Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Saare Jahaan Se Accha

If you want to get a feel for the vitality in India, you must visit the country around August 15th - India's independence day. This year, the country is celebrating it's 60th year of independence. While there is a lot of hope and optimism about the country's future, there is also a growing recognition about the problems (poverty, overpopulation etc.) among all. The newspapers today were full of debates and discussions about the progress made since independence and the way forward.

At the office yesterday, folks split up into three teams and competed to create an exhibit that represented India. These are the guys who represent the future of India where nearly 50% of the population (500MM) is 25 years old or less. It was a fascinating experience to view the country through their eyes. One exhibit represented India as a growing sapling (high prospects) on a rock foundation (difficult circumstances). The second had the country represented as a pigeon in a cage with the door open. The cage is open but the bird has not flown out yet. The third was full of optimism and was a celebration of the country's achievements and prospects for the future.

The residents association at our building had organized an Independence Day celebration complete with flag hoisting, march past, children's concert and breakfast. A school next to our building had their celebrations at 10AM with speeches and patriotic songs. The theme in all these events was pretty consistent - future looks bright and there is no stopping the young, bright and talented of this country. But there is also a tremendous responsibility to ensure that the opportunities are made available to all (250MM still live in dire poverty!).

Jai Hind!

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