1. Corruption: India is 83rd on world corruption index as per Transparency Index. Most bureaucrats and politicians in the country are corrupt. There is no honesty in corruption as well. In India, bribing also does not ensure that your work will be done or not. So most entrepreneurs prefer to bribe outside of India to set up an industry. 🙂
Some days back, Hindustan Times broke a story that most Indians knew in their heart. There was misuse of Red Cross funds meant for Kargil soldiers by IAS officers. We all know how various unscrupulous individuals and groups duped millions of people by asking money in name of Kargil. But the money never reached those for whom it was meant. 😦
2. Insensitivity to Environment Hazards: India has not yet woken up to the importance of conserving environment and energy.
- We still use bulbs in place of CFLs. It is not even apparent what could be other reasons of not using CFL other than cost? Do we get poor quality of CFLs in our country?
- People who take care of India’s recycling are poorest of the poor – ragpickers. Their effort is largely unrecognized. We should also not have manual scavengers work in such unprotected conditions.
- Asbestos is banned in US and EU because it is carcinogenic and also an environment hazard. But as per Outlook magazine, current Indian government is considering to revoke 20-year-old ban on asbestos mining. Forget environment, what about all those workers who would suffer from lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, a painful cancer of chest wall lining. Doesn’t this government care for its people?
3. Lack of awareness about consumer rights: We are still not king as consumer. Ok, only till the time we sign that cheque. Most people do not think it is worth their time to pursue their case for redressal. Consumer Rights Protection Act remains underused. 😦
Autowallahs overcharge and refuse to ply. No one is able to regulate them. Calling auto helplines with license numbers does not help either.
4. Ban on Sex Education by Indian States: In a country that is seeing higher incidence of CSA (child sexual abuse) and AIDS cases, we need awareness about safe sex. States like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Kerala, Chattisgarh and Goa have banned sex education in name to preserving culture. If the first few books on sex education were offensive, they should have hired instruction designers to create books in good taste and with firm goals.
5. Article 377: In this country, gay rights are not yet recognized. Gays are subject to harassment by police due to such laws. A previous government’s argument to keep this law was that if gay rights were recognized, more people can be victimised by homosexuals. So, we have a law instead to victimise gays and lesbians.
6. Bad Public Transport System in Cities: I have realized this ever since I joined my new job. It was all the more apparent because in my previous organization, there was a company provided cab. Today I take every mode of transport available in a day. In morning, I take a rickshaw to metro station (in case I am running too late to walk) and then change two metro trains. I take a auto from there to my office that costs me about 70 bucks everyday. On way back from office, because it is too much trouble to find an auto in this posh area. I take a chartered bus to metro station and same route way back. On days, that bus does not arrive, it is a struggle to find a auto. The auto drivers refuse to ply.
You can’t think of traveling in a bus in the evening because one of the sexually deprived Indian male is bound to rub himself against you taking the advantage of the crowd. And I am told Delhi is much better than other cities in terms of public transport. 😦
So what are my options? Get my own car. But there are already huge number of vehicles on Delhi roads causing heavy traffic congestion. Most people don’t car-pool and neither do most companies (except BPO) offer transport. Certainly, post 60 years of Independence, this is a regressive phenomenon.
7. Crotch Scratching Indian Males: I have never seen any male in my family scratching themselves in public or family view. Yet you find several of males scratching themselves vigorously in public places. I wonder why. I suggest all such men see a dermatologist.
8. Peeing in Public: As Khushwant Singh once wrote, It is strange in this country to kiss in public but peeing in public is ok. West is opposite. Hindustan Times once launched a campaign against peeing in public. Several people wrote in to say it was so because that there were lack of public toilets. (There was lot of corruption and misuse of toilets. Several of them were abandoned. But that is a different story itself.) I have a question. If there is so much lack of public toilets, why is it that we find only men peeing in public and never a woman?
9. Voting Patterns in Reality Shows: People still vote on lines of caste and religion. Talent or merit loses in democracy, while mediocrity wins if with regional dose. Victory of Mona Singh over talented dancer Shveta Salve in Jhalak Dilkla Ja, mediocre Ishmeet over talented singers in Voice of India, Sandeep over talented Karunya in Indian Idol 2, and then Prasant won over talented Amit in Indian Idol 3 are glaring examples. Too hard to ignore that people still do not think above religious and regional sentiments.
10. Naagin Serials: Much as we are progressing in terms of quality of creative content in movies, soaps and plays, there are some channels like Zee TV that have serials about Icchadhari Naagins (female snakes that can impersonate as human) taking revenge! And do such serials get audience? Yes!
What are your reasons that may make you think that our country/fellow countrymen may come across as regressive?