Our Glorious Achievements and Crying Failures

Our Glorious Achievements and Crying Failures
Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ
Most newspapers throughout India carried certai
n news items during the period of January-April
2006. The Ahmedabad edition of a popular Guja
rati daily ‘Sandesh’ dated April 6, 2006
published a story that 32 Indian
companies have entered the bill
ion dollar club a
nd listed the 32
companies on the front page.
This year 10 rich Indian citizens entered the bi
llion dollar club according to The Times of India
dated March 11. Among the 40 richest
Indians there are 27 billionnaries!
Quoting Forbes magazine ‘Sandesh’ and other ne
wspapers have reported that India-born steal
king, Mr. Lakshmi Mittal is the richest man not
only in India but in the whole of Asian
continent!
Every Indian can take pride in these achievement
s of Indian companies and citizens. These great
Indians with business acumen and hard work plac
e India in the company of developed nations.
The IIMs, IITs and other well-know
n institutions of management
, engineering and information
technology are also in the forefr
ont in taking India among the de
veloped nations. The managers,
engineers and technocrats coming out of these in
stitutions earn lakhs and crores of rupees as
salaries in India and abroad!
This year a student, who passed from IIM, Ahme
dabad got a job in an Indian company for a
salary of Rs.30 lakhs according to The Times of
India dated March 11. The same news report has
mentioned three postgraduate students of IIM-A w
ho secured jobs in Barclays Company of U.K.
for the salary of $ 185,000; that is, about Rs.83,25,000/=.
On the economic front India has progressed ahead
of Japan to become the third largest economic
in the world after USA and China according
to The Times of India report of January 26.
India has also created world re
cord in giving 20,00,000 mobile connections in one month! These
kinds of development and progress of India make us happy and proud.
But is this the true and real
progress and development of India?
Along with above news of development and progre
ss there are also three
other types of news
reports which stare on our faces!
The Times of India has published
a report with a photo of 7 year
old girl Ranjo with a cardboard
hanging on her neck, which says, “Sir buy me,
pay Rs.2,000/-.” In the report dated March 31,
Ranjo says, “My two sisters have
already been sold to people outside Jammu & Kashmir. But I
am working in Talwara itself fo
r studies. There is no shame if I
get Rs.2,000/- but am allowed to
study by whosoever buys me.”
Another type of news item speaks about d
eath of children on account of poverty and
malnourishment in the states like
Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Orissa!
A third type of news item speaks about the deat
h of farmers under the crushing weight of debt
and harassment of money-lenders!
There is nothing much to take glory or to cele
brate about the progress an
d development even if
India is considered among the top most economic
powers. For, a vast number of her citizens
endure hunger and go to sleep with empty stomach!
A vast number of women and children suffer
from malnourishment and die! A considerable number of farmers are forced to commit suicide
on account of failed crops and debt! The progress
is empty, which ignores the last man on the
street. Such progress and devel
opment are unjust and immoral!
According the annual reports of UNICEF India is
the home of one/third ma
lnourished children of
the whole world! In comparison India is more back
ward than the sub-Saharan countries of Africa
which have only one/forth undernourished
children! The children who survive the
malnourishment grow with retarded brai
n development and poor physical growth.
In India each district has a Chief Executive O
fficer called Collector, a Development Officer,
Medical Officer, etc. Then
there are government employees at Ta
luka and village levels. Still, if
people are suffering from inequitable distribution
of food, poor or no access of health services,
poor sanitation and inadequate immunization, then
the concerned civil servants and officers
should be called to account.
The officers and civil servants, under whose juri
sdiction malnourishment and death of children
occur, should be gathered together and kept
without food for three days to give them an
experience of the pangs of hunger which in the
long run cause malnourishment and death. This
way they will become aware that due to their
negligences and irresponsibility the poor people
have to suffer a lot.
Everybody knows that many of those rich and middle
class people, who draw fat salary from the
government treasury, hardly cares for the poor and the Dalit people. So if the symbolic
punishment of forced fasting of three days does
not yield the desired re
sult, then such civil
servants and officers should be dismissed. Qualif
ied people from the reserved category who care
for the poor and dalits should be appointed in their places.
In most places children suffered malnourishmen
t and death due to hunger under the officials of
merit category! In all such places and posts
meritorious candidates from reserved category
should be appointed to care for the poor and
the Dalit. They will vibr
ate with their suffering
brothers and sisters a
nd remedy the situation.
The so called upper castes and the
advocates of meritocracy have
not been able to abolish the
malnourishment, death due to hunger and poverty in
India! Now they should make room for the
reserved category of the people w
hom they have kept at arms le
ngth so long. In spite of India’s
constitutional support and the pr
ovisions of 22.5 percent reservat
ion the people of the reserved
category were not given level playing
field under one pret
ext or other!