A few old school mates met up last Sunday and were discussing the current economic and political situation. I commented, that in a few years, 50 families will rule this country, economically and politically. There was silence and for a change everyone agreed. The reason, that few families will control this country implies that we are not a meritocracy based society but one of patronage. India will forever demand but never command in the globaleconomy. Below are a few reasons why we will never be a super power.
Rich Poor Divide : The disparity between the rich and poor is widening. The average quality of life is deteriorating. It is not about the poor having a cell phone but about living without fear. The fear of hunger, exploitation, lack of choice and uncertainty. This rich poor divide is what is proliferating the naxal movement across the country. Addressing the naxal movement is only addressing the symptom not the root of the problem.
Corruption : The British set up a system of governance which enabled extraction of resources in a structured manner. When the British left the transfer of power shifted from white people to brown people. They continued to extract benefiting a few families and this trend will converge to the benefit of the 50 or so families that will ultimately rule this country. Unless the bureaucracy and politicians are made accountable this country has no future. Our public servants were rated the least efficient in Asia.
Legal System : The legal system in India needs to be completely re engineered where the focus is to render justice. The nexus between lawyers, a corrupt judiciary is making it difficult for a common man to get justice or business to run efficiently. It also becoming impossible for the poor to seek justice because of the high costs.
Right to Education: Still 50% of our country remains illiterate. Every educated citizen should be drafted to educate the rest of the country. Just like many countries have compulsory military service why not we have compulsory teacher service.
Decline of key professions: While in school, I was reminded to always tell the truth to one’s teacher, lawyer and doctor. My general experience with all 3 of them has been notorious in the last 3 years. There are some exceptions, in general, one has to to be lucky to find them. Teachers hired by the government don’t do their work, those in private become inaccessible to the common man. The same situation applies to doctors and lawyers also.
There are many other issues, but if we start addressing the above with a 25 year plan and a mission where a billion people participate. The world will notice us not because of the number, we are, but the large number focussed on doing the right thing, that will be ideal momentum.