There is one thing in common among young hostel boarders and particularly those from engineering colleges. All have spent hours debating, arguing and fighting on topics ranging from anything to everything on their tryst to establish a point or two. Walls of our hostel rooms have been exposed to countless ideas, arguments and logical interpretations fueled by gallons of coloured liquids be it tea, coffee or any other fermented variety. There were some who built their arguments on a solid foundation of references and statistics while others relied on the strength of their vocal cords.
One live issue had been India’s post independence growth and development alibi our successive government’s inability to alleviate the conditions of the poor. My point of view has always been that it is not so much the politicians who failed us as much our bureaucrats and technocrats did.
Country’s fascination with engineering or medical professionals has deprived us of the much needed social thinkers and planners. This resulted in partial if not complete failure in achieving what we ought to have achieved through our five year plans. I acknowledge that we needed to achieve a lot and had to reach out to all corners of this vast country. Retrospectively we ought to have asked ourselves “how do you eat an elephant?” No offence meant to the elephant and planned accordingly.
We have miserably failed to connect our villages to the cities, creating opportunities for those middlemen who take advantage of the producers. When we build highways, we let our government run public works departments to design, build and maintain them, leading to another round of corruption for lack of appropriate checks and balances. A prudent way could have been to let the private entities build and maintain our highways while PWD monitors those, thus having two parties accountable for this rather than none.
Unfortunately 77 years down the road, we still struggle to connect our people and bypass the unscrupulous brokers.
It’s not all that will agree with my opinion, they never did and some might ask me to shut up but I will end this by reminding what a young girl had once said. “People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn't stop you from having your own opinion.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl