Is India the ultimte under achiever ?

With the newspapers full of people celebrating or mourning the election results in Maharashtra, and ridiculous pictures of politicians wives dancing and senior politicians lighting fire crackers, have we forgotten that after the terrorist attacks the people of Mumbai came out to condemn the politics and politicians of the nation ? Have forgotten that there is a huge upheaval in India where the farmers are unable to even provide one square meal to their families after 6 decades of independence ? And they have a choice between suicide and joining the Naxal movement ? And that India is heading towards an ecological disaster ?
Have we become such slaves to the concept of Power, even if it is the most corruptible and self centered form of democracy we know, that we are willing to revel in highs and lows of election results ? We are like people who’s house is on fire, and are sitting at home indulging in the politics of the Fire Brigade.
It would not be so frustrating i the people of India did not have potential. When I travel through India, when I meet the youth of India, when I look at their aspirations, their potential talent, their sheer ability to work hard and commit themselves, when I look at what faith people have, And finally their sheer resilience and fortitude, I am left completely breathless and angry at the same time. For it is this resilience and fortitude that our politicians are getting fat on.
What Potential !! What people !! What capacity !! But for the sheer crass selfishness of the politics of India. Sometimes I wish there was a different system. Sometimes I wish that all this could be overthrown in favor of a better system of governance. Sometimes I feel such sympathy for a revolution in India !

28 Responses to “Is India the ultimte under achiever ?”

  1. ms says:

    mr kapur, our government is of the people by the people and for the people. so our politicians are “one of us”. the ineptitude that ails our system is due to the very people who are “victimised” by those in power. we can’t put chillies and salt in our melting pot and expect “kheer” as a final dish! the hardworking, resilient, full of potential types that you meet on your travels are the ones on the way up. once they reach that goal, they are a completely different kettle of fish! remember, all the crassly selfish politicians were once humble-full-of-promises-and-potential hopefuls.

  2. brahmastra says:

    To indulge in some idealism..
    The caste system has to be re-invented. Spirituality has to be made an integral part of all branches of society. A spiritual strata consisting of illumined yogis and sages needs to take charge of the country. The rulers have to be subservient to the spiritual strata. Vegetarian diet needs to be promoted (this is probably the most significant point for this controls the mind’s sattva tendencies). The media needs to be heavily regulated by the spiritual strata and all for-profit news channels need to be shut down. Esoteric hinduism and yogic lifestyles need to dominate the society, and a framework has to be established which automatically puts wise and evolved humans in positions of influence across all domains of society. The virus of divisive religions needs to be extinguished. If these core aspects are implemented, the rest will follow.
    Will such a revolution, the likes of which the world has never seen before, happen? Even then, to reverse the environmental degeneration may not be possible.

  3. Guru says:

    Mr.Kapoor,
    I dont want to do introspection on my idea of politics or country’s development with one doubt in my mind.The doubt is as we are growing in terms of technology and economy,will we be in need of these politicians evenafter we become a grown/developed ? or do the developed countries’ citizens are in dependence upon polititions’ sensibility as much as we.YES,I AGREE, we dont have even roadmap to eradicated poverty to become developed nation.
    Its not at all possible to have politicians changed in our country, we people should change our beliefs in choosing politicians immediately.
    The film industry has lots of power to bring one common idea among whole india. (a suggesstion)Directors’ association should form its own scutinity or censor wing to improve its own standards.Bad movies are big polluters in India.For Indians, by tolerating movies of third rated ideas easily attain the mind to tolerate nuisances and insensibility of polotitions also.

  4. Guru says:

    what’s most paining among these politicians attitude is that ‘how come they are so recklessly delaying in enforcing a law to protect our rivers from contamination through clebration wastes; from masses who adopt modern ways of celebrating religious functions with plastic and chemical coloured statues, and are keeping up the conventional method of disolving them in rivers’?.

  5. Abhideep says:

    Shekhar,
    I think, this is a frustration and a sentiment that a lot of us share. The system is simple not working. Let’s change it.
    I have often heard people say “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.” It is an easy way to put the blame on democracy, the system and the politicians. I think, in any system, the people get the government they deserve. The problem is not the system, it is the people.
    The problem with India as a people is that we are content lot. For centuries it has been driven into us that the world is not fair, work hard, do your karma and celebrate the small things in life. That is how we rationalize our sorry existence. We as a people have been taught to wallow in the glory of a made-uppast. Taught to celebrate non-achievements by shouting “Jai Ho” and “India Shining”. We find ways to feel good about ourselves.
    Potential we might have, but we also have this fatal flaw. We are content.
    What we need is that people shed their sense of contentment. Change will come only when people ask, why is it that life is not fair. Why is *this* my lot in life. What India needs is not a new system, it needs an attitude adjustment. The system will follow.

  6. Abhi says:

    I think, this is a frustration and a sentiment that a lot of us share. The system is simple not working. Let’s change it.
    I have often heard people say “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.” It is an easy way to put the blame on democracy, the system and the politicians. I think, in any system, the people get the government they deserve. The problem is not the system, it is the people.
    The problem with India as a people is that we are content lot. For centuries it has been driven into us that the world is not fair, work hard, do your karma and celebrate the small things in life. That is how we rationalize our sorry existence. We as a people have been taught to wallow in the glory of a made-uppast. Taught to celebrate non-achievements by shouting “Jai Ho” and “India Shining”. We find ways to feel good about ourselves.
    Potential we might have, but we also have this fatal flaw. We are content.
    What we need is that people shed their sense of contentment. Change will come only when people ask, why is it that life is not fair. Why is *this* my lot in life. What India needs is not a new system, it needs an attitude adjustment. The system will follow.

  7. Bhanu says:

    Did you ever raised a voice on the comments made by Arundhati Roy on you making of Bandit Queen?

  8. doremi says:

    did you vote shekhar?

  9. takahachi says:

    Shekhar
    in regards to your post I’d like to share an article from P Sainath
    called ” a candle in the wind” published in the Hindu
    here is the link:
    http://beta.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article33086.ece

  10. Divya says:

    In my opinion, you are confusing multiple issues here. As I see it,
    (1) Media coverage of politicians, their families and antics does not imply that the worship of power – at least not from the common man.
    (2) Winning an election is an achievement for the person who contested it. There is nothing wrong in their being happy about this achievement and celebrating it.
    (3) The politicians are not the only people with the power to change things in India, nor are they the only ones with the responsibility to bring about a social revolution.
    We have enough instances of the so-called common man having a big influence on his surroundings by dint of the effort he put in. Please check out these two inspiring stories – http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=VE9JQkcvMjAwOS8xMC8yMiNBcjAxMTAw and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8299780.stm
    These are people trying to make a difference. Given the position you are in, the reach you have, the influence you have, it would be more productive if you took inspiration from people like these and tried to change things instead of blogging about how we are not achieving anything.

  11. ruchi says:

    I resisted commenting on this blog, i just want to ask are we that bad??? Are we all that Shekhar discribed in his blog. whats good in us , what are we doing right ? there must be something lets look for it and try to duplicate that, and spread it around:)

  12. chakra says:

    This is the culture of the congress, it all starts from nehru; on one side he was partying with mountbatten and on the other side used to wear gandhi topi and take part in freedom struggle; and when time came he pounced upon power n taught the same to indira priyadarshini; she took it to the next level by marrying a muslim and his son to the next level by marrying a catholic and now they call themselves the only true identity of a secular party and this is the curse xactly rahul gandhi has to fight his entire life.

  13. chakra says:

    I think the system brahmastra is referring to is the senate system that used to control “everything” in roman and greek empires. Bharat’s mahajanapadas used to have ministers who typically went to the same gurukul as the kings or their heirs.
    I totally submit to his vision of Utkarsh Bharat:)

  14. AJ says:

    Slave and Chamchagiri (Sorry, no good english word) has to go …
    Even in US
    Country for Free
    Freedom to speech
    Everyday, it suprises, amazes that people who have been here for even more than 20 years or 2 hours have above !!!
    Be more a Humane
    Humane has no fear
    and can’t do anything wrong or harm …
    For India, Indian’ to prosperous
    Wake Up call is needed
    Future is Golden
    Can we all do it ?

  15. AJ says:

    I heard
    Ramdevji,
    “I could have settled in Himalaya and not worry about the world.”
    Vowwwwwwwww
    Compassion and Concern for the humanity
    You touched hearts, beings of zillions ….

  16. Sidhusaaheb says:

    People seem to have voted for the lesser evil.

  17. vitamine c  says:

    Hello
    You are right that people of India have so much potential talent and ability to work hard.I think people are real archiver.Thank you very much for sharing this with us.
    .

  18. DQ says:

    ShekhaRrrrr
    Dekho kya layi…..
    .
    Very interesting
    piece written by Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyer (Veteran
    Journalist) about himself. Published
    in The Times of India. Read
    on…
    > In 1992, I wrote a book
    > titled Towards Globalisation. I did not
    > realize at the time that this
    > was going to be the history of my
    > family.
    >
    > Last week, we celebrated the
    > wedding of my daughter, Pallavi. A
    > brilliant student, she had won
    > scholarships to Oxford
    > University and
    > the London
    > School of Economics.
    > In London, she met Julio, a
    > young man
    > from Spain.
    > The two decided to take up jobs
    > in Beijing, China. Last
    > week, they came over
    > from Beijing to Delhi to
    > get married. The wedding
    > guests included 70 friends from
    > North America, Europe
    > and China.
    >
    > That may sound totally global,
    > but arguably my elder son Shekhar has
    > gone further. He too won a
    > scholarship to Oxford University, and then
    > taught for a year at a school
    > in Colombo. Next he went to
    > Toronto,
    > Canada,
    > for higher studies. There he
    > met a German girl, Franziska.
    >
    > They both got jobs with the
    > International Monetary Fund
    > in Washington
    > DC, USA. This meant that
    > they constantly travelled on IMF business to
    > disparate countries. Shekhar
    > advised and went on missions
    > to Sierra
    > Leone, Seychelles, Kyrgyzstan and
    > Laos. Franziska went
    > to Rwanda,
    > Tajikistan,
    > and Russia. They interrupted
    > these perambulations to get
    > married in late 2003.
    >
    > My younger son, Rustam, is only
    > 15. Presumably he will study in
    > Australia, marry a
    > Nigerian girl, and settle
    > in Peru.
    >
    > Readers might think that my
    > family was born and bred in a jet plane.
    > The truth is more prosaic.
    > Our ancestral
    > home is Kargudi, a humble,
    > obscure village
    > in Tanjore district, Tamil
    > Nadu. My earliest memories
    > of it are as a house with no
    > toilets, running water, or pukka road.
    >
    > When we visited, we disembarked
    > from the train at Tanjore, and then
    > travelled 45 minutes by bullock
    > cart to reach the ancestral home. My
    > father was one of six children,
    > all of whom produced many children (I
    > myself had three siblings). So,
    > two generations later, the size of the
    > Kargudi extended family
    > (including spouses) is over 200. Of these,
    > only three still live in the
    > village. The rest have moved
    > across India
    > and across the whole world, from
    > China to Arabia toEurope to America.
    >
    > This one Kargudi house has
    > already produced 50 American citizens. So,
    > dismiss the mutterings of those
    > who claim that globalisation means
    > westernisation. It looks more
    > like Aiyarisation, viewed from Kargudi.
    >
    > What does this imply for our
    > sense of identity? I cannot speak for the
    > whole Kargudi clan, which ranges
    > from rigid Tamil Brahmins to
    > beef-eating, pizza-guzzling,
    > hip-hop dancers. But for me, the
    > Aiyarisation of the
    > world does not mean Aiyar domination.
    > Nor does it
    > mean Aiyar
    > submergence in a global sea. It means acquiring multiple
    > identities, and moving closer to
    > the ideal of a brotherhood of all
    > humanity. I remain quite at home
    > sitting on the floor of the Kargudi
    > house on a mat of reeds, eating
    > from a banana leaf with my hands. I
    > feel just as much at home eating
    > noodles in China, steak in Spain,
    > teriyaki
    > in Japan and
    > cous-cous in Morocco. I am a
    > Kargudi villager, a
    > Tamilian,
    > a Delhi-wallah, an Indian,
    > a Washington
    > Redskins fan, and a
    > citizen of the world, all at the
    > same time and with no sense of
    > tension or contradiction.
    >
    > When I see the Brihadeeswara
    > Temple in Tanjore, my heart swells and I
    > say to myself “This is
    > mine.” I feel exactly the same way when I see
    > the Church of Bom Jesus in Goa,
    > or the Jewish synagogue in Cochin, or
    > the Siddi Sayed mosque
    > in Ahmedabad: these too are
    > mine. I have
    > strolled so
    > often through the Parks at Oxford University and along
    > the
    > canal
    > in Washington, DC, that they
    > feel part of me. As my family
    > multiplies and intermarries, I
    > hope one day to look at
    > the Sagrada
    > Familia cathedral in
    > Barcelona and Rhine river
    > inGermany and think,
    > “These too are
    > mine.”
    >
    > We Aiyars have a
    > taken a step toward the vision ofJohn Lennon.
    > Imagine there’s no country,
    > It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or
    > die for, And no religion too.
    >
    > My father’s generation was
    > the first to leave the village, and loosen
    > its regional shackles. My father
    > became a chartered accountant in
    > Lahore, an uncle became a hotel
    > manager in Karachi, and we had an aunt
    > in Rangoon.
    >
    > My generation loosened the
    > shackles of religion. My elder brother
    > married a Sikh, my younger
    > brother married a Christian, and I married
    > a Parsi. The next generation has
    > gone a step further, marrying across
    > the globe. Globalisation for me
    > is not just the movement of goods and
    > capital, or even of Aiyars. It
    > is a step towards Lennon’s vision of no
    > country.
    >
    > You may say I’m a dreamer,
    > but I’m not the only one. I hope one day
    > you’ll join us. And the
    > world will be one……… ……… ……… ………
    > ……
    Kya hum aisei nahi ho saktei? kyu nahi ho saktei?
    KYu
    .
    Kyu
    .
    Kyu

