Free Press Journal

From Santa, to India: 10 gifts sensible Indians should ask from the Saint


Seems only Santa Claus can help us now as we have lost all hopes to resurrect the current situation on our own. SOUNAK MUKHOPADHYAY lists 10 gifts every sensible Indian should ask from the Saint

These are hard times for sensible Indians. The socio-political scenario is either confusing or frustrating. The suffocating scenario of the Indian economy does not help it either. This is the time we realize the value of our childhood. We want to be a child again, at least for the sake of avoiding all the responsibilities we are supposed to carry out. Let us be a Rip Van Winkle, get to sleep and wake up to see a totally new India. For once, let us all believe in the Christmas miracle. Here are 10 things every sensible Indian would like to have from Santa Claus.

Education for all

India has been a teacher to the rest of the world since ancient times. Our scholars have preached great things about life, music, literature, philosophy and everything in between. At the same time, we have failed our own people. We have failed to provide them quality education. Mind you, we are not talking about literacy here. Officially, around 75 percent of the Indian population is literate. But, how many of us are exposed to quality education?

Down with corruption
India has many things to be proud of. This is not among those. According to Transparency International, India is the most corrupt country in Asia. And, we are not at all surprised by that. In fact, we have become habituated with the process. We don’t even call it bribe anymore. We call it ‘speed money’. From school admission to medical benefits, we have corrupted it all. It’s time to realise it’s taking us back to the Dark Age.

Care for Mother Nature
There are very few countries around the world that are as rich as India in terms of natural resources. For us, it has all come without us asking for it. So, we take it for granted. Moreover, we try our best to violate nature as much as feasible. In an effort to grow faster, we have compromised nature so much that we now have to experience irregular climactic conditions. It’s time we preserve our rivers, trees and the air that we breathe in.

Care for the less privileged

Eradicating poverty probably is the most romantic idea of all. Let’s not get into the details of such idealistic notions. Instead, let’s focus on a more practical approach. If we can’t do anything about the poor being so, we can at least be sympathetic to it and do something that might make their life a little less difficult. We don’t have to empty our bank balance and distribute it to the world. We can buy vegetables from a poor farmer and eat a happy meal.

Let the youth decide
The future of this country should be decided by the people who are going to live in it. The youth of this country should plan the future of this country. We don’t want a 50-year-old ‘youth leader’ to tell us what is good for us. Let the youth become a significant part of the policy-making process. Under the guidance of the experienced, the young brigade can surely take India forward.

Infrastructure, bro!

Let’s focus on basic things to start with. Water, electricity, roads, healthcare and sanitation are basic things everyone needs. (Yes, we agree with our “Secret Superstar” Insiya that dreaming is also a basic requirement.) Let the government depend on private sector investment, as it is difficult for the government bodies to manage everything on its own.

Vanish divisive forces
Send them to Siberia. Send them to the Mars. We don’t care. We just want the divisive forces in the country to shut up for good. We don’t want to hear how different one Indian is from another. We already know it. Since childhood, we have been taught that India takes pride in its ‘unity in diversity’. We are sensible enough to disagree, debate and celebrate the differences at the same time.

Honest politicians
Just like everywhere else in the workforce, we need honesty in politics as well. We have had enough of shrewd politicians, diplomatic politicians and ‘blah blah blah’ politicians. Now, we need honest politicians for a change. We cannot build this nation with half-educated goons who are ready to do anything for stunts.

Jobs. More jobs.
How long are we going to lose the best brains in the country to the US? Or the UK? Or to any nation that has a stronger economy than ours? And, how long are we going to watch another unemployed youth caught in the vicious circle of drugs, crimes and depression? The solution to both the problems is jobs. The more people are busy in doing their job, the faster the country progresses.

Equality for all
Ever heard of a woman shouting: Don’t you know how to behave with a lady? No, we don’t want that. We want people to be educated enough to understand that everyone must be treated equally. There should be no discrimination at all. No matter if you are rich or poor, tanned or Yami Gautam, saffron or Red, we are not going to treat you any less or more. No matter how much we disagree with your views, we’ll shout for your right to speak. Does ‘equality for all’ sound like utopia to you? Remember this. We’re depending on Santa Claus for this gift, not on the local counselor.