And the winner is... we all know who. Curtains have fallen on the biggest reality show ever and one must admit the silence that follows is nothing short of defeaning even if during the past months we have been wanting all the din to end. Come on, let us be honest we had got used to the show, in spite of us, as no matter where you went, what time of the it was, which channel you switched on you were greeted by the next episode of the great Indian tamasha: Election 2014. And even if one may never admit it in public, one has surreptitiously watched all the channels derided by all! Now that is all over, though channels will still try and stretch the last steps of Government forming to the maximum, come Tuesday things will have to settle down and the new formation allowed to deliver. I do hope that every step of theirs will not be dissected and taken apart to increase viewership and hence TRPs. One needs to give them time to discharge their mandate. That is what common sense says.
But I guess the media will always find something to badger you with day in and day out, the latest being the new episode of the AAP soap. Government should govern and opposition should oppose sensibly if we want the country to prosper. The nit picking that we see far too often is not in the interest of anyone.
I do not know if I am for or against, though I know I am pro a strong Government that acts and a CEO that communicates! For the rest only time will tell. I pray that lumpen elements which exist across the board will be kept in check and that every action or utterance will not be viewed with the 'secular' angle. This secularism bogey has to stop.
The social media is replete with Letters to the PM, mine included! These offer suggestions or express fears. I hope someone in the entourage of the new PM will look at them as many have positive inputs that come from the 125 crore people he has often mentioned. This morning I was surprised to see An open letter to everyone writing open letters to Modi
on my Facebook page. It makes interesting reading if you keep an open mind. The only part I object to is putting all NGOs in one basket and branding them as corrupt. I agree that there are such organisations but want to say that there are people like us who do our bit to make India a better place dipping into our meagre pockets should the need arise. Not all NGOs want to keep people downtrodden, endangered, marginalised and victimised
. We work because Governments have failed in the past and because children cannot wait for things to happen, they have to helped now, tomorrow is too late for them. I, more than anyone else would like to see my work made redundant today but I am not wearing blinkers and I know that there is a long road to travel before we see no child out of school. For this not only do we need a strong and honest Government, but also an awakening of the like of us with our education and privileges, who should express our outrage loud and clear when we see something that disturbs us: a child begging for instance or working in your neighbour's home.
I hope our new PM will not surround himself with a bunch of people acting like his eyes and ears. I hope the voice of simple Indians who care for India will reach him. In the days of the Internet and social media ably aided by Aunty Google that should not be a problem.
No matter what the supporters of Prime Minister Modi say, his task is not an easy one. People are expecting miracles and no one can conjure them in the given situation where the rot is so deep. In my very humble opinion, one that comes with a decade and a half of working and learning from the other India, I would suggest looking at what is in existence and bringing short term solutions. For instance a simple audit of schools in the capital can at least ensure desks for children, drinking water, toilets with doors and so on. That is a beginning. A visit to the anganwadis (creches run by the State) could entail working weighing machines, proper nutrition, visits by doctors etc. Such small interventions would be visible and keep hope afloat.
I would also humbly beg the new incumbents to have a look at primary education in India which seems to have not given the results expected. In my mind the no fail policy till class VII can be a good thing in well run schools but in State schools it translates into children in grades IV, V even VII who can barely read. We have had many such children and are proud to say that all of them have made up and some are even topping their classes. It does not take a miracle to ensure this. And also I would urge the new functionaries to do away with the 33% pass percentage and increase it to 50% as that is the minimum required to get simple jobs. Why do we want our children to be 33% educated! To me it is a matter of shame. And believe me this is important as the Principal of a Senior Secondary school told me that as the pass percentage is 33% they only cover 40% of the curriculum. This in response to one of my militant visits to know why the syllabus was not fully covered.
If we want to change India, we have to change its poorest and that means quality education for all. It also means altering the curriculum and including vocational studies as early as class VII. Every child is not academically inclined and so if s/he were to leave school with a certificate as well as skill knowledge, her/his chances of employment would grow exponentially. The skills should be selected keeping the market forces in mind: tailoring, beauty training, plumbing, staff for retail outlets, etc. That would bring the real change we all seek.
The show is over and the winner is and should be India. That is what we voted for.