Came across a twitter thread. Lewis Hamilton, five-time world racing champion had commented about India being a ‘poor place’. Of course, he was trolled . After much criticism, he issued a statement on his official twitter handle about his experience of racing in India and I quote, “Hey every one, I noticed that some people are upset with my comment on India. First off, India is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The culture there is incredible. I have visited and always had an amazing time whilst it is the fastest[sic] growing economy it also has a lot of poverty. My reference was that a Grand Prix there felt strange to drive past homeless people and then arrive in a huge arena where money was not an issue. They spent hundreds of millions on that track that is now never used. That money could have been spent on schools and homes for those in need. When we did have the race, nobody came because it was too expensive most likely or no interest. However, I have met some amazing Indian friends.”

I would never know what exactly he implied when he talked about India being ‘poor’, but his clarification statement quite certainly brought home the bitter truth of stark anomalies that we, as society, are witnessing as mute spectators.

Huge statues are being built, places of worship are being built, while the necessary infrastructure, like hospitals, schools, roads are in shambles.

Even if education is making inroads to most of the population, its abysmal quality makes it as good as no education at all, so to speak.

We have unemployed youth wanting jobs, yet there are more than 5000 vacancies (according to Ravi Shankar Prasad, published in TOI on Aug 1st, 2018) in the subordinate judiciary, 432 in various high courts and six vacancies in the Supreme Court to be filled . is the ‘employ-ability quotient’ poor of our youth? If so then whose fault it is? Or is it simply the fault of our famous ‘system’ !!!

Coming to the imaginary scenario that all the posts are filled, there wouldn’t be enough courtrooms to accommodate all of them. This brings back the question, if we don’t have money to spend on these things why we are spending on statues and temples and Grand Prix!

In an interview On July 03, 2018, Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani had said that Indian Railways will fill up over one lakh vacant posts by March-April next year. Why all these posts were vacant all this while?

Still troubled I am to see the number of applications for 1.10 lakh vacancies. According to the PTI, the railways has received around 2.27 crore applications for about 1.10 lakh vacancies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The poor state of employment can’t be asserted more!

A whopping five lakh police posts of the sanctioned strength of 22.63 lakh are lying vacant across the country. (Economic Times, July 13, 2018)

According to the Home Ministry statistics, there are 22,63,222 sanctioned posts in police forces of all states in the country, of which 17,61,200 are occupied while 5,02,022 posts are lying vacant.

A grand Prix racing track and 1.77 million homeless people in the same country- could the facts be more paradoxical!

According to the government’s definition, homeless or houseless are those who live in “the open or roadside, pavements, in hume-pipes, under flyovers and staircases, or in the open in places of worship, mandaps, railway platforms etc.” Yet when it comes to providing them the basic needs, governments have been failing to spend even their allocated funds. Again I am asking, what’s the rationale of making those huge statues, parks and temples if we can not provide homes to our people, education and employment to our children!

Read today that Marathas have been declared backward class in Maharashtra. That enables the Maha Govt to include them in the reservation pie. Now what kind of country are we becoming? People are fighting to get into the reservation pie, they are screaming that ‘they are not good enough to progress on their own , on their merit’ while the rest of the world is trying to bring their oppressed out of such systems.

Why our spot of pride is so misplaced.? Why our priorities are so wrong? Let’s take Hamilton’s statement in the right spirit (doesn’t matter what he actually meant )Before trying to impress the world with our ‘Grand Prix Track’ and races, lets fix our ‘home’ first- right from where it should start- at the base!