The art of existence

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The rising tensions between India and Pakistan had made most of the citizens from either country an expert analyst of the happening. Every nook and corner there are discussions happening as to what steps these countries should take next? The social media is over flooding with the posts or various nature. In the nutshell, those who support for the war are termed as patriots and courageous and those who talk about peace or restraint are blatantly designated as cowards. When Mr. Modi was to speak in the BJP meet at Kozikode, there were great expectations that he may say something aggressive to Pakistan. War optimists thought he may order for the air strikes or ask forces to enter PoK. But refuting all these, Mr. Modi gave the speech which could readily qualify him for the Nobel peace prize. He said that we need to fight poverty, unemployment and other social evils to which we are a victim. Let us see who wins first?

The statements were made by a sensible and responsible PM and they had their own impact on the people of both the countries. Intellectuals were overwhelmed. But the political animals were not satisfied. And the debate continued. Many started questioning and deflating his 56’ chest. And then, the surgical strikes happened (still being questioned by many, if they happened or not?). People started celebrating (the death). After all it was more than two eyes for an eye. Again, people started inflating the chest even without PM being aware of it. Next, it was Pakistan’s turn. Then it will be India’s turn and the killings will go on. It may not be a declared war from either side but the killing of soldiers will happen. Somebody’s relatives have to cry. Otherwise the people will question, the media will question. Better, let the killings continue. They have chosen to be in armed forces, they are soldiers, they have to die. Isn’t it? And, if a war broke, again it will be mainly the soldiers. Neither of the countries will send doctors, engineers, politicians, IAS officers, babus or businessmen to the borders. If at all they designate one –one day for each class to participate along with the soldiers, the euphoria of war will immediately die down.

It is true that the world today has become more sensitive. This may be more because of the live feeds we keep getting from one media or other. We quickly make our opinion even without checking the authenticity of it. The photos and videos get morphed to bias the public to believe something. Most of the times these tricks work and we see the backlash for it. The technology had made us too much dependent on the sources and the means. However, it is good only for people who know it and can handle it, but it is not so good for people who do not understand it.

The idea of fighting against poverty, unemployment, hunger etc. had gone well with the peace loving people of both the countries and other sensible intellectuals across the globe. But the irony is that neither the people in power nor the opposition will allow either of the country to think and work in this direction. When PM Modi initiated the ‘Swachch Bharat Abhiyan’, people considering themselves ‘swachch’ saw it as something dirty. How can a PM talk about dirt, toilets and other related words, that too from the glorious Red Fort? The pre-conceived notion is that a PM should always speak something a common man do not understand, or something which is not related to a common man. Hence many of the ‘White collared’ people even made a mockery of it. But, the mission continued. And at least this has made a change. The mentality of people is changing, though in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the progress will be sluggish as we believe in keeping our houses clean and the surroundings dirty.

India and Pakistan got the independence together but despite keeping almost all the rules, laws and process of the British times, both the countries have not progressed as expected. Surprisingly, both these countries had exploited to maximum extent, the infrastructure made available by the British. Post independence these countries can hardly quote anything they have done for the betterment and benefit of their citizens. Our railways, exists and runs because of the British. We have just added a delta on it. Our roads are horribly poor and we have not done much to enhance the connectivity. We don’t have proper planning on urban development. We still become victim of drought and floods in every calendar year. We have not built proper canals. Our airports are very less and ill equipped. We don’t have any modern wonders of the world like Channel tunnel, Golden Gate bridge, Itaipu dam, Burj Khalifa, Palm Islands, Beijing airport, kingdom tower, Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai bridge, Crossrail or something similar. So, what were we doing? Shame on the governments who have ruled us, till date! The start was bit nice because of the enthusiasm of being free, but it could never catch up the pace. May be, because we started fighting for extra land as if the existing was not enough or because our rulers were not so foresighted. Though there were instances when the rulers had shown some positivity and we got some good results too. But seeing the resources and capabilities of the two nations, the outcome can be considered minuscule! India has a better report card as compared to her other close neighbours.

However, if we compare ourselves with China, we are nowhere near. The current mantra for China is the development of infrastructure. Their silk route, aerial route, waterways and so on to connect to other countries and internal highways, ropeways, railways for connectivity inside the country. Even the Chinese borders are easily accessible. India struggle to maintain its position in Siachin. The conditions are extreme. Yes, they are! But what we have done to counter it. We send the expedition to Antarctica or to the moon. Are the conditions favourable there? And, why are we deploying our men in the no-man’s land? What is the rationale behind sending and deploying the troops to places where even the birds dare to dwell? The answer is that we are scared that our neighbours may occupy our land. Our neighbours may trespass the borders, our neighbours may set up their camps. What type of neighbours we are? We do not have any mutual trust and our soldiers are made subject of our policies. OK. If have that sort of mistrust, why can’t we put on our efforts to make the life of soldiers those are posted to such extreme conditions bit simpler? If the soldiers are forced to discharge their duties in such extreme conditions, it is a grave injustice to those people. Our technocrats are fully responsible for this. It is true that these soldiers should get such experience but that should be at the will and wish of the army management.

Let there be a master plan for this. The borders should be completely sealed, be it with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bangladesh or any other neighbouring countries. There should be legal route to enter the country with proper procedures as laid down. Investments should be made to achieve zero permeability. If, Great Wall of India is required, build it. If thousands of cameras required, install them, if laser fencing is required, do it! If roads are required, railways required, ropeways required, airstrips required, make them. It is our land, after all? Let the border of India become the eighth modern wonder of the world! Why are we living in a state of helplessness? Even for the rivers, proper dams should be provisioned at the bordering areas so that in case of any excess or shortage of water, the same can be moderated.

It is true that India is a country with basic problems like poverty, unemployment etc. but the same country produces top CEOs, Billionaires, technocrats etc. If there are forty- fifty people living in one house, there are people who live in houses having forty-fifty rooms. The country has immense resources and money. If the government makes its intentions clear and float the projects in public domain, there will be a queue of people who will opt for working or funding those projects. Golden quadrilateral, metro trains etc. are the initiatives that make citizens happy and thankful. There is lot more such investment and planning to take up. No city can afford and accept traffic jams as regular events. Make flyovers and good roads. Let us secure our borders, create jobs, ensure transparency, things will all fall in line. No one should be allowed to come in the way of infrastructure development and other priorities. There will be people transplanted from other countries, opposing this. But we need to be firm. Let us make our country and the neighbourhood a utopia to live in.

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