02 September, 2012


In India two types of people reside, 'Common' and 'Uncommon'. All ‘Uncommon Men’ are common, but, every Common man need not be Uncommon! Common Man, which has the most important role to play in the democratic system of electing the Uncommon Men from their own community of Common Men, seems very common and ordinary today.
Why a Common Man is called Common by the way? India is a country with the population of around 14% of the World population. Today, every seventh human is Indian! With a population of 1.21bn India is the country where: 75% of the people need Food Security, the subsidies, the Employment Guarantee Schemes, the free primary education. So, how can one say that the India’s Common Man is not a common and an ordinary person as the name suggest? A Common Man is nothing but a ‘hypothetical term’ used to define and address the vast and helpless Indian Population.
A Common Man is possessor of multi-personalities. At home, he is a loving, caring, sensitive person. The same person when becomes a part of the crowd, becomes aggressive and indiscriminate. The same man casts his vote in a 3×3 (3 by 3) polling booth on the basis of Caste and Religion. And the one that gets elected as an Uncommon Man reaches the Parliament, eats up money for asking questions there. Common Man is a rush, is uproar for no reason.
The elections in Uttar Pradesh proved once again that how common the Common Man is. The election manifestos of all the political parties had the same Promises, same reasons for them to be voted and the same way of dealing with the Common Man; on the basis of their castes. The poor people get attracted to the aggressive orations and the hollow promises and end up electing a Party which is not going to rethink what they said and promised while soliciting the votes. The people do not have any other choice, but, to believe these hollow promises and to hope for the best!  
Recently, Hon'ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil came to the Holy City of Kurukshetra to attend the Convocation of Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra(Haryana). Her program was to attend the Ceremony and then, she had to visit Brahma Sarovar. The road between the two places is not at all in a good condition, but, actually this applies to all the roads in Kurukshetra (accept a few). The Road which was between the two locations was built overnight seeing the President’s arrival, but, the rest of the roads in the city are awaiting someone else to come. This clearly means that the Problems which the Uncommon Men can have are known as ‘Problems’ and problems which the Common Men are having are their ‘Misconceptions’!
Today, the Government wants the people not to speak against the Uncommon Men on the Social Network; the Uncommon Men have the privilege to place a ‘Red Light’ on their vehicles and they get the special treatments, no action is initiated against them for not fulfilling the promises they made to the Common Men during Elections. Is Common Man So Common?   
What this person is (Former Hon'ble President APJ Abdul Kalam), a 'Common Man' or an 'Uncommon Man'?

01 September, 2012


President Barack Obama speaking about the Change
in the year 2008 in an election rally.
Is this the ‘Time to Change’ for us? India got its independence in the year 1947. From that time till today, what has changed? In the year 1947 we were 0.35 billion (35 crore), but today, we are 1.21 billion (121 crore). We were one of the best managed countries in the world in the last couple of decades under the British rule, but today, we are amongst the worst managed countries. Today, India is considered a dangerous country to live in. The scams galore in the last 3-4 years have badly hurt the exchequer. So, one cannot say that India has remained stagnant all these years. But, these changes are not healthy signs for our country, I repeat, for our country! American President Barack Obama once said, "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
We are the people who have to bring this change, we are the youth, and we are the Generation Next and being the future, we have to rectify the system. Now, what this system means? The system signifies all of us (the 1.21 billion Indians). From the people residing in their bungalows to the people living in slums, from the people earning thousands of rupees per month to those earning below Rs.27 in the urban areas and those earning below Rs.23 in the rural areas, from those studying in the convents to those who have a zeal to see how a school looks from inside, from those eating hamburgers, pizzas to those not able to earn the livelihood; all are the part of the system! So, what should change and what role the youth has to play for those changes to take place is the real question.
Today, more than half of the population of our country is composed of the youth.  The system, which I mentioned above, involves the ‘Political System’, the ‘Education System’ and the ‘Bureaucratic System’.

