Here's what I have for you in this post: A blog post about a Malaysian student's experiences in India. While most of the post is a rather personal perspective on things, there's one comment which really touched me and inspired me to write this post.
Seeing the poverty around you changes your outlook. Dealing with such an alien community with such different values and tolerances teaches you to understand people.
Here's one question which has bugged me enough. I have tried to escape from it, tried my best to answer it, tried to avoid it, tried to change it but it keeps hitting me right in the face all the time: Why is my country so poor? I wish I had the answer, but I don't! I wish I at least had a clue or a theory, but even that is something that I can't offer to you, my readers!
Most of us reading this post are not poor. We are well provided, well taken care of. We have families to support us and we have families that we support. But, the moment we step out of our homes, the moment we step into public transports, trains, buses, the moment we get on the roads and the footpaths we know it - India's poverty glares at us. The poorly kept infrastructure demands an explanation, the struggling lot on the streets, though keep fighting with a resilient and rude attitude towards life, have a question written right across their faces. Why are we so poor?
We know we are a unique nation. We know that we're a huge economy and we know India still has a lot of wealth but why does it not reflect in our lives?
If corruption is the answer then there has to be someone who is rich right? The corrupt are the poorest of all, they're afraid of their own money and often live in conditions so miserable and minds so drenched with thoughts and fears of poverty that even the beggars laugh at them!
When I read about the Lords from England who ruled us for so many years, their rich way of life which was supported by the suppressed Indian people I can't help think about the situation that is prevalent even today. The ruling faces have changed color but the rule has remained the same. The suppressed Indian class is still present, the suppressors are still living in the mansions and palaces constructed by the British! How do we put the common man in a position of power and how do we keep them 'common' even after giving them power over a billion+ people?
Is it about an absence of National pride? Is it about an absence of good education system which should urge one to destroy all the anti-nationalist systems in India?
I don't know!
Take a look at this picture, does it look very different from the days of the British? We need to act right now!