|Here I am. This is Me.|
Early Hours in Indian's Silicon Valley
"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity."
For the complete speech click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryst_with_destiny
The above speech was made by Pt Nehru 66 years ago when the power transferred from the British to India's very own hands, after a prolonged freedom struggle by many, including Gandhiji and Bose. India is still struggling in many aspects but doing well on several. Those in power say that crib not that we haven't progressed enough, but understand the depth of crisis that we started with, to understand how far we have progressed.
What I say is not look at where we started but where we are, and where we could have been if not for the rampant corruption in every part of the country, which has definitely increased and grown many fold since independence. That which has impeded India's prosperity. The immeasurable amount of money that lies in Swiss Bank and a lot of money which dies with the corrupt individual, whether politician, bureaucrat or an influential industrialist. Inflation continues to rise and so do the number of vehicles without any signs of slowing down. To add to the woes India turns out to be the country with the largest number of road accidents in the world, which is self-explanatory considering the fact that an education loan invites 12.5% interest while a car loan is 0-5% interest.
Gandhiji once said that the earth has enough for man's need, but not enough for man's greed. It holds so true in our case. Growth and progress for a typical Indian family is more cars, bigger house and a bigger belly. They say that bigger belly is necessary to prove that we are from a prosperous family. Health is something that has never been a priority. Little wonder that the life expectancy of an average Indian is 66 years and India accounts for 60% of the cardiac patients in the world.
I'm not blaming all that has been accomplished, but highlighting some of the biggest issues we face. They say the first step to solving a problem is accepting there is one. May be I'm running away from the existing problem for a little while. Where I know a common man remains a common man, and to make a bigger difference you have to get to another level where you have power or money or a revolutionary idea - or all 3 together. And that is what I'm aiming to do at the moment. Accumulating some success cases. For better health, for cleaner air, for safer drinking water and for efficient use of resources. For better education, for better attitude and for a better definition of progress (not just GDP).
Till then I say, "If you really want to make a difference then just begin. It doesn't really matter where you are!" China or India or elsewhere, "Cos we all live under the same sun, sleep under the same moon..."