As kids, we’ve all written essays on the aforementioned topic in our school exams. I was no exception.
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It’s been a decade and a half since I finished my secondary grade studies, and as I pore back into time, I can remember the lofty ideals, the fantastical hopes I had for my country. That fantasy is long gone, replaced instead by the crude jolt of reality. But do we ever stop dreaming? I believe not. This, then, is what I think the India of my dreams looks like. Join in.
The India of my dreams has air that we can breathe, without worrying about PM2.5 or PM10. It has piped potable water for all, from the software developer living in Gurugram to the daily wage worker living in the Rann of Kutch. Its citizens understand the importance of throwing their garbage in bins, and not on the roadside. They also understand that a cloth bag for shopping purposes isn’t as hard as it seems, and helps us fight the plastic scourge.
The India of my dreams has miniscule dropout ratios. It ensures that all its kids get the benefits of quality education.
The India of my dreams has jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for everyone. People don’t have to look around for work years after finishing their studies. It understands the need to make the demographic dividend count so that that doesn’t turn into a demographic disaster.
The India of my dreams has space for everyone. It is a place where people aren’t bullied into silence or killed just for having a different set of views or food habits or sexuality. It is a democracy, not a mobocracy. It is not a place where people are swayed by katzenjammer, jingoistic propaganda, and late-19th Century European ideas of what a nation should be. It keeps the flame and faith of pluralism, rationalism and libertarianism alive, showing the world that it isn’t always doom and gloom when people who subscribe to varied worldviews, faiths and sexuality live together in a potpourri.
The India of my dreams doesn’t blame its women for the crimes committed against them. It doesn’t force them to stay inside the four walls of the household, crushing their dreams and abilities. It teaches its sons what is right and what is wrong, rather than saying “boys will be boys.” It doesn’t force a woman to live in perpetual fear of being molested and attacked and abused. It is long past the medieval mentality of treating its women as commodities, as the bearers of the family honour, as being fit only to be second-best to men. It knows that true growth, and true independence, will only be achieved when the fairer sex walks toe-to-toe with the other sex.
The India of my dreams doesn’t have regionalistic discrimination. A woman from either Arunachal Pradesh or Kerala, working in Delhi, doesn’t have to hear racist taunts. A guy from UP studying in Maharashtra isn’t forced to confront taunts of “go back to your state” and “what rate is panipuri?”
The India of my dreams has mastered the science of innovation itself, churning out patents and inventions.
The India of my dreams is where the India of the cities coexists happily and gladly with the Bharat of the villages. People still migrate to the cities, but only when they want to, not forced to. The villages and smaller towns around them have infrastructures that facilitate farmers earning the true price for their produce, without middlemen sucking them dry. This India also has development and people’s welfare coexisting, where tribals aren’t forcefully evicted from their lands for multinationals, and Naxalism isn’t a reality anymore.
The India of my dreams doesn’t have rampant, unplanned construction activities all around that encroach on public spaces and heritage sites. It is mindful of the need to let the natural streams of drainage be as they are, and letting the aquifers get recharged in the monsoon, to avert any water crisis. In the same vein, its farmers are aware and capable of using irrigation technologies that don’t waste precious water, because plentiful water today doesn’t mean we jeopardise the fate of our future generations.
The India of my dreams doesn’t just make cheaper versions of things invented in other countries. It has mastered the science of innovation itself, churning out patents and inventions that are making the world a better place, at a fraction of the cost that others promised.
The India of my dreams is not a utopia, not at all. It knows that utopias are pipe dreams that are better not chased. It is mindful of the need to keep ensuring quality and low-cost healthcare to the millions who didn’t have enough doctors earlier. It knows that its judiciary and police, like all public services, who were overburdened to breaking point, need to be kept well-staffed and well-trained to ensure antisocial and criminal elements are kept in check.
The India of today might be very different from the India of my dreams, but I’m sure that together we can, one day, make sure it becomes that. And till then, we’re all allowed to dream, aren’t we?
We walk together, we move together, we think together, we resolve together, and together we take this country forward.
– Narendra Modi
Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.
Happy Independence Day. 🇮🇳
P.S.- Shoutout to Writenlive whose text, in a chat, was the inspiration for this post. Do jump over to her marvellous blog.
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This is for my dream. What does yours say? Do tell me in the comments section.
Thanks for reading.