The solution to India’s problems does not lie with the politicians; they are the ones who are the problem. Every Indian leader has determinedly worked, despite having all the power, to constrain the people. Every leader comes in thinking they have the power of God to remake our lives. New schemes get launched or old ones are renamed; every one of them funded by productive money taken from the people.
A broken education system ensures that few actually understand why some nations are rich. We are taught about India’s long past but not the recent past of countries like America which have created the rules that have led to their residents becoming among the richest in the world. We are not taught why Indians are poor, why our freedoms are controlled, and why many British-era rules are still in place. If we question the Indian Constitution (a derivative of the 1935 Government of India Act written by the British colonisers), we could be charged with sedition. In such an environment, no politician or party will come to our rescue. It is a revolution that has to be engineered by the people.
Even as we begin celebrations for India@75, we need to ask ourselves: are we truly free? Does just having the right to vote mean we are free? If we are really free, why are we not rich? Why do 800 million Indians still need to be provided free food by the Indian government? If that isn’t the biggest indictment on our politicians, what is? Why is the average Indian’s annual earnings only a fifth that of the average Chinese when just 40 years ago both were at the same level? And why is the average Indian’s annual earnings just 3% of the average American? Why does India rank so low in various indices of human development and economic freedom? All have the same answer. Freedom, denied to us by the British and then their successors, the Indian British who have successfully established British Raj 2.0 in India.
It is this that Nayi Disha seeks to overturn. A Nayi Disha for India will only happen when the people awaken and act. The pipe is the crucial step in getting alternative narratives to them to counter the government propaganda machine that works in overdrive with money from every Indian (since all of us pay taxes in one form or another). It is the pipe which has to do the “Moh Bhang” (break the illusion) of the love affair that some of us have for the Indian politicians, their parties, their policies. The growth of digital and its primacy in our daily lives has created a new opportunity for rebirthing India – we, through our cooperation, have the power to change the future of 1.3 billion Indians in our hands. What we now need to do is to use it for the greater good and a better future for each of us. Maybe India@77 will truly see the start of a free and prosperous India.