Sunday, September 08, 2013

Indian Youth

I just came back from a birthday party of a friend's son. The little son has turned one today and his proud parents had thrown a party to celebrate that. Obviously as you can see such things don't particularly excite me. What was exciting was to meet a big gathering of Indians in the party and find out what was up in their lives. Most of it was about raising kids in London and long work hours causing hindrance in achieving work life balance. However it all sounded under control and more towards being the usual moaning Indian mentality... I have only seldom come across truly optimistic Indian crowd and today's was no different.

Well this blog post is not about this. What stood out for me was the conversation I had with my friend's brother, who has, a couple of days back, come from India. He used to live in Gurgaon (satellite town of Delhi) with his wife, owned a house (on mortgage) and both husband wife were working. On the outset, it would sound like a perfect set up. Young couple, so still have some time to plan for kids. For me they would classify as an average middle class nuclear family trying to live in big metro cities and making a living on their own. I saw no apparent problems with that and immediately associated him with the new India. However, as we started talking more, he revealed that he has just sold his house, his wife has stayed back in Gurgaon and is living in a paying guest with a female friend and he himself has moved to Ireland to complete a Masters course. A perfectly settled life now suddenly started sounding too unsettled. This major step was not taken in any hurry. The couple had long thought about it and they both felt this to be the right move. Going out of the country, no matter where just seemed the right thing to do. He is frustrated that even with two salaries and yet no dependents, they are not saving enough. The tax structure is flat and the infrastructure is not at all good to justify the high taxes they pay. So here I had, a bright hard - working honest couple who would regularly pay their taxes eager to leave the country asap and throw their lives into uncertainty.

The plan is that the husband will study in Ireland, the wife will join in due course and start looking for a job there and eventually they will settle there bidding adieu to India forever. Obviously I am nobody to comment on whether this is right or wrong being myself a person who left the country for a year but has stayed out for longer than five years now. But I at least do definitely want to go back. I have not, in my heart and soul, yet been able to bid adieu to India. I want to go back at the next available opportunity, just don't know when that would be. This story of a first hand experience of an Indian youth troubled me. I could see India as a push factor - where people like him are being pushed out of the country, where is the pull factor - so that people like me can return to the country?

Clearly the current government has failed. Ten years is a long time to shape a country and India has completely lost shape in this time. Shall we not be definitely looking for a change??? I don't know who is the best alternative, all I definitely know is that the track record shows that no further chances be allowed to the incumbent. Else we will be caught in his infinite loop of pessimism, anxiety and social unrest which will be very difficult to come out of.

An ordinary story like this has caused a lot of pain in my heart. India is under global watch and the next elections are crucial for the country. I wish I was in India to contribute to the turning point of the country, but can I request all my friends and well wishers to go out and vote in the next general elections and contribute towards the change. I believe in change and I desperately want to see a change. India has all the ingredients to become the next big thing, therefore let's just create the right dynamics to achieve that goal!