Location: A busy traffic light, somewhere in the teeming metropolis of Delhi.It was the beginnings of winter and the cold was spreading its tentacles slowly over the city. Our car rolled to a stop as the light changed to red. As if on cue, a gaggle of children swept in from the streetsides and started taping on the windshields of cars. A small child, not more than 6-7 years old, came up to our car carrying a baby. Both of them looked as if they hadnt been fed for days. I dug in my pockets for change and as I pressed a coin into the childs hand, I felt strangely powerless. I forced myslef to turn away and yet I couldnt keep the image out of my mind for the rest of that day.
Beneath the raucous of “India shining” and facts and figures exalting GDP growth and the exploding number of dollar billionaires, lies the face of the real India. Blinded by the glamour of the newly rich and foreign investment, the country is fast losing sight of its twin goals of social justice and economic develoment. For every millionaire in India, there are a million people who can not afford two square meals a day. Social evils that will be considered barbaric anywhere in the world are the norm in some parts of the country. The tenets of “roti, kapda aur makan” are utopian dreams in the rural heartland of our country. Ambitious development projects fall flat on their faces, hampered by corruption every step of the way. Political parties look at narrow regional interests, and politicians fill up their own pockets rather than the stomachs of the needy.
If this is the India that we aim to put on the map as a world power, then I would rather not be a part of it.