I was never interested in politics. I am still not inclined to any political party as a person. I do not favour BJP or despise Congress. I find Rahul Gandhi ridiculous; but that too is a personal opinion and has got nothing to do with political views. I am ashamed to admit that I was never even keen on reading the newspaper to know what was happening in the country. I was of the shameless category of people who used to think nothing is going to happen in our country. I used to despise the system, the corruption, the lack of civic sense, the lack of sanitation, the sorry state of public transport and especially public toilets (whatever was available). But through it all, I was always fond of India. I never wanted to leave the country. Even when I was getting marriage proposals, I used to reject those from guys settled abroad outright. I was rooted in India. But did I do anything to justify my love for the country? I’m afraid not much.
Of late, I have started taking interest in what is happening in the country. That change can be attributed to our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi. He took the whole nation by storm in the last one year and the result of the election was symbolic of how much people looked up to him, how much people wanted a change. Listening to the various speeches he made from the first speech as Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP to him addressing the US Indians and youth in Madison Square and Central Park, I find that he has definitely raised the bar and has proven himself to be one of the best orators in history.
What delighted me more about this humble, yet powerful personality is the fact that he is not merely a person of words, but actions. Words have been spoken by all his predecessors. But I had never seen a change. But in 100 days, the glimpse of hope and action that has come from this great man is proof that good days have definitely come. For every point he had raised in the election agenda, he has an action plan that is launched already. Yes, I can definitely say I am full of hope now.
The only thing I fear is the hype that people create. It probably can be attributed to human psychology. We want everything done immediately. Clean the Ganga? By next week, we need a clean Ganga. Toilets for all? By tomorrow, there should be toilets for all. Better quality of life? By tomorrow again. Maybe the reason is that we have waited for all these for years and years. But for one person and his government to erase all the wrongs that have been done in the past and make a new beginning, it would take time and a lot of effort. The real question is, are we going to wait patiently and give him a chance?
The bigger question is, are we going to do something about it? In his speech at the Madison Square, Modi made it very clear that government has its limits; that they can’t do anything without having people participating in the revolution and doing their bit. I believe he put across the most substantial point in having said that. It is easier for all of us to say government has to do something about everything that is wrong in the country. How can the government do something when we keep piling up problems? Government has promised a cleaner India by 2019. Are we going to stop littering, spitting and urinating on the streets and emptying the trash on the public roads? Government has promised to clean Ganga. Are we going to stop dumping our wastes in the river, whether it be in the name of religion or industrial development? Government has promised better transportation and quality of life. Are we going to stop breaking traffic rules and getting the whole highway jammed to satisfy our ego? Government has promised good governance. Are we going to stop taking the easy way out by offering bribes to get what we want? Government has promised better facilities for sanitation and increased number of public toilets. Are we going to at least flush the toilet once we have used it?
I think it is high time we started thinking of what we should or should not do. It is easier said than done. As Modi rightly pointed out, if every Indian put in efforts to ensure they do things correctly, this country can change. But would we go ahead and do it, instead of saying government did not do anything? At the onset of the next elections, we would still crib about what the government did not do, no matter how much this man tries to do. I hope that finally when we have a powerful leader after all these years, we would take ownership and do justice to the people who sacrificed their lives to give us what they didn’t have – a life of freedom. I hope we stop taking that freedom for granted.