As the sun struggled to bring warmth into the cold winter morning, my mind raced to contemplate the thought on India of my dreams.
A vision it has always been the dream of every citizen of an economically backward and poor country, to see that the country developed with no negative systems or ideas or beliefs. It is my dream also to see India as one of the most developed nations. While a declining rupee rate might quite clearly bring the divide between being an Indian, living in India and not living in India, India as a whole faces the effect it has on our economy. As I was born here, I wonder about the magnitude of promise that India holds to be the next superpower of the world. But somehow or the other, this tag always eludes India. “So near, yet so far” would be the best way to describe it. Seeing so many multinationals flocking to our shores, like bees to honey, over the past decade or so and with an economy worth more than $5.00 trillion, in terms of gross domestic product, India is not far behind the United States and China. With a projected economic growth of 6-7% in the current fiscal, India seems on track, but the huge population burden of more than 1.2 billion, combined with the ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor, surely suppresses all the growth.
I sincerely wish the poverty to be banished. Everyone must get three square meals a day. No one would cry out for food. Beggars would be hard to meet anywhere. Everyone would have a proper house to live in, streets would be well-maintained and well-lighted, and care would be taken to keep a high standard of hygiene and sanitation. There would be free and compulsory primary education for all. All men, women and children would be educated and no one would remain illiterate and where there is no distinction on the basis of genre, religion or caste, where justice to a common man is neither denied nor deleted, where corruption in public life does not exist, where criminals cannot occupy and ministerial berths nor enter legislative assemblies, where merit counts in every sphere of life, where jobs cannot be purchased, where rapists have to spend the rest of their lives behind the bars and a classes and casteless India, a country which all Indians can be truly proud of.
The persons who have made it big in their life had dreams of a free nation, of an affluent country, of a truly democratic society, where all were equal. They were dreamers par excellence who put their thoughts and dreamed to deed. Positively, other side I asked my associates to share their vision of India, to tell, where they would want their country to go and what its core values should be and what they dream and think India as a whole. It was heartening to receive their positive response envision for their country.
“After growing up what do I hope for India? I hope India adopts its identity and stays true to it rather than aspiring to become a pseudo superpower by 2020. I hope for an India that is tolerant, an India that is honest, and an India that remembers its rich history and evolve embracing the goodness of it.”
(Indian fellow from my batch who is placed in Guwahati)
Siliguri, West Bengal
“I want change on hastily basis, and I am proud of myself to be a part this organization that works for social welfare and India of my dream is where; I desire that there would be no uneducated person in India wish that India should introduce such system of education as should enable every citizen to earn his or her living. I wish that my government should educate each citizen and I wish that India should become a highly industrialized nation.”
(Works with my organization as an Office Boy)
“I dream of India as a nation that values the dignity of women; girl children and the marginalized by the fostering of freedoms of equality, safety, development and embracing of the values of common good. I dream of a nation that is united and secular in spirit; led by leaders and organizations that have a vision and a commitment that fosters the best of education, human resource and technology towards India’s transformation. That we embrace our identities as individuals and citizens where all people are equal and free from the shackles of caste, creed, religion and gender. And that we are known worldwide as a progressive nation committed to Peace, development and environment protection.”
(Works with my Organization as an M&E General Manager and my Mentor)
Every individual dreams is differ from one another, so I taught what is the American populace dream for their country and for the world? So, I asked few of my US associates what’s their take on their country?
“In the America of my dreams, I see a prosperous, liberal-inclined and innovation-driven country where ethical, sustainable, and environmentally-driven businesses are valued. I see a diverse group of educated and worldly citizens who never judge someone based on the color of their skin, ethnicity, choice of partner, or religious background. I see principles such as the importance of volunteerism, cultural exchange, community service, and neighborly love as some of the highest national ideals, and with that social benefits and welfare programs greatly increased to support the lower class. I see a government with multiple parties that don’t bicker endlessly, and major corporations or institutions blocked from lobbying against bills that don’t serve their interests. I see the United States taking a much more humble stance on foreign policy and taking a hard look at their current immigration laws. And most importantly, I dream that the United States opens up more to the world and works together with other countries to promote world peace.”
(US Fellow from my batch who is placed in Delhi)
Madison, New Jersey
“America was the world’s “land of dreams”, but in the last several decades the dream has dimmed. I want to see America live up to its promise of greatness again for all its citizens and the world’s dreamers who come here. I want to see a land where healthcare is universal; the right to marry is based on love, and not gender; where education is truly affordable and available to everyone who wants it; and where we care as much about each other’s wellness as we do our own. I want to live in the America of community, not the America of division which I see on the rise. And I want America to do its utmost to be peaceful, even in the face of aggression. America can still be the land of dreams…if we each do our part.”
“The experiment that is the United States of America has fueled a civic debate since its inception. How does one justify the extermination of people in the name of individual freedom? The massacre of our indigenous peoples will always remain our darkest moment – darker than the enslavement of our African ancestors. Yet we continue to shine the light of democracy at home and abroad. We are an experiment – we are bound by no ancient history, and therefore, can be re-engineered at any given moment, our brightest moment.”
(A good friend of mine from US)
“The World of my Dreams: In the world of my dreams, race would exist, gender would exist, religion would exist, but there would be synergy between all. Success would not be measured by your rank in your company or the brand of your car, but rather by good intent and actions. War and military would be unheard of, as would the term “NGO,” “poverty,” “global warming,” “Development” and “Developing Country.” Men and women would not crave power because there would be a deeper understanding about the importance of community and of others outside of ourselves. And you would be able to eat a hot brownie topped with ice cream without gaining a single pound. As my life goes on, I become more and more skeptical if any of these ideals are tangible, or if they will forever stay ideals. But I think I will continue to eat brownies and see how life goes.”
(US Fellow from my batch who is placed in Bhavnagar)
Life is not an ‘empty dream’ and dreaming without trying to achieve in deeds, is a total waste and the work of incompetents and dullards. Empty dreams do not make the world move and empty dreamers become social outcastes. The world respects a man of deeds and also respects the dreamers who had the ability to pen their thoughts for posterity, I cannot better describe the India of my dreams than by quoting the famous poem of Rabindranath Tagore (He was also a dreamer who dreamt of an India).
“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever – widening thought and action.
Into that haven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”
At last, I understand that every citizen feels the same as I do and they want to see India as a peaceful, progressive, literate country free from the pangs of poverty, where every citizen feels safe and secure, where health facilities are provided and where the women of the country are treated with utmost dignity and respect.
The strength of the dreams and the benefits of dreaming dawned on me when some of the dreams turned into reality for me. I hope that my dream of a superpower India will definitely come true in the near future. With a young and dynamic brigade of politicians all lined up and raring to go and social activists like Anna Hazare trying to project a new image of modern India, the destination seems even closer. I can see and I can smell the freshness in its air. I know it will be a reality, for my dreams have never let me down and I deem India of my dreams is such a place where each Indian truly believes that, “Saare Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Humara.”
*Special thanks to Christine Taylor, Balkrishna Shibe, Sean Sokhi and all the AIF Fellows for sharing their vision.
*Thanks to my brother Zahied Chouhan who suggested me to quote this above famous poem.
* Rabindranath Tagore poem – Songs of Kabir- by Evelyn Underhill; New York; The Macmillan Company.
“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”- Albert Einstein