I’ve spent the last 3 1/2 weeks visiting India and although I spent 3 school years here and have visited almost every year since I was 14, India still leaves me with culture shock.
If you’ve visited India you’ll see what a magnificent country it is with so much potential but it’s completely mismanaged and there is a desperate need for a change in the mind set of the people. Within one day of arriving in Pune, I was almost spat on, I saw a man’s penis as he urinated in a pile of rubbish on the side of the street and I watched as people wound down their windows and threw garbage out of their cars. And this is all perfectly “normal” by the way. The citizens seem to have no sense of pride in their country.
When I arrived in Mumbai, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister was visiting Colaba where I was headed for some work. The streets had been cleaned, there were extra police on the roads and things felt more orderly. When I got to Pune I noticed certain streets had better road signs and road markings. I was told the Prime Minister visited Pune a few months previously, hence the clean up. Last night my cousin was telling me how 2,000 CCTV camera’s were installed when Barrack Obama was visiting and then taken down as soon as he left. I just don’t understand it. If the resources are available, why aren’t these changes slowly being made permanent?
Earlier today I started reading a book I picked up last week by Adbul Kalam called Ignited Minds. He too writes about the potential he sees in India and suggests ways to change the mind set of the people and motivate them to want a better India. He believes the people of India have an inferiority complex. They don’t believe they can be better or deserve to have more and so the opportunities don’t present themselves.
It was the Indians who invented the number system (in fact they had the world’s best mathematicians), most call centres are based in India these days, they are tech savvy, fashionable, great cricketers and their women are beautiful and yet the vast majority of people live in abject poverty, using the roads as their personal toilets and spitting like there are drains built into the ground.
I don’t pretend to have the answers to these issues but from what I’ve read of Abdul Kalam’s book so far, I think he’s on to a winner when he says the youth need to make the change. I also think his book should be a mandatory read at schools and the government should invest in teachers who are going to inspire the youth to think differently.
India is home to some of the most beautiful temples, the Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple and even Victoria Terminus (VT) Station which was built by the British in Mumbai. A few days ago a fellow mummy blogger posted a picture to her Instagram showing the Colosseum in Rome surrounded by scaffolding as it was being worked on. VT station, a beautiful Victorian piece of architecture is surrounded by faeces, urine and garbage.
It’s sad to see a country with so much potential not realising it. There needs to be a change in the mind set of the people…an uplifting of the people to take pride in their country (not just in their words but in their actions as well), to dream and to believe that India deserves better!