The India Shining campaign/ The Growth Story has been going on for quite some time now. All the popular websites and newspapers all over the country have gone overboard on it. There is this talk of India poised to become an economic superpower, about the progress made in the field of Science and Engineering, about the number of Fortune 500 companies being headed by Indians, about the number of Engineers(Who gives a damn about the quality of these engineers?) produced like cars produced on an assembly line, about the new Mega Mall or a Multiplex coming up round the corner(Never mind it doesn’t provide parking space even for a tenth of cars expected), about the new industrial estate or a resort or a housing complex coming up somewhere around ..blah blah blah…..
And its not just the media, even most people around you.
Somebody very rightly said ‘Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.’
So lets just analyze this growth story. How do you define growth? What are the parameters?
The number of hours you spend working in your office? The more the number of hours, the more you’re growing??
or the amount of time you spend commuting from your home to your office and back??
or the increased amount of smoke you inhale every single day?
or by the number of people who have to leave their home towns in search for jobs to fulfill their basic necessities?
or by the amount of time, money and energy spent on moving from one apartment to another?
Very unfortunately, the way things stand the answer to the above questions comes out to ‘YES’. Its a sorry state of affairs.
You can see it everywhere. People have less time to spend with their families. Their bank accounts balance probably is rising at a much greater pace. But what use is that money if you don’t have the time to spend it. The time families and friends spend vacationing or socializing is going down. Now suddenly nobody has time. We now have ATM’s, Net Banking, Online ticket bookings, cell phones all of which save so much of our valuable time. Most people in India 10 years back didn’t have these luxuries, still they are more busy today than people were a decade ago. How do you explain this?
Schools have been coming up WITHOUT a playground!!!!!! What kind of citizens do we intend to create? School kids these days spend more time watching TV and playing computer games than playing outdoor games.
And there’s an environmental factor too…
For years the Builder/Construction Company lobbies have ruthlessly massacred the environment. Fertile farm lands have been forcibly or illegally been occupied to construct Super luxury resorts or Malls or Manufacturing Industry. What about Food security? Chemical industries spewing tonnes and tonnes of untreated waste in the rivers. What about the Water security? Depleting forest cover, receding glaciers, the rise in avg temperature is evident. Cities are growing in size yes…..and it is necessary to support the burgeoning population. But is this the way to grow…..consuming fertile farm lands!!!! The outskirts of lots of cities which a decade ago…..were places where you could go for a long ride are today nothing but another concrete jungle. What used to be lush green fields on both the sides of the road is now just plain and ugly structures. And this damage is irreversible and the sight heartbreaking.
Do our people really think that we would be able to get away messing with nature? Or is it just the Intellectually and the Morally corrupt Rich, who are responsible for it and whom its not going to affect anyways? When nature strikes back it does so with vengeance. And who’s going to suffer then? The rich? I doubt it. Its the poor, who never were a part of this whole so called Growth Story.
Where exactly are we headed?