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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Modi dares to Dream

Modi dares to dream in a nation that so far has witnessed a plethora of shattered dreams, not of its leaders who have done fairly well for themselves but of the common man.  His arrival after over six decades of existence as a free nation gives hope - the nation appears poised to emerge and occupy its place in the big league, albeit many years later than it should have actually done so.

How does the common man perceive the nation and its ruling class? Despite the inherent faults and there are many, the rapid advent of the multiplicity of channels on the idiot box has opened the vistas for the common man, who till then was totally oblivious of the developments that were taking place elsewhere and not in his own motherland. Now he is aware what civic infrastructure is ought to be and what is meant by service delivery; he also realizes that there is a better life beyond the shores of the country and that if he is asked to lay his finger on the biggest single ailment that the nation is seized of – he will unhesitatingly lay it on the pie of corruption. The idiot box has thus succeeded in changing the awareness levels of the common man living in way off towns and villages.

It is another matter that the common man perceives political leaders and government servants generally in the same league – kings of the present times. Continued existence of shortages and differentiation in social hierarchies has indeed shown him his place – at the mercy of the powers that be. Sadly the common man has abdicated his rights in the favour of the rulers whom he always learnt to fear. And therefore the question of his demanding good governance never arose; he neither expected good governance nor good conduct from those at the helm of affairs, yet within his heart he always castigated them!

It is this perception of the ruling classes, the entire tantra, in the eyes of the common man that needs to change if real change is to be brought about. The widely prevalent yet true perception that all government functionaries are corrupt needs to change, by the emergence of an environment in which interaction between the common man and the sarkar is not laced with graft. The general feeling that India is not for Indians – that it is a country only for the powerful or the rich needs to change for the big change to be really worth its while.

Our biggest misfortune has been the continuance of the british raj in the garb of swaraj. A system of governance based on mistrust and therefore warranting sanctions and approvals for almost anything under the sun is being continued even when the color of the rulers changed from fair to brown.  Our laws, our rules and our processes that the machinery of governance still follows are mostly as intact as they were when inherited from the empire and have miserably failed to meet aspirations.

Changing rules, processes and systems therefore has to be a major focus area. Simplification has to be the buzzword as this perhaps is the only way to achieve quantum growth that can reduce the chasm of difference between the developed world and ours.  

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