Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

August 15, 2022

Wishing everyone a Happy 75th Independence Day!

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 8:37 PM

Today marks the 75th anniversary since India freed itself from the British rule. Things have not been perfect (and they can never be) but we have achieved so much in the past 75 years that it is awe inspiring. Looking at my memories over the past 40+ years below are some of the things that have improved/changed in that time:

  • It used to take ~2-3 years to get a new car (maruti 800) in the early 80’s, now you can get one within a couple of days if they have it in stock and they have hundreds of brands/models to choose from
  • Up until 1975, only seven Indian cities had television services with a single TV channel. Now every city in India has TV and as of 2021, over 900 permitted television channels
  • The first mobile phone call was made in 1995 and cost over 8 rs a min, now we have the cheapest calls in the world
  • We have gone from people having to move to US for good Tech jobs to a thriving Tech industry where we are ranked 19th in the world’s startup ecosystems globally
  • The inter-city and inter-state highways are getting better and better all the time. In my last road trip, I was consistently over 120-140 and in fact had to remind myself not to cross 160. (Yes there is a lot of scope for improvement)
  • ISRO has gone from a local joke to a powerhouse that is launching the majority of the world’s satellites into orbit. We also had the world record for max satellites launched in one launch (104) that was broken earlier this year (143). Efforts are underway to take back the title

The list can go on and on. There is a lot of effort put in by folks to make India a success and there is a lot more effort needed to ensure that we keep improving. The mindset of ‘but this is India, nothing can be done’ needs to be changed/eradicated from the thought process.

The top people in India are living a life of luxury that was not feasible/imaginable 75 years ago and we need to ensure that the bottom percentage of our population is uplifted as well. This requires effort not just from the government but from us as a people as well. We need to work with the government and each other to help and uplift people. I see a lot of efforts around us to achieve this, folks in Diamond District (where I stay) are sponsoring the education for multiple kids, other are working with NGO’s to teach them basic skills. Some of my friends volunteer in various organizations to help the poor, and not just by giving them money but helping them learn skills so that they can uplift themselves.

We need to improve the Tourism Industry in India and make people aware that India has more than Delhi, Agra and Jaipur to offer for tourists. We have temples, archeological sites, palaces and other locations etc going back thousands of years. In my travels across India I have seen some of the most beautiful sights that take your breath away but not many know about them so hardly anyone visits. We have to advertise these sites/locations more. We need to make it easier for tourists to come to India and safely see the sights. I love the new ASI mandated tour guides for the major historical places in India, they are cheap and highly knowledgeable plus they are registered and have identification. You should hire them when visiting any of the sites as they give a wholesome overview of the location and any notable highlights. There are so many things that you miss when just walking around on your own that it is worth it to hire these folks. They speak multiple languages including international languages.

We need to clamp down on the corruption and improve the infrastructure more. This includes reducing the bureaucracy and eliminating the Babu rule, where the government officials think it’s their right to demand money to do their job (which they are getting paid for).

Things are improving and have improved a lot but we have a long way to go. As Robert Frost put it ” The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep”. The following poem by हिमांशु (Himanshu) captures the sentiment quite beautifully as well:

जाना है अभी तो बहुत दूर,
सूरज चढ़ा क्षितिज पर,
चारों ओर रेत का ढेर,
तपन घोर, तपस घनघोर,
मृगतृष्णा पसरी चहुंओर,

चलते चलो, बढ़ते चलो,
कहानियां बुनते चलो,
खुद से खेलते चलो,
चलते चलो, चलते चलो।

लंबे बहुत हैं रास्ते,
आयेंगे बहुत से दो-रास्ते,
सही चुनना, नहीं गिनना,
आकाश को ही देखना,
अवकाश को हर भूलना,

गिर गए तो उठते चलो,
मौका पड़े तो उड़ते चलो,
चलते चलो, चलते चलो।

मत ढूंढना बरगद,
ना चाहना लंबा खजूर,

छांव दृश्य नहीं,
साथ सिर्फ छाया है,
सिकुड़ती, जलती, ढलती,
काया ही, अब सरमाया है,
जो देखा, जिया, आजमाया,
वही सच है, अशेष है,
बाकी सब माया है,

बस, बरबस,
अतृप्त, असंतृप्त,
अविदित, अविरल,
चलते चलो,
हर मील का
हर मील पर,
जश्न मनाते चलो,

शाम अभी दूर है,
चांद कुछ और दूर है,
चलते चलो, चलते चलो।।


हिमांशु “चहुंओर”

I was planning to post poems in other Indian languages as well but couldn’t decide on one as I can’t do justice to them (as I can’t read them). Planning on asking Jani for help to get some good collections to share here. Will update the post once I find a good one.

Map of India outlined by trees with an Indian flag in the center
जय हिन्द! জয় হিন্দ ജയ്_ഹിന്ദ് જય_હિંદ ಜೈ_ಹಿಂದ್ ਜੈ ਹਿੰਦ జై హింద్ ஜெய்_ஹிந்த்

Will post more later.

– Suramya

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