Are the welfare measures introduced in TN actually contributing for development of the state? No.
We also have conflicts in opinion and ideology of different leaders. There are debates happening which is good but we could see no proper conclusion at the end that makes all the exercise futile.
Inflation is bothering all of us. We could see the fluctuations in onion prices and the influence of black market. Government is helpless. How could they be?
I don’t understand the necessity in bringing private players and allowing them to collect toll on highways?
Vinodkumar Mayilsamy, 23, Palani, Tamil Nadu
Corruption. It has penetrated everywhere. Government projects are done by irresponsible contractors who employ cheap quality practices.
Ponnu Swamy, 40, New Delhi
I feel the existence of reservations in education and employment is one of the main reasons. Because of this, waste talent is coming into light while suppressing the actual talent.
Our way of thinking should change. We find other cultures more appealing. We praise them and even adopt them, but we forget the beauty of our own values.
Pravallika, 22, Chirala, Andhra Pradesh
Look at Kerala for an example. Even though it has reached best literacy levels in our country, it still lags behind in development. We have TN, Gujarat and Maharashtra which are well developed than Kerala. What has gone wrong with Kerala?
Jeya Prabhu, 30, Theni, Tamil Nadu
The question of whether or not India is a developed or developing country is not so simple that it can be measured. Even after 69 years of independence, India is still labelled as a developing country.
The youth of India today lives in a society defined by multiple languages, religions, ethnicities and political thought, among other things. Yet they define their own generation, which is starkly different from their fathers and grandfathers. This puts them in a unique position to take their country towards positive growth and development.
Though there is a decline in the country’s population, women’s safety is still a major drawback. This doesn’t mean that US, which is considered to be one of the developed country has a lesser rate of rapes, but still our nation bears the remark!
There is an ongoing list of attributes in which our country lags. Scandals, corruption, economy, education, health and so on. A never ending list. I got no words on scandal and corruption with respect to our motherland, as everyone knows! We Indians sweat to advance the economies of other nations rather working for our own development.
Almost 12% of our children (between 5 and 15 years) are identified as child labour (illiterates, who are going to be the future of India). We have about 2.4 million people with HIV/Aids, and every other medicine which has been banned from usage in other countries are tested and sold in India for lesser prices. Where is India leading to! Please educate children hoping they contribute to a developed India.
Swathi Prakash, 23, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Brain drain. Talented people are leaving the country and others are sleeping nicely in home. And there is not even minimum encouragement and support from government.
Akhila, 19, Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh
India is conditionally developing. Still it has to work towards alleviating poverty and it has to control pollution and population explosion.
Teja Banka, 23, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh
Apart from economic parameters, I personally consider a country as developed if all the citizens find interest in the work they are doing. If they are empowered, everyone will understand their roles.
India is long way behind to become a developed nation. Rather than working only for money, we should find interest in what we are doing. Unfortunately, we are able to manage our work with out interest in it. Still we are employing old practices. We should embrace new technologies and also new cultures.
We should change our mentality. We should look forward and should take collective responsibility towards our environment. We should raise voice against corrupt politicians.
Instead of using cinema as a platform to bring awareness among people, we are wasting money in producing masala movies.
We should control brain drain and welcome others.
I wonder craze for gold in India. We are not paying taxes properly. Basic healthcare should be provided for all.
Autowallahs never put the meter on and no proper bills are given by shops on purchases. We are ready to compromise on quality if the goods and services are cheap.
I can’t say people are happy in developed countries. Everyone will have a problem in his/her life. I think problem ratio should be 80:20 . If 80% are personal problems then the rest 20% should be common problems like corruption etc.. If the ratio is almost 1 then we should think about this.
I don’t like to compare India with other countries. Yes, I really want India to think on this issues. We have amazing things here which others don’t have.
We are not pioneers in any fields. We should set benchmarks and be an example for other countries. But, not in terms of money. No one knows how much is in one’s pockets. 🙂
Mehnaz Bano, 23, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
Everyone should live happily. There should not be any problems. Only then, we can say a country is developed one.
Supriya, 25, Coorg, Karnataka
To be honest, I don’t know what should be done to make a country a developed one. Sorry, I don’t have thoughts and opinions on this.
Tharun, Illinios, USA
It’s because of people like you, who are wasting time in gathering these useless opinions instead of putting efforts in proper channels.
Prashanth, 23, Hyderabad, Telangana
It’s because of you. Mind your business. Everything will fall on track.
Kiran Prabhakar, 23, Bangalore, Karnataka
If you get good wife, then country will be happy.
Bharathi, 47, Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh
I don’t understand how development of country is related to my wife.
After hearing opinions of different people, who are in fact not experts in Economics, but normal citizens, I noticed frustration in them. When asked about the criteria which they consider to judge the development of a nation, most of them started telling the problems we are facing today.
To my surprise, no one mentioned specifically about gender inequality.
Combining all the factors mentioned above, we have HDI, Human Development Index, mostly followed now, which measures the development of a country on the scale of 1 to 10. India is somewhere around 130th place.
We have come a long way in the path of progress since Independence. But looking at the time we had, i.e.,68 years, I think we are lagging behind in development.
Few of them gave an abstract answer yearning for happiness in the society. If we are not happy with what we are doing and what we are having, then there will be no meaning in our life. Whatever may be the problems faced today and measures taken to tackle them, the ultimate destination for all of us is happiness.
Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high,
where knowledge is free.
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls.
Where words come out from the depth of truth,
where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection.
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost it’s way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.
Where the mind is led forward by thee
into ever widening thought and action.
In to that heaven of freedom, my father,
LET MY COUNTRY AWAKE..
The above lines appear in Geethanjali penned by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. I am not sure whether in future, we wake up into the heaven of such freedom as mentioned above, but the path we are strolling to gain that freedom is full of thorns.