This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 3; the third edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
I am reminded of the famous dailogue from the Hindi film Guru(2007) “Sapne maat dekha karo, Sapne kabhi pure nahi hote mera bapu kehta tha”(tr: Don’t dream because dreams never come true my father used to say)
When I saw the topic for Blog-a-ton3 I was completely at a loss as to what to write about but then on reading through the comments of the voting post I found a comment by Indian Pundit who suggested the topic “Its just the DESI version of American Dream……..hope u get the point.
We Indians too have certain dreams and aspirations about ourselves and about our country”. Oh Ok I got it but wait what is American Dream? Like a true techie ‘Googled’ the words “American Dream” and bang the first on the list was a wiki entry gr8. So I knew the job was easy now and Googled with “The Indian Dream” well there was no wiki entry this time how sad though we have entries for European Dream, Australian Dream, New Zealand dream but no Indian Dream ( I think we can put a wiki entry of ‘Indian dream’ as a summary of the blog-a-ton posts. What say?).
Now what do I do? I looked into some of the search items in Google and found the general usage of the word Indian Dream equates with the ‘Dollar Dream’ that is the software industry which gave way to so many “Indians” from small towns & villages go to West and become a ‘coveted’ NRIs. Let me tell you thats basically a Westerner’s take on Desi version of American Dream. So do I talk of that ‘Indian’ dream or the ‘Indian’ dream of who is born, raised, lives and dies in India.
I think I should talk about the ‘Indian dream’ of one who is born, raised, lives and dies in India. But before I go to the ‘Indian Dream’ lets first define what is ‘India’? “India” that we see today is a country that was shaped by the British who conquered over a bunch of disparate kingdoms and brought them under one administrative system. So now we have a ‘sketchy’ idea what ‘India’ is, now the actual ‘Indian Dream’. So initially the Indian Dream was to live in a ‘free’ country that is a country that is ruled by the “Brown” sahibs instead of the ‘Gora’(White) Sahibs. On 15th August 1947 that dream was fulfilled after a lot of sweat, blood & tears.
Then came the Dream of building a country out of what was left by the British. A strong nation which can defend its people, which can provide the basic necessities to its people. Then we had leaders like Indira Gandhi & Rajiv Gandhi who dreamt India can be at par with the ‘developed’ nations. Rajiv Gandhi said “Garibi hatao” (tr: remove poverty) but over a century ago Swami Vivekanada had openly declared that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses. The immediate need was to provide food and other bare necessities of life to the hungry millions.
Well they were some of the ‘ancient’ dreams.Lets see what a ‘modern’ dream is. Recently a newspaper cartoon caught my attention in which they showed village women wondering How discovery of water in moon by Chandrayan-I help ease their pain of walking miles for water. I am not going into any debate of what should the dream be but what the cartoon conveyed is an ‘ugly truth’.
The epicentre of “Dollar dreams”, Bangalore which nearly transformed into American nightmare cannot provide its citizens with 24 hrs of power(which is but a basic thing in the countries from where ‘we’ get the outsourcing contracts), the citizens do not have good motorable roads, neither do they have safe drinking water in every part of the city. Yet the city signals display signboards with ‘Texas Instruments’ etched on it.
Then the dream of a ‘strong’ nation. Well for that we have to sacrifice more than 500 brave and talented men just to drive out infiltrators from our own land. So what happens if a “regular” army attacks( The thousands of men there will sacrifice everything again and ensure that we are safe).
So when I sit down to write about the “Indian Dream” I see we still have so many ‘basic’ dreams and surprisingly we have resources to fulfill them yet we are not able to fulfill them. So whats stopping us? I think its corruption, nepotism, favoritism which has got into the very roots of our systems. So I dream of a country ‘free’ of these and then rest of the dreams will come true on its own.(Does it sound too Socialistic, see this is the result of growing up in a socialist state[West Bengal]).
It will really be interesting to see what all of you have in store in form of “Indian Dream” and maybe our descendants(don’t know which generation) in Blog-a-ton ‘n’ write whether those dreams were fulfilled. So Do I end in true Guru Bhai ishtyle “Dekhna hai ek aur sapna …. banna hai duniya ki sabse khushal desh”(tr: “Lets see another dream…. to become the most prosperous nation in the world”)
PS: I have not read “The Great Indian Dream” by Arindam Chaudhuri and Malay Chaudhuri but now I feel I should read it cause the book seems to have answers to questions above. (Google search threw up this book reviews etc as well)