Between Hopelessness and Hope

Gujjars damaging agitation upsets me. What a waste of the energy of a huge community to achieve something that does not give any thing- neither honour nor material benefits! Killing of Arushi, a sweet child of 14 years and that too by her father, while the mother keeps on sleeping, morose me. A totally irresponsible police utterances anger me. Cutting into pieces of the body of Neeraj Grover like a goat or sheep by Jerome Matthew and Maria Susairaj makes one realize that the humans have not evolved any better than beasts or rather perhaps have gone worse. But I can’t live under the weight of this hopelessness prevailing all around.

I try to find some venues and windows of hopes. And I do find in the story of India Inc getting into nanotechnology, the number of English medium schools increasing exponentially, Navodaya schools producing Nirmal Prakash, not only a name but in real sense, India growing as manufacturing nation, IT helping many organizations to bring a revolution of a sort, BPOs reaching rural India to make a difference in the lives of educated youth in villages, and many other good things happening.

India is innovating in every field of business activities. The IPL cricket is one such example. It is happening in factories and institutions, art galleries and fashion festivals. Virtus Techno Innovations, a company specializing in applied nanotechnology is trying to arrest the biological ageing process and to enable man to fight deceases better. While one company of the Tata Group is experimenting to use nanotech to make fertilizers efficacious, the other is working to make its vehicles lighter and stronger. M&M is working on developing windscreens that don’t need wipers, and Godrej Boyce Manufacturing Company is using this technology to its refrigerator compressor to greatly reduce its size without compromising with its functionality. IIT Bombay’s Prof Ramgopal Rao and his team have developed i-sens, a cardiac diagnostic device that uses nanotechnology for blood analysis to diagnose heart conditions, and, importantly, imminent cardiac attacks. Vimti Banerjee, Associate Professor, School of Biosciences & Bioengineering, IIT Bombay, has developed a drug for lung cancer that is inhaled in the form of nano particles through an aerosol spray. India is moving ahead to take the lead in nanotechnolgy soon through these little steps.

IT, the country’s strength is transforming India in big way to make it globally competitive in quality of services: a poultry firm is using IT to lower costs and get to the market faster; an eye hospital is handling a flood of patients with effective efficiency; an IT institute is carrying out all its core activities from entrance examination to semesters’ tests on line; and even an NGO is using DVDs to take quality instructions from the best urban teachers to village schools.

A survey by global consulting major, Capgemini, late last year suggested that India could challenge China and emerge as the next big manufacturing destination over the next three-to-five years. The sheer amount of activity taking place in smaller towns like Aurangabad (Wockhardt, Lupin, Nirlep, Garware, Videocon, Miller, UB and Heineken), a traditional manufacturing hub, to newer locations like Paradeep, where a large number of manufacturers are setting up shop and expanding at a breakneck speed, is mind boggling. Today it may be at Greater Noida in UP (LG Electronics India, Moser Baer, Yamaha, New Holland Tractors and Honda Siel), Manesar in Haryana (Maruti Suzuki, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, Denso and Munjal Showa), Chakan-Ranjangaon-Talegaon- Baramati near Pune (Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors), Nasik (ABB, Bosch India, Mahindra & Mahindra, L&T, Thyssen Krupp, CEAT and Siemens), Hospet in Karnatka (JSW Steel, Kalyani and Kirloskar Ferrous Industries), Sriperumbudur near Chennai (Hyundai Motor India, Nokia and Saint-Gobain), Tirupur in Tamil Nadu (Styleman Exports, Network Clothing Company and Royal Garments), Kalinganagar (VISA Steel, Neelachal Ispat Nigam, Jindal Stainless, Tata Steel’s proposed unit, Mesco), and Paradeep (Paradeep Phosphates, East Coast Breweries, Paradeep Carbon, IFFCO-Paradeep and Cargill India) in Orissa. But the growth of manufacturing hub will be exponential in coming year with SEZs and industrial corridors covering the length and breadth of the country.

And it is not only the growth of industrial enterprises. Education sector is booming. I find a group of central schools, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas that are bringing a revolution in education for the underprivileged. Interestingly, these schools are located in India’s rural hinterland and serving children from largely disadvantaged backgrounds. As reported, JNVs have currently grown to 560 schools educating some 2 lakh, located in all the states and Union Territories of the country except Tamil Nadu, which has so far refused to accept the scheme for political reasons. I don’t understand when can the country stop doing politics with education at least.

And all that is going on all over India is impacting the country’s economy making many advanced countries respect and sometimes envy India.

India’s foreign exchange reserves rose to a record $316.171 billion as on May 23, from $314.081 billion a week earlier. Per capita income of Indians for the first time breached Rs 30,000 mark and has reached to Rs 32,299 during 2007-08 indicating their growing purchasing power. The GDP growth rate for 2007-08 was 9%. It has remained 9 % and above for the last three years. 8.1 per cent is a worrisome inflation, but it is not due to slowdown of supply. Perhaps it is more because people can afford to buy at higher prices. Perhaps service providers as well as traders wish to get their share of the money getting into the hands of highly paid people in organized sector and the government employees with the rise given by the sixth pay commission. It is certainly worrisome that the much-publicized pay packets offered to the graduates of IIMs and other institutes of excellence and national importance are becoming the benchmark for monthly take home earning for many self-employed persons too.

And with the growth, the prosperity has come unknowingly and unexpectedly to many farmers. A good number of them have become crorepati by offering their lands to the new projects. These instant crorepatis are sprouting across the countryside in Singur (Tata Motors), Tiruch (IT), Devanahalli (Airport), or Gurgaon (SEZ).

And the achievements of Indians in the country and abroad are mind-boggling too. While a son of bidi labourer clears UPSC examination, kids of Indian origin are topping the spell competition.

And it is not only Tata and Birla that are acquiring big firms of Western countries, The Indian enterprises, for instance Times Group has entered UK by acquiring Virgin Radio in UK for Rs 445 crore.

And I find another reason for getting happy. As reported, it is ‘for the first time in the history of Independent India that food grain production has crossed 227 million tonne, causing global rice futures to dip 26 per cent and wheat prices to come down from $360 to $250 a tonne.’ Is it not proof enough that India is not short of food against what it requires?

This is my way to find a ray of hope and get happy, when everything all around starts appearing hopeless. Do you agree with my route from hopelessness to happiness? If you don’t, you shall have to wait to get old as I am.

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