This blog is about India, my perspective on its people (including me) and their defining motives. To me, India feels eminently bourgeois: the intoxication over rising prosperity; the single-minded pursuit of self-advancement; incongruous consumption; baffling adherence to outmoded conventions; mediocrity of mass media; and general political apathy (in the world’s largest democracy!)
Yet in its middleclass is India’s potential – we the people of India, of privileged homes and social safety nets, educated, well traveled, with firsthand experience of countries with engaged citizenry – we can actually do something to change India, the spirit-killing poverty, the corrupt and inefficient state, and woefully deficient public services.
Increasingly, I feel that the big idea is not in any private initiative, but increased government accountability and performance. Government services are more than just the prioritized distribution of tax rupees. These services are the promises the legislature makes to maximize the good intentions of the collective conscience and pockets of its people. And our administration is failing us! The cost of our public systems not working is enormous: there is of course, the cost of duplication, but more importantly the tens of thousands of discrete initiatives can never create the sea change that India needs. No one problem (poverty, illiteracy, disease, gender inequality, economic disparity) can be addressed in isolation – we need a whole mesh of symbiotic initiatives targeting social issues in parallel, the success of each feeding into the other.
I’m currently obsessed with mainstreaming civic engagement in the city/country that demands accountability from the administration. I am working on an idea to organize the discrete dissenting voices into some kind of a critical mass to ensure that citizen voice/concerns are heard and addressed by our polity. Please email me if you’d like to be kept informed, and/or to connect if you’re part of an existing effort. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org