“One of the prevailing sources of misery and crime is in the generally accepted assumption, that because things have been wrong a long time, it is impossible they will ever be right.”
                                                                                                                         -John Ruskin

I asked this question to many people – “If given power, What is the 1 thing you would change in India?”.
I got many responses for this question. Many brilliant minds coming up with the most painful issues in India and suggesting countermeasures. The responses were able to cover a large number of aspects that people would have taken care of if given power. Right from imagining a cleaner and pollution free India, to a better and elaborate electoral system, to a caste-free India, a more secure India, a gender neutral India, a cashless economy , a more educated India, a corruption-free India and also a poverty-free India.
I would love to pick any and all of these topics and would want to change that. But when I tried answering this question, it took me a while to answer it. Which problem is the biggest? What do I choose first among all these? When I thought about it, I realized that though the issues are numerous, the underlying cause is only one.
If given the power, I would definitely opt to change the mindset and attitude of our people. We Indians have a habit of always blaming others for all the bad things that we face.

We deal with our problems in 2 ways- we blame and we complain.

Our best defense strategy- blames
* For unclean surroundings- The government doesn’t care about waste management
*  Orthodox people not sending their girl child to school- The government lacks in initiatives
*  A cop asks you for a bribe when your vehicle is parked in a non-parking area- The government definitely doesn’t understand the parking concept. Why should I park my car 50metres away from my office building? Why can’t I park it in the front? I am being harrassed here
*  Awareness of terrorism- The government should build strong defense systems and hire more people in forces
*  Women are unsafe- The government doesn’t take any actions against rapists and eve-teasers. Women shouldn’t have gone out late in the evening etc. etc.

And if by any chance we can’t blame our government, we take it on our neighbors and the blame list keeps on growing. We don’t want to change ourselves. We want to and wish to live in a secure and developed country with an expectation that we as individuals shouldn’t be bothered at all. The government should renovate the entire country on its own and give us invitations to enjoy this freshness only once it is done. In hoping so, we definitely forget that no matter how much decorating stuff you collect to decorate your home, at the end it’s you who has to clean the house and not the guy who delivered you the vacuum cleaner. Similarly, the government and politicians can make rules and laws but it’s the people who need to follow it.

Our Complaints vs What we do about it

* Corruption is eating away India like a termite, but we are the ones who try to hand over a 100 rupee note to a cop when we jump the red light. And of course, giving money to get your company a tender is just business as usual
* Our neighborhood and roads are really dirty, but we are the ones who clean their houses and throw the garbage in an empty land plot or by the corner of the house.
* There is too much traffic and pollution, but we are the ones who don’t want to carpool with our colleagues to the office. Otherwise, how would people know we also own a car.
* By every passing day, India is becoming very unsafe for women, but we are the ones who beat up their wives just to take out our office frustration. We are the ones who turn a blind eye when a guy is beating or molesting some girl in a public place or transport. We ask our daughters to behave properly when they are out but our sons can behave however they want, there is no restriction for them.
* All politicians are bad and corrupt, but we don’t want to enter the system to do something for our country.
* We don’t have good sportspersons, but we won’t let our own children play sports as a profession.
* We are divided into groups and castes, but we want to get ourselves identified by our religion, our caste, our state and if by now we still have a gap to fill in our introduction, well then we can fit in India there.
* We complain about our rights but we don’t want to be reminded of our duties.

With our current attitude, even if God makes our country heaven-like, we would drag that too to the same level. The day we start taking responsibility for our own problems and think about solving them rather than blaming others; We would be able to solve a major chunk of our issues on our own. The government can then focus on the key issues and resolve them quickly. The day every individual does his/her bit, the problems we are worried about today would start vanishing one by one.

The agenda of this article is not to hurt anyone’s feelings rather than encourage everyone to do their own bits for the country. I would love to know what you would like to change in India if given the option.

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