  19. Himanshu says:

    I don’t think India is an underachiever. It is just that there are too many people and too few leaders to properly channel their energies. The truth is that most people by nature are unfocused and that’s why the great masters have said that “focus” is the main criteria of all achievement. There is this quote that I read often:
    No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.
    Harry Fosdick
    So the real need is for the citizens to understand their goals and aspirations, focus and build their lives around it. Surely enough we”ll soon find a leader (like say Obama) here as well to drive them to glory. Once more and more people get passionate and focused their lives will improve, the desires of the nation will change, corruption will reduce and the overall happiness quotient will increase. It’s all about focus and belief and the entire face of the country will change faster that any other way.
    Best Regards,
    Himanshu

  20. North says:

    governments were formed as a system to create a managment system for the people en-masse. Government formed to control the en-masse. somewhere along the lines of a long ancient history; too many bad rulers in every country ruined many opportunities for neighbouring peace of their borders. Today, we face the same trials & tribulations as our forebearers.. and still, we have not walked far from when they left this earth…
    how do the people stand up en-masse globally & demand world leaders begin to work hand in hand for the preservation of earth, and all the life that’s on it!!
    Global work-walk-out!! Plan it for a year from now so people have a yr to save! Make a movie on it Shekhar… on people taking back the wealth of their earth from the government! the fall of the great power-heirarchy!!
    smiles from north

