” Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny; and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”-Prime Minister Jwaharlal Nehru
On 15th August 1947, when we stepped out from the old to the new & an age ended, the soul of our nation, long suppressed, found utterance. India i.e. Bharat was born. During the Indian freedom movement, our founding fathers dreamt of India that would be as glorious as its earlier name i.e. the Golden Bird, which did not let them sleep. They led the path & created the cornerstone of our nation- the Constitution. Through this, they fulfilled the dream of creating a sovereign, secular, socialist, democratic, republic nation.
Now the task at hand laid in revamping the economy for millions of citizens, which was in ruins due to the British Raj’s drain of wealth. The dream was to implement policies ,which through economic growth, attained self- reliance, social justice and alleviation of poverty. The idea was to go for industrialisation and also, transform the agriculture sector through land reforms & green revolution. Later, in 1991, the economy was privatised & opened to the world through the LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation & Globalisation) reforms.
After 72 years of independence, today the youth of our nation has dreams in their eyes, for a prosperous India. They can utilise these dreams & reap dividends for our country, for our states, for our communities & for each & every citizen. With the demographic sweet-spot i.e. 65% population below 35 years of age, we are sitting on a gold mine. With high energy & great potential, they are willing to convert the unfilled dreams into reality. Their dreams are in consonance with India’s.
We dream of a nation where agriculture is not solely about production and GDP numbers, but about the ‘ann- daata’ i.e. farmers. Policies are formulated keeping their interests at heart, hailing ‘Jai Kisan’. We dream of India to become the Golden Bird in a modern way. Which welcomes investors and MNCs as they will have multiplier effect on Indian economy. The labour laws are reformed to maintain a balance between being business- friendly & well- being of labour. We shall not sleep till we get to our $5 trillion economy dream.
We dream of a living standard which is modern in terms of infrastructure yet modified to suit our country’s population like in Japan. Where we have housing for all, roadways connectivity throughout the nation, highways with green cover etc. Aviation is affordable & accessible to all. Where tier-2 cities have sufficient resources to absorb the migration influx. Rural -urban continuum exists. Regional imbalances are minimum.
Our ancient scriptures have mentioned the central role of nature in our lives & we have for long lived peacefully with nature. Thus, we dream to continue living in a country where natural resources are not sold off for the interests of the capitalists & for our short-term consumerist tendencies. Where environmental protection is not projected as being anti- development, rather EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) of infrastructure is done for sustainable development. Where trees are sacred as always & we convey that to our children using the carbon- sink logic & rainfall- influencer reasoning. We dream of a nation where education teaches us to acknowledge climate change before its too late & take responsibility for our own materialistic habits.
We dream of India where political equality is meaningful as social & economic inequalities have vanished, making our democracy substantive. Where tolerance for difference in opinions, ruler accountability, respect for the rules, and a strong political engagement exists. Where education, health, police reforms etc become election issues. It is not about identity politics at whose hands our multicultural society is divided. Freebies are unheard of during elections or the billion rupee funding on campaign, rather about the development work done for the masses by the leaders. Where politics is de- criminalised.
We aspire of a nation where good governance is implemented to address development failures & democratic deficits. Policies are implemented keeping sustainability, long -term orientation & sound financial management in mind. Police forces are not politicised so that rule of law prevails over personal laws. Justice is served timely, re-enforcing trust in these institutions. Social accountability via citizen- engagement and technological innovations like Digital India & JAM (Jan Dhan accounts- Aadhar- Mobile) are the standard procedures to ensure ‘zero tolerance to corruption’.
We dream of a technologically advanced country which provides conducive ecosystem to innovators & incubators. Start-ups are promoted in all sectors & are well- financed. India dreams to be a land where becoming a scientist or tech- entrepreneur is a matter of pride and honour as at this juncture, to grow further, we need their contribution the most. Their innovation should reach the masses which needs them the most in an affordable manner. We see India as a global powerhouse in future.
India dreams of a peaceful & friendly South Asian region, where there is no hostility or trust-deficiency. Regular ministerial meetings & diplomatic exchanges at both bilateral & multilateral events is the norm. The land as well as coastal border is secure & people- to-people ties are strong to ensure seamless trade, making the region prosperous. There is no threat of cross- border terrorism or nuclear war. Our idea is to make our strategic location in Indian Ocean advantageous for every nation globally. We join hands in not just formulation of the Paris deal on climate change & SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), rather focus more on ground- level implementations & on making them people’s movement.
We dream of a nation where English is a language which unifies, not divides people into classes. Where people speak in their mother tongue without the fear of being judged as inferior. Our aspirations lie in ensuring that money does not obstruct opportunities for the less fortunate. We dream of India where we all are Indians first and then, Punjabi, Marathi etc. Where we keep our old traditions of ‘unity in diversity’ intact and thriving. So that the world ,viewing immigrants/refugees as a challenge, learns tolerance & acceptance from us for the larger cause of humanity.
India is aspired to be ‘Swacch’, not just of garbage & litter in public places. But also, in our minds just like Gandhiji said “cleanliness is Godliness”. Where women are treated with utmost respect. Where there is no customary hierarchy of caste system. Where children are safe outside as well as in their homes. We dream of a nation where we adapt the cultural model of conservation so that the tribes can live on their ancestral forest lands. LGBTQ community has the basic civil rights & is socially accepted.
We want to create a nation where children in rural areas do not have to walk miles to school to redeem their fundamental right under Article 21A. Where the so-called lower castes can access public places without fear under Article 15. Where basic healthcare is accessible & affordable for all. Roads with street lights are built. Where each household, despite being in difficult terrain, is electrified, has water pipeline for safe drinking water & sanitation; & has LPG for cooking. Good quality jobs are available for all.
Our dreams for our beautiful mother India & our fellow citizens are unending. These dreams do not let us sleep. The three organs of the government ie. the legislature, executive & judiciary should continue to lead the way towards our dream India. The democratic institutions like Election Commission of India, Central Information Commission, NITI Aayog etc must work with the government towards good governance to achieve our dreams. These must be supported by the civil society to help raise awareness among the masses for proper implementation of policies.
For the youth, the service of India means service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty, ignorance, disease & inequality of opportunity. Our dream is to wipe “every tear from every eye”. That maybe beyond us, but so long as there are tears & sufferings, our work will not be over. And thus, we have to labour & work hard to give reality to our dreams & believe with utmost conviction in ‘Sankalp se Siddhi’. These dreams are not just for India, but they are also for the world, for all nations & people. We make an appeal to join us with faith & confidence in this great adventure. We have to build the noble mansion of ‘New India’ where all her children may dwell with dignity.