India is all set to celebrate its 71st Independence Day. In the past seven decades, the country has witnessed a complete transformation in its social, economic and political sphere. From Agriculture to space and textiles to industries, each sector has made gigantic leaps over the last seven decades.
India with a population of over 1.25 billion people has become one of the fastest growing economies of the world. But, a bitter veracity which still exists is that a large section of the citizens is deprived of their basic amenities. The security forces have been fighting insurgency and Naxalism in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast for over three decades.
So as we usher into the league of developed nations, we still have a lot of challenges to ponder upon so as to be called a fully developed nation in the true sense.
The nation’s annual GDP growth is 7.1 (2016-17) percent and government is aiming to clock 8 percent while claiming that abject poverty will be eliminated very soon. It claimed that a large population of country will soon get access to the basic amenities like west in the coming 15 years.
In the last two decades, India has swiftly brought down the number of poor. As per World Bank’s data of poverty line, half of the Indian population fell under the category in 1981, but that astounding figure has plunged to less than 20 percent.
The World Bank’s defined poverty line says that 400 millions were above poverty line in 1981 while in the current scenario, it has touched close to 1 billion.
Of late, India has submitted Voluntary National Review report on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to the UN where it said, “Poverty has fallen across all economic, social and religious groups nationally and in all states in the post- reform era.”
The nation has also stated in its report that India has achieved growth following reforms initiated in 1991. However, India has still to do a lot more to tackle the issue of poverty with utmost sincerity.
On January 24, 2017, which is celebrated as Girl Child Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the need to reject gender discrimination and ensure equal opportunities. The women have been second to none in their contribution to nation building in each sector.
From education to sports, they have brought laurels to the nation. Several schemes and quotas have been launched by the government to ensure their representation in each realm. It has been witnessed that a few states have very abysmal sex ratio in the country. As per 2011 data, the sex ratio in few states is still below 800 per thousand males. Violence against women and heinous crimes have leapfrogged in the nation and it has to be addressed with all sincerity.
A recent US state department report suggested that India comes at third place after Afghanistan and Iraq in terms of terror attacks.
The South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) data (till July 23, 2017) reveals that 40 security personnel and 38 civilians have been killed in incidents related to terrorism this year so far.The unrest in Kashmir valley is threat to Indian sovereignty as it is a well-known fact that Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism via the Line of Control to destabilise and disrupt normalcy in the valley.
The neighbour is backing insurgents from its soil to propagate violence in other parts of the country too. Indian Army and other security forces are handling the menace with sacrificing their lives across the border. The Indian intelligence agencies are also playing a major role and share their inputs with security forces which is the need of the hour.
Naxalism is the second biggest threat after terrorism that engulfs India in the present time. The South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) data (till July 23, 2017) divulges that 51 security forces personnel and 25 Naxals have been killed this year so far.
Despite the Government's appeals of asking them to join the main stream, it seems that a concrete roadmap is required to address the grave issue. Of late, a few Maoists have surrendered before police but it is anticipated more in number so they can integrate themselves with development.
India is a country of huge population and its diversity is the beauty of its amalgamation. A nation, which has so many dialects, newspapers and news channels, often witnesses controversies over language, national anthem and allegations of suppression on delivering the opinion. Several incidents of hate crimes also witnessed in society which is certainly a concern for civilised country.
A few incidents came as a shocker when a youth was targeted in train and a man was lynched in Alwar for carrying beef. Rising such incidents also display intolerance of a few, who bring shame to the society and dilute the culture of vividness.
All sections of society advocate for free speech, but a few self- proclaimed groups, who drum up nationality raga, force a person or people to fall in line to which they observe 'anti-national'. It is not a good practice in a democracy, and all responsible political parties, intellect and respective governments must come forward to stop this nuisance.