  21. All we need is awareness maybe.

  22. Sir,
    I totally respect your concerns and observations and also the anger of helplessness.
    Are we not raising an issue whose answer cannot be written in Black and White.
    We are not in a position where we can be totally self sufficient in the matter of resources needed to further our grass root economy.(OIL and POWER)
    We have to look outside to the World for substituting our needs of OIL and other resources, for which we are forced to learn and follow the Language that the WORLD understands.
    People who negotiate on behalf of our Country may succumb to arm twisting tactics and sometimes to Swiss accounts.
    But when we have to put our own house in order even the SC Bench suggests to petitioners they need to arbitrate amongst themselves rather than raise the Govt. Policies as an issue.
    India is suffering from the sickness of Monopolistic Enterprises supported by Govt. represented by the merry making Politicians and their Money Lenders.
    Unless there is true competition amongst Corporates/Business Houses in contrast to DEALS in CORRIDORS, we can only rub our hands.
    India’s progress is not limited by Politicians but by their greedy Money Lenders.
    Vinod Agarwal – Chor Chor Mausere Bhai…lol

  23. yayaver says:

    There was or will be never utopia in any part of world. Humans have tendency to work when things start going out of the control. All matters were resolved by this tendency in past and will be in the future. Nature will always have last laugh.
    I am trying to follow ‘Be the change what you want to see.’ Its diffcult and I had failed to act several times for things I stand for. Still I try to make my country a better place with lot of complains and praise.

  24. Pankaj Agrawal says:

    this is not democracy anyway. It is representative democracy. We dont elect our leaders. Our representatives select them. If you thought each man had one vote, forget it. our system has the constituency principle. so each constituency has one vote and not each person.

  25. Gaurav says:

    The old cliche that every country gets the government it deserves?. I will never have the courage to right article like this to inspire others to stand and clean up until I myself am willing to take the plunge in the dirty drains of the politics of this country. Rather words like this only make sense when you are your hands are filthy with the dirt that you are talking about.Whats say Shekhar? If willing to lead will follow.

  26. Hopeful says:

    Shekharji,
    I am always frustrated by the system and I’d like to do something about it, but do not have a clear idea of where to start. I know that there are a lot people who feel the same. And by system, I mean normal people. We, the selfish people are the ones who create these politicians and they just benefit from it.
    I want to know how you want to change the system and what you want to do about it. Brilliant and passionate people like you should be the guiding light to people like me rather than just getting frustrated like normal people.
    I really want to know what your ideas are.

  27. ks says:

    “Happiness keeps you Sweet,
    Trials keep you Strong,
    Sorrow keeps you Human,
    Failure keeps you humble and Success keeps you glowing, but only Faith & Attitude keeps you going………………….YAHI HAAL HAR INDIAN KA HAI……aur shayad india ka bhi hai…
    kisi ke paas roti nahin,kisi ke paas ghar nahin,kisi ke paas kaam nahin ,kahin kisi ko aaram nahin.lekin fir bhi zindagi se haarna nahin, agar hauslo mein kami nahin ,to aankhein kabhi nam nahin……We Indians live a combination life..sukh ,dukh,jeet, haar,paana,khona & yes inspite of all this we live & live happily in hope that one day everything is gonna right………….man mein hai vishvas pura hai vishvas B’coz umeed pe duniya kayam hai….Aur dekho hame yeh bhi to umeed hai ki ek din apna india bhi different hoga……koi chor nahin.. koi shor nahin,koi neta nahin.. koi dadagiri nahin,koi kamzor nahin.. koi taqatwar nahin,koi amir nahin.. koi garib nahin,koi nafrat nahin.. koi majhab nahin,koi apna na shahi koi begana bhi nahin……MAN MEIN HAI VISHWAS PURA HAI VISHWAS……agar SAANSON mein kami nahin……..”kisi BANDUK ki goli pe agar naam nahin ….TO HUM HONGE KAMYAB EK DIN………..”

  28. Mee says:

    I think us people need to realize that the power is us. Not the poiticians. And when we as individuals, communities, societies understand our power we will bring about a change
    Will this realization just drop as mana frm heave,? It will need to be nurtured thru education, a fabulous value system, an understanding of vision n the future. This will restore balance in our world

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