When I read the old novels and papers I cannot but wonder whether our country India has really forging ahead or stagnant. I read recently a Tamil novel which was published in 1950s; in that story the poor heroine works as a school teacher. She takes every day a bunch of answer papers of the students to be corrected. Even today I see my close friend’s wife who works as a teacher in a school brings home bunches of papers every day to be corrected. In fact, she is a computer science teacher. Who else could have the ingenuity except Indians who could conduct exams for computer science also with paper and pencil that too every day?
Yesterday I was reading another novel serialized in a famous Tamil weekly Kumudam in the year 1971. There the heroine says that she dreads to travel by bus because they are so jam-packed and not even a little space for one to stand. Even now, I watch the buses in the morning plying on the arteries of Chennai running with passengers precariously hanging from the buses. Less said the better about the Mumbai trains and the travails of travelling by train in Mumbai. In the same novel, there was several references to the severe power cuts due to the shortage of electrical supply in the state of Tamil Nadu. Had it been improved even now?
On May 5, as World’s Cartoon Day, The Hindu has published some significant cartoons from their archives. In that a cartoon which shows the increasing population in 1949, which is valid even today. India never lags behind in increasing the population at any point of time. In another article I read the author had said that even by 2050 India’s population will only be alarming and no respite from it. One more cartoon which caught my attention was the fight between the states. Today we claim yesteryear political leaders were gems. In that case why that cartoon should have been there in The Hindu in 1964?
I could make out only one thing. India is a unique nation which will never change. The Indian population is adept in integrating foreign matters into Indian conditions sans their commitment or discipline. We may wear jeans, leggings, and shorts like foreigners but we can never folow public rules or discipline. Was there a tradition of the bridegroom wearing full suit and stand in the reception in the Indian culture? But, we have created that. In the South they are still worse. The Dravidians hate Hindi and North but the heroines of Tamil movies are imported from North, girls and women prefer churidars to sarees; they started including rituals like Mehandi and Sangeet also in their marriages.
Whatever be the financial development, the country will never abstain from taking or giving bribes. The politics will remain corrupt irrespective of constant exposures and punishments. Still we are the only country in the whole world where manual scavenging is in existence. Our developments are peripheral, preferential and partial. We talk extensively on philosophy to be corrupt. We boast of developments but stealthily following the old customs. Hypocrisy only seems to be our culture.