India has made a place for itself as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, yet it loses behind in a lot behind in the name of growth. As the rich are getting richer and the poor get poorer, the divide has been expanding more than before. What can, after all, be attributed to the various issues that pose a threat before every government that comes to power at the centre? From the increasing poverty to corruption, the increasing violence against women across the nation, and the rising prices of basic amenities, are some of the scariest facts of this fast-growing economy, India.
Here are some of the key issues facing India:
Poverty is one of the biggest evils faced by India in the present scenario. With an increasing population of people in the Below the Poverty Line (BPL) across the nation, it seems like a never-ending issue. Rising inflation has added further to the existing problem. India has an unbelievable number of people suffering due to this evil. According to the Indian Planning Commission’s 2013 estimate, around 269 million people (approximately 22% of the total population) live under the poverty line. And, when we start looking around for what has actually been done about it, we wouldn’t really find much.
Corruption is ruining the spine of the nation, and has adversely affected the economy of India. India has been marred by a list of scams and scandals, which have crippled the nation from inside out. As the government at the center changes every time, the blame game changes and political parties start blaming the other, but corruption is not really being fought at the ground level.
What has created a hole in the pockets of the Indian economy, it has become essential for the government to tackle it at different levels. From strict rules at all levels of government undertakings, to awareness among the people against the spread of corruption, it needs to be maintained by the government.
While pointing a finger on others is the easiest way out, people need to realise the need to get rid of the ‘under-the-table’ bribing habit and strengthen our system by neither giving bribe, nor taking bribe. The government needs to take strong action against a bribe-giver and a bribe-taker equally.
Being a mix of various cultures and religions, India has ever-since its formation suffered due to communal differences. Communal clashes have led to a lot of violence in various incidents across the country. The Hindu-Muslim clash during the partition of India and the Operation Blue Star which led to the assassination of the then PM Indira Gandhi are the worst examples of communalism in India. Not to forget the bloodbath that took place during the Babri Masjid demolition case. India has been affected both economically and politically after such incidents took place.
The government needs to handle such issues with extreme sensitivity, along with making sure that communalism is not used for political gains by its ministers. Besides political understanding, change needs to be brought from the grassroots level itself. The caste divide must be decreased by educating the younger generation and sensitizing them about such issues.
On one hand, India has a state like Kerala that boasts of 93.91% literacy in its state alone, while on the other hand there is a backward state like Bihar with a 68.8% literacy rate. Education is not necessary for employment and learning, it is required to create a sensitive and growth-seeking younger generation. Youth needs to be empowered with education, to further know their rights as the citizens of the country. Illiteracy needs to be tackled as one of the biggest social evils of the nation, as this is the biggest reason why the youth is misguided and involved in criminal as well as terrorist activities.
The government needs to enforce free education and strict rules to follow it in every family in India, poor or not poor. An educated population will eventually lead to the country having a stronger workforce as against the world. Education is sure to change the poverty and unemployment scenario in the country. At the core level, people need to be made aware of the need for education to have enriched lives.
Girls’ education is an issue to ponder with also. National Sample Survey Organisation of India says that about 15 percent of girls never attend school as compared to 11 percent of boys(and think that the world’s first university was founded by a woman). As the kids grow older, the gap in their educational status widens and widens and becomes a huge one with huge implications over time. Many girls never go to school. We should ponder why it is so.
The past years have seen inflation as one of the major issues faced by the common man. The rising prices of basic amenities have created furor among the people. Rising rates of food items and fuel have affected the pockets of the middle class so much, bringing them out on the roads in protest. The government has not been able to fulfill any of the promises made before coming in power, which were all forgotten later, leaving the people to suffer the brunt of inflation.
There is an essential need to bring inflation under control, and bring basic amenities at affordable prices for all. When will this economic divide be erased, is a question no government has been able to answer as yet.
Violence against Women
Women in India live under constant fear all the time. A fear of going out alone disturbs every female mind living in India. The rising cases of sexual abuse and rape across the country, have left a black mark on the reputation of India. Foreign tourists have been known to have been given special warnings while traveling to India, in fact, some countries even labeled our nation as an unsafe country for women, after the deadly Delhi Rape case. Is this the reputation we wish to maintain across the world? Definitely not! But, what are we really doing about it? The recent rape cases in Badaun, UP moved the entire nation, though no concrete action was taken for a long time. Rapes continue to take place, and no action is taken against the culprits. In most cases, victims die, and if they survive they live a worse life than ever.
Before the government does anything about the security, the people themselves need to take a stand against crime against women. We as a society need to fight this social evil from within. The youth needs to be sensitized about the safety of women, and the respect to be given to women.
Strong police action needs to be taken against the culprits, and cases need to be handled with more sensitivity and through a quick process. We need to see justice happen, and now.
The country as a whole needs to be ready to tackle such social evils, along with the government.
Air, Sound And Water Pollution
India has four of the five most polluted cities in the world. It’s not just the air – we are badly polluting our rivers and agricultural land through the excessive use of chemicals, plastic and careless disposal of waste. Pollution has the ability to reach massive proportions and destroy the ecosystem if we do not stop abusing natural resources before it is too late. Along with that, planning for the optimal utilisation of water needs to be on top of the list because water pollution and wastage can leave our country dry and barren in the next decade.
Intolerance – Everything From Religion And Art To Personal Choices
Padmavati has to be a unique case of misplaced beliefs. The movie’s release was delayed because as per the Karni Sena, it showed the Rajput queen in a bad light. When crackers were banned in Delhi, it was supposedly done to hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindus. This religious, social and artistic intolerance is one of the most dangerous social evils lurking in the unexpected quarters of our nation. It has the capacity to snowball into something extremely volatile and dangerous in the coming years if not worked upon immediately. We do not want to experience the horrors of 1984, 1992, or, for that matter, 2008 once again, as it will break the morale of the country. But, going by recent events, the future looks bleak.
Hygiene And Sanitation
It is estimated that 88% of the households in India have a mobile phone but 732 million people in India do not have access to toilets and clean sanitation. Sanitation is a basic right of every citizen of the country. Unfortunately, this is one issue the country has not been able to successfully handle in the last 70 years. Even in the cities, there is a dearth of proper drainage and disposal of waste. People still do not segregate dry and wet waste, which causes huge issues in decomposing and recycling. Continued usage of plastic can also lead to serious environmental and health hazards in the near future.
All kinds of shaming – slut-shaming, body shaming, mother shaming, victim shaming. For instance, Priyanka Chopra was shamed for wearing a frock to meet PM Narendra Modi and Mahira Khan was shamed for smoking. Rape and molestation victims were shamed for sharing their experiences and Zaira Wasim was shamed because apparently, it was a publicity stunt when she talked about getting molested. Numerous other common girls and women were shamed for numerous other things. Shaming is a way for the perverts of the world to get some sort of twisted pleasure at the expense of women. This widespread shaming silence the victim and frustration boil below the surface which can be manifested at a later date.If we are intelligent enough, we have to stop all kinds of shaming or risk becoming a shoddy and crude nation that does not understand the value of personal choices.
Online shaming is a form of Internet vigilantism in which targets are publicly humiliated for actions done privately or without wanting intended public broadcast using technology like social and new media. Proponents of shaming see it as a form of online participation that allows hacktivists and cyber-dissidents to right injustices. Critics see it as a tool that encourages online mobs to destroy the reputation and careers of people or organizations that made perceived slights.