Results of the Census-2011 which shows the Population,
the Literacy level and the sex ration in India.
Politics is the most annoying part of our present system. We, the common people, pay taxes with the thought in mind that the money we will pay will serve us back and much more. But, the Government finds that money insufficient for the developmental works and knocks the door of the World Bank for borrowings. It seems weird that even after paying huge amount in taxes we are still not being able to contribute fully for our development. The common man is the basic building block of our democratic system. He has the power to vote, but unfortunately, he can use that power only after 5 years and in these 5 years, he has to live on his own (without the power). He pays the taxes and when doesn’t find the clue where the money went murmurs famous poet Tennyson’s lines (slightly changed by me):
Mine is not to question ‘why?’,
Mine is but to pay (the taxes) and die!
The scams galore in the past 4 years have attenuated the image of our country internationally. However, we made the progress, but unfortunately, in the list of the most corrupt nations. Today, when the people talk of politics, they talk about the corruption, they talk about their links with the politicians, they talk about the bribe they paid to the so and so leader to get their work done and they talk about their approaches. Today, when the Politicians solicit the votes of the voters during the Election season, they promises the free laptops, the higher percentage of quota for so and so cast under the menace called reservation, the television sets etc. They have forgotten the basic agendas: food for the poor, education for the children, roads, water supply and, unfortunately, ‘etc’. Either they think that these problems have been sorted out or they want to change their oration matter. When the leaders discuss a topic in the parliament or on national news channels, they talk in such a manner as if they are the small children and their teacher (Hon’ble Speaker in Parliament and anchor in a news channel) is shouting on them to keep silence. When ‘Party A’ leader says, “Your leader did this”, the ‘Party B’ leader immediately retaliates, “Yours did that!” So, where the common man stands? The Politicians, by definition, are the representatives of the Common Man and these 'Common People' have given them the right to be called as the Politicians by exercising their vote.
The Political System needs urgent changes, or rather, I should say, improvements and the rectifications. Many of the leaders sitting in the parliament are having the Criminal charges on them and, still, their parties are interested in them and give them the party ticket. The Education norms for the people stepping in to politics should be a necessary criterion in the years to come, because, the education is the only characteristic trait of human beings that differentiates us from animals. Strict action should be initiated against those who found guilty and close eye should be kept on the Million dollar deals, which unfortunately had never been the case earlier.

Talk about the hygiene, the services and the Govt schemes,
all these are alien to these children.
As I said earlier, the education is the only characteristic trait of ours that differentiates us from animals. Indian Education System is one of its kind and, probably, amongst the best ones in the world. Many countries have appreciated it and have shown their desire to implement the same in their own countries. When our country got its independence in the year 1947, out of the total population of 35 crore 83% were illiterate and a mere 25 lakhs were employed at that time. Today, the population is 121 crore and 74% are literate, that is, we have made a progress in the literacy level. But still, the unemployment is there. Why? The basic point is that school drop-out rate in India is quite high and the children do not complete their schooling. The country’s primary school enrollment is nearly 100 % which is remarkable. However, this good news overshadows a bad news too, which is that only half the kids who enrolled in Class 1st make it to Class 8th. This is reported by the National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA) in a report released in the month of January, 2012. Most of these children dropping out of school ended up with practically no education at all. Another matter that has compounded the problem is the fact that even the school-going children are not learning enough. A recent report on the level of learning in rural schools shows that half of all children in Class 5th cannot read texts meant for Class 2nd students: two-third cannot solve a division sum.
The Government of India has invested a lot of money in Education. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Uthan Saksharta Samiti have been established at the National level to educate the children as well as the adult living in the rural areas. The mid-day meals, free books, school dresses, satchels, shoes and bicycle, literally, everything is provided by the  Government, but still, it is not showing up the results. The reason for this is the implementation of these schemes. Another reason can be that the Mid-Day meal is provided to the students till the 8th standard, so, after that they have no reason to come to the school. This is our misfortune that the money which the  Government allots for the poor gets depreciated to a great extent in the process of its movement from top (Govt.) to bottom (Schools). The EDUSAT which was a very giant step forward by the Indian  Government is lying in the locked stores in almost all the Government schools.
In 2010, the government brought into force the landmark Right To Education (RTE) Act, making it a child’s right to free and compulsory education in the Constitution. But the point is, the implementation of it is to be seen, because, all in vein if after the end of it all, the children are not benefited.
India is among the most corrupt nations of the World.
The most corrupted system today in India is the Bureaucratic System. Bureaucracy is like a cancer to the Indian Democratic System which is clawing the country in its hold and, unfortunately, we are neither having a provision of the prevention against it nor do we have the cure for it. The workers working under the Government are accountable to no one, practically speaking. They will do your work on their table, if you pay them a decent bribe under-the-table! This is the truth and certainly, a bitter truth.
The Bureaucratic System can only be improved if some pressure is created on the employs and strict provisions are made for handling the Corruption cases. There must be some accountability for these workers, so that, if they do not do their work correctly, the sufferers can complaint about them to those higher ranks. The Citizen’s Charter Bill can heal this system (Bureaucratic System) and, will surely; make its immune system better as well. The Bill makes it mandatory for every public department to publish a Citizens' Charter and address grievances within 30 days, failing which the official concerned would face action, including a fine of up to Rs.50,000 (to be recovered from his salary) and disciplinary proceedings. The charter seeks to make it mandatory for government officials to acknowledge complaints from people within two days of receipt. 

We talk about the problem, we talk about the solution, what then? The system needs the healing and need it urgently. OK, healing done! What then? We, the common people, have to change as well. We have the Right to Vote and if we use this privilege of ours to pick up the best leader for us, most of the problem will get solved. We must remember that 'Prevention is Better than Cure' and these changes fall under the category of 'Cure'. If we change ourselves, we will 'Prevent' our system from these social infections and probably, or rather, surely, it will make our future better.

This post is submitted for the 'Time To Change' Contest at 'Indiblogger' sponsored by 'Stayfree'. 

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