Yes, we are now our own masters. India is the greatest democracy in the world and is poised to be a superpower! We have exploded nuclear bombs and sent rockets to the moon. We also have ICBMs and other warheads and won wars with Pakistan. Leaders maintain we are militarily strong to face any threat. There is a strong middle middles whose lives have improved. There is unity in diversity and all religious and ethnic groups are more or less living in harmony.
The average income in India was not much different from South Korea in 1947; South Korea became a developed country by 2000s and India remained one of the world’s poorest, least efficient, and most corrupt nation in the world!
After independence, Nehru, the first PM, developed policies in the fashion of USSR and it became suicidal for India and its people. He closed our borders and made it isolated from the world like the iron curtain that existed in USSR. He invested the nation’s entire resources in the public sector industries most of which became ‘white elephants’ or total failures. He tried to prop them up with heavy subsidies from the tax payer’s money. Private enterprise was dissuaded nationally in the name of socialism. He took away the initiative and the competitive nature of the great people. His state controls led to red tapism and bureaucracy. Up to 80 agencies had to be satisfied before a manufacturing firm could be granted a license! The large bureaucracy ate away the GDP both at the centre and in the states and they still do. They are corrupt to the core and they swallow whatever little earmarked for the poverty alleviation programs. Organized Unions disrupted work and production in every sector but their pay and perks were increased without ensuring productivity (this is continuing even now).
Narasimha Rao opened up the Indian Economy to international trade and introduced Free Market Principles which resulted in some progress. Again the reins of power went to the Nehru family (money can do wonders in this poor country) and the nation started retrograding with rampant corruption and poverty. The leaders are fattening their purses so that they can control the Indian elections at any point of time. But the downtrodden masses are becoming the poorest in the world: 700 million poor people earn about or less than Rs20 (25cents) a day and half of all our children are malnourished, stunted and wasted! India has 1/3 of the world’s extreme poor people. World Bank estimates that more than 100 million Indian households are below the poverty line!
Presence of a massive parallel economy in the form of black money stashed in overseas tax havens by the leaders is the main cause. The wealth of this nation is plundered by the rulers! The cries of the poor under pangs of hunger and pain go unnoticed. They are powerless; the only consolation is that their death is not that far. The contours of inequality survive with the fierceness of a dagger. There are 85 million (7%of the total population) tribals living in regions where (due to extreme poverty) the naxalite movement is becoming strong.
The middle class, watching the media controlled by the Congress, think that the country is going to be a super power. But in reality there is widespread and extreme poverty, illiteracy, backwardness of women, mal-nutrition, sickness of children, high birth rate, population explosion, wrong priorities in the allotment of central funds, subsidy culture and a huge budget deficit.
India buys more arms and ammunitions than any nation in the world ( the interest could be kickbacks from the multi- billion dollar purchases). And with such a huge defense budget, India is nowhere near China in defense preparedness and our arms and ammunitions are substandard (useless?). Half the Indian houses do not have a toilet and the rulers buy substandard things and send rockets to the moon to know if water exists there! The Billions when they sit in the open to defecate can hear the roar of the rockets and the boom of the atomic devices and sub standard guns.
The whole system has been made corrupt and the masses are made to be satisfied with political gimmicks, minority appeasement and solving religious and local issues during an election. They are made to believe (do they have an independent thinking?) that any leader including Anna Hazare(an anti-corruption crusader who owns only a bowl and sleeps on the floor) has to be like the ruling Congress leaders. This is horrendous and nobody can find hope in such a situation. The powerful ruling leaders and government employees will continue sucking the wealth of this nation and fool the people as long as the latter don’t become educated and develop an independent mind to assess what is going on.