Why India Needs To Stop Looking At The West For Answers On Development

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By Barbara Smith

Influential cultural heritage, rich geographical features and respect for all religions are the prominent qualities of India. If you measure the development of India according to global standards, then you will come to the conclusion that India must make drastic improvements.

But what is the meaning of development? Is it the western definition or should India create its own development?

Cultural And Social Development

India has struggled to provide relevant education to everyone who is a part of the Indian society.

The communities and their needs are so diverse that the same kind of education system is not relevant to all. For example, a city dweller working in a multinational corporation (MNC) might have different needs which are fulfilled by the mainstream education system. But what about people like migrant labourers? If there is a lack of education or direction for their children, it would be very counterproductive to the same community.

The dilemma is due to their very specific situation. They might not even find mainstream education relevant to them. It might be better to start with relevant education which can provide the light of knowledge and create a path for employment as soon as possible. That’s what motivated Acharya Chandra Bhushan Tiwari, an education reformer, to leave his government job to educate the poor children of migrating labourers. People like him need no appreciation; they are not only working for the upliftment of the poor but also doing a great favour to the community.

The growth of the country directly or indirectly depends upon the development of people. Gone are the days when people believed that the right to education solely belonged to the rich. Now every person has an equal right to education. Even the government has taken initiatives to light the candles of education in remote areas. The “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan” is one of most valued initiatives in this direction.

Campaigns such as “Skill India” are aimed at improving one’s skills, unlike mainstream education which relies on examinations but never questions the relevance of education with respect to the ever changing needs for employability.

What Changes Will It Bring To The Society?

Many parts of the country, including cities like Lucknow, are still struggling to find their definition of development.

Relevant education which leads to enlightenment about one’s surroundings, including environment and cultural practices, will pave the path towards sustainable development. Human resource can thus be employed for a longer duration, serving their local communities. They will have a connection with the land and soil, thus helping its development and making it a better and peaceful place to live in. It is our responsibility to support reformers like Chandra Bhushan in their revolution.

Development On The Political Front

Politics weaves through every community. Till now, politics has never been seen as a viable career option, leading to a very opaque system. This leads to corruption at every stage and people building oligarchies with the help of politics. Active collusion with businesses who have their own agendas is very prevalent in the current way of politics.

BallotboxIndia, through its innovative initiative ‘janmela’, is trying to make a dent in the situation. We interviewed some upcoming leaders like Mr Amal Kumar (JDU), Mr Abhinav Mishra (AAP), Mr Harilal Prasad (CPIM) on their ideas for tomorrow and the new India we want to see.

It was heartening to see how the grassroots cadre and local leaders were contributing to the community, not just with their time but their efforts. Many times, their efforts go unnoticed like when they help keep their communities clean, work on proper sewerage, local employment and employee rights and disseminate information on various government schemes. They play a vital role in the community.

BallotboxIndia, through its various initiatives, is assisting such leaders to connect with the right problems which are directly affecting their constituency and developing the right local parameters on what works and what doesn’t.

Wrap Up

India needs a real revolution in its social and political systems. Indians can’t keep following western models since they depend on countries like India to contribute with their natural resources, labour, land and their long term sustainability in terms of water security, pollution and detached human resources. For India to develop in a sustainable format for the long term, the country needs to develop its own models and parameters.

BallotboxIndia is connecting the communities’ socio-political leaders with the problems which are affecting common folks, thereby building a long lasting connection, creating employment opportunities, building the work force of tomorrow, solving problems of local communities while preserving their rich heritage and culture.

Source: Youth Ki Awaaz

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