Tryst with Destiny’ by Pundit Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, has been one of the best freedom speeches across the world. The following sentence of the speech marks special significance.
‘A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we stepped out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance’.
Today we are celebrating 68th years of independence and the time has come for a fresh retrospection of the context in which the speech was made. There is no doubt that we have made several achievements in science, art and literature, have reformed many of our old beliefs and practices, but at the same time we are still far behind in many of the critical areas.
We have the poorest health service in the world. We have the dirtiest rivers in the world. Our vehicles produce the highest carbon per vehicle in the world. We have the lowest per capita usable water in the world. Our primary education is one of the lowest qualities in the world. These were the statements made by none other than one of India’s most eminent business leader, Narayan Murthy recently at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
We are one of the bottom nations in innovations among world’s developed countries. Even Philippines spends twice that of India.
Now coming to school education, the NDTV source says: ‘A nationwide survey on status of education says in rural India has revealed that there has been decline in the education standard across the country.’ The report is based on by a survey done by Pratham across 550 districts in India. According to the report, the rate of girls’ education has declined in a number of states. Children of class 5 across India can’t solve simple arithmetic problems and there is a sharp decline in the reading ability of children.
We don’t like to talk about these failures as it hurt our pseudo patriotism. Instead we are busy celebrating the Independence Day with buying our dreams of having expensive gadgets that are offered in discounted rates.
It is a challenge for all of us how to overcome many of these critical areas in a time bound manner. There is a need of more commitment and dedication of today’s youths, who share a large percentage of India’s population. Once achieved we can proudly argue that we have stepped out from the old to the new.