What can I do for the country?

I have thought over this problem for hours and days. I am no big shot. I am no political leader. I understand that I am in no position to bring a big change. So, the answer is that all of us should change to make India a developed country. Fair enough. I reached this conclusion 3 years back. Now what? How can I contribute in my way? Any suggestions? I talked to many smart(er) people. Got some answers. But not complete. I think its still unanswered but most of my doubts are gone by the book "Ignited Minds" by APJ Abdul Kalam.

This is not a review of the book. I am in no position to do that. This is just a compilation of the points I thought, points that came up in the discussions I had with a few seniors, discussion I had with my internship professor in Hong Kong, my lab mates during my internship at Paris and also the ideas from Ignited Minds. An attempt to answer the question on "How can people like me (young and educated) contribute to India's development?"

(Order is not important)
  1. Say NO to corruption
  2. Pay taxes regularly and honestly
  3. Don't practice social evils like untouchability, dowry, female foeticide, etc
  4. Keep our country clean
  5. Stop whining about everything Indian. Respect India, its culture, its people. If we need to make small talk, we start talking about how bad it is, how bad our government is, etc in buses, trains and other public places. If you have a solution, suggest it. Just whining that India is bad in public places have led to this situation that we don't really respect our country
  6. Don't blindly respect everything foreign. Don't buy foreign goods just because its foreign
  7. Don't fight over religion, caste, place of birth, language, etc. Believe in unity of the country.
  8. Vote honestly without any bias
Best of Luck!!


somu said…
who do you think is better a corrupt officer or a lame officer or one who is both lame and corrupt:)
Sanyam said…
words are good pratik, and every Youth implicitly know these points..The problem is bigger.
We talk about no corruption, But you can see a lot of corruption in every college by these youths you talking about...Just recntly held Insti Elections..or should I say..Insti pol2 day. I mean dammit they are the brightest people in the country(so to say) and that that is what they do, although lot of them would agree to this post of yours.
The problem that I perceive is that the back-bone of the country THE government, That needs more of intelligent people to make decision at root level.
More can be said, But I would refrain from doing so..Let's see how people respond.
Anyhow nice post.
somu said…
many government offices can be closed on the same grounds dance bars in mumbai were once patronization and looting taxpayers is stopped which is not going to happen
Pratik Poddar said…
1) Do we really.. I don't think so. I have got these points after long discussions and deep thinking.
2) You are frustrated and sad. What you say does not really makes sense. In insti elections, there are self-vested interests. No blogpost like this can urge you to ignore that. What I am really saying is that many people want to find answers. Many people want to contribute. Its just a guideline for them.
3) Agreed about government. In fact, going off track, I once said one of my friends 2-3 years back that if you want youth to aspire to become a political leader, our movies should have them as protagonists. I always wanted to be Police Inspector just because Akshay Kumar was always a police inspector. I was really happy with the movies Nayak, Paa and similar movies which I am sure would encourage people to go to politics. There are better methods, but this is something I thought.
Ajit said…
A rather simple question: you are driving in Bangalore, a thulla randomly catches you on an empty road, says you are driving dangerously and says 400 rupees for a challan, and implicitly asks for 100 rupees without it, what do you do? ( btw even 50 would do if you take the latter route :P )
Pratik Poddar said…
@Nema.. I really don't know..
You might pose a simpler problem. Even when you have done something wrong, and if the person is issuing a fine, there is a cheaper way out giving him half the money. What should be your incentive to choose a 400 Rs fine over a 100 Rs bribe? On Delhi International airport, I was asked to open all my bags for random checking. This would take more than 2-3 hours. So, I also offered them a few hundred HKD, which they accepted gladly.
I really don't know how to solve this?
One very brave comment: We can do one thing. We, as students, can launch a sting operation, and if someone demands bribe, we can get him caught. This would instill fear in people and they might be worried which is sting operation and which is not and hence will have to give it up.
But no better ideas :(
hooda said…
I agree strongly with Sanyam. No offense to Pappu but people realize most of the points. If not as a sufficient set of things to improve the country, then atleast as a set of things that must be followed for ethical reasons.
But at the first step we ignore these for personal gains and take the easy way out. Even within IITB(though i believe its not as bad as elsewhere) what happens on election day is pretty representative of the problem in the society. People are willing to blatantly break rules because more than anything they believe they are part of something big. Even take copying in assignments for example. We know its wrong but we still justify it(or dont :P) and go ahead and do it. Again in the example of giving a bribe. One should not see it as a choice at all. But for almost all it is and almost all choose the easy way out.
I too believe that one need not be a politician(though it would be great) to make a change. Leading your own life responsibly is enough if a large section of people do it. But the sad part is i dont see how we can get enough people to do it. Do people not vote for their hostel mates. Its exactly the same thing in actual elections . There is no way to have unbiased voting(Democracy is deeply flawed in that respect).
But at the end its best that we have such discussions and if at the end even one listener steels himself and decides(not just agrees that bribes are bad, we all know that it is bad just as we know smoking is :P) never to give bribes, it would have been worth it.