Sunday, November 27, 2022

Back-and-forth: India @ 75

Though India as a nation is still a young democracy has made significant and rapid strides in some fronts, and in others is in the making, but no one knows how long. Therefore, the strides have been back-and-forth like a roller coaster that shows a number of hitches. At the of independence, India was confronted with innumerable problems and as the years gone by there have not been measurable progress in the vital areas such as education, social and gender equality, social and economic justice, improvement in the conditions of living of millions of people. The gap between the haves and have-not continue to widen more and more.
India is known for its commitment to non-violence and tolerance and thus celebrates pluralities of identities. As years and decades passed by, the socio-cultural, social and political terrains of India have changed with cultural nationalism, politics of populism and social hierarchism. Indian society is increasingly getting polarized wherein venom of hate is spewed and its toxic effect results in hate crimes leading to social disharmony and communal conflicts The future of India is in the hands of young millennials and children. For India to grow and to achieve comprehensive and integrated growth and progress education is the key and foundational.
For India to grow and advance, the mental conditions of the children are very important and crucial. Student suicides is on the rise in India. India accounts for 20 percent of global suicides. Highest number of student suicides in Maharashtra, Trami Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. In Tamil Nadu five student suicides in two weeks. Year 2020 marked highest number of student suicides, which is all time high. About 12, 526 committed suicides in 2020. At an average one student commits suicide every 42 minutes in 2020. It is certainly India’s shame and blot on our country educational system.
The future of India is in the hands of the children. Rise of students committing suicides has increased mounting pressure on those in the departments of education, the state governments and the government at the Centre. There is no doubt that the Indian education system has failed the students. This is not the time for blame game or give flimsy excuses or justifications in order to get away, but certainly the policy makers and those responsible in the states as well as at the Centre should introspect, address the problems and plug the growing phenomenon of students committing suicides. Has India’s system of education let down the children? It is time to de-stigmatize mental health concerns. It is growing and is a phenomenon.
On the one hand, more children are committing suicides and while on the other more Indians wish to move overseas despite foreign inflation raises serious concerns about the future of India. In recent times there is huge rush for the Indian minds to study overseas and quite an enormous number of students giving away their Indian citizenship questions about the present state of India. India @ 75, should take into account because the present rush to overseas tantamount to brain drain. For a citizen opting to give away his/her citizenship must have considered from all angles. What is important is that those who prefer to go abroad for studies and those who want to give away their citizenship for other reasons belong to the present.
During the winter session of the parliament, the union minister of state for home J Nityanand Rai in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha said that a total of 1,63, 370 Indian nationals renounced their citizenship in 2021. In 2020, the number had fallen to just 85, 248 from 1,44,217 in 2019, the highest until then. It is unbelievable that a record 1,63, 370 Indian nationals had decided to renounced their citizenship in 2021 raises serious questions. The data reveals that those who want to renounce
Indian citizens are in favor of going to countries such as the United States of America with 78, 284, followed by Australia with 23,533, Canada with 21,549, then the United Kingdom with 14,637 and Italy with 5,986. Along with these countries New Zealand (2,643) and Singapore (2516) have also been gaining preference for India seeking nationalities. The minister of state for home did not disclose the reasons for the record number of Indian renouncing the Indian citizenship in preference to foreign nationality with a passing reference: “for reasons personal to them.”
It is bewildering to note that over 3.92 lakh Indians gave up their citizenship in the last three years. The reasons are diverse that could perhaps be examined, analyzed and evaluated. To start with, it is important to know which age group is keen seeking citizenship in another country. It is the age-group between 18-24 that by and large prefer to go overseas for education. Along with this it is the middle-age segment which is professional and entrepreneurial class wants to quit India for better prospectus.
Despite the cost of education is so expensive in USA and other countries now it has risen to 8 percent more than it was a few months ago and yet many wants to go. When pandemic has started easing more rush and the exodus of students of this magnitude and gravity has been unprecedented. Many view that the Indian education system is obsolete and outdated. India lacks quality educational institutions. And those cater only to the elites and upper middle-classes. A question that arises at this juncture is: why should those with professional skills immigrate to other countries? The curricula fail to focus on skill-based courses More importantly better prospects that drive the young millennials to go abroad. In addition, attractive pay packages, easier job recruitment abroad. Should this phenomenon be brushed aside or undermined? This cannot be refuted or negated because it is true.
Those with innovative capacity and super-skilled professionals are leaving the country for their professional growth along with their families. This would eventually augment and escalate brain-drain. They think and argue that there is no future for them and their children in India. For innovation and ‘make in India’, India by all means need this class of people who are endowed with innovation skills and entrepreneurial capabilities. Those who have been denouncing Indian citizenship by surrendering their Indian passports does comprise of cross-sections of the India n society. In the years to come it would continue to grow.
India at 75 is gravely infested and infected with the poison of communal politics which retards economy and the social fabric leading to disinvestments and the productivity of businesses. Politics of polarization has led to internal strife and confrontation. Social equilibrium is important for India’s integrity and sovereignty of India. One classic example is, trade deficit is widening. Politicians fueling hatred and as a result hate crimes rise the citizens find themselves trapped in such toxic environment which is more worrisome. Falling of exports and escalating price rise of essential base requisites have leveraged rupee value to go down. The state of Indian economy is in doldrums engulfed with pressing inflation and falling rupees.
India is a respectful tolerant democracy. What is India now is it posits less liberal democracy than ten years ago. The ways with which the Indian polity is moving makes one to wonder whether India is moving towards autocratic democracy as more power is concentrated and wielded by one person, as we see major decisions be it social, economic, political, educational or whatever are taken by one person without any deliberations, discussions and consultations. Vibrant democracy believes in consensus, consultations, debates and discourses. The ruling dispensation in a democratic framework should accommodate criticism and critical voices India @ 75 is in difficult times – if our country makes five strides forward ten strides backward.
Dr. John Mohan Razu

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