Successive democratic government have come and gone both at the centre and state level. More than 12 general elections were held in a peaceful manner. The grass root level democracy seen in the establishment of Panchyati Raj system is a remarkable achievement in this respect.
The great economic progress that our country has achieved over the past 50 years is too great to be described here in few lines. Today our GDP growth is one of the best among the developing countries of the world, while our foreign reserves are going up, day by day. India has made gigantic progress in sectors such as, agriculture, industry, infrastructure, stock market, defence, space exploration, IT Software, atomic energy, etc. Green revolution, White revolution, Pokharan Nuclear Tests, National Superhighway project, etc. speaks volumes about our progress. Today, India produces its own supercomputers, missiles, satellites, modern ships, latest cars and almost all the consumer items.
She has achieved self-sufficiency in food production and in several industrial items. Indian textiles, jute, tea, precious stones, spices, marine products, computer parts, etc., are wanted all over the world. Considerable progress has also been made in social sectors such as, education, health care and medical attention in India.
Medical facilities have considerably improved. Infant mortality has come down. Life expectancy has increased. Death rate has declined. Literacy rate has risen to 65.38% in 2001. The progress of Indian women especially in the twenty first century is remarkable. Indian women have left their mark in every field, be it politics, sports, administration, education, writing, social service and so on.
Today, India is the largest producer of IT (Information Technology) professionals in the world. Transport, telecommunication and railways, too have made remarkable progress. As a nation today, India commands respect and honour in the international, arenas. Indian writers and intellectuals, IT professionals, religious gurus, cricket heroes, etc., have boosted the image of the country. Although, India has made great strides in several fields yet certain areas such as, population control, power, irrigation, banking, oil production, etc., are to still to make much headway.
Corruption, scams, looting of public money, religious communalism, regionalism, militancy, etc., are some of the canker worms that are eating up the Indian fabric. Jammu and Kashmir and several Northeastern states are reeling under militancy and terrorism destroying our national peace and tranquility.
Given the vast population, excellent resources and vast stock of professionals, India can reach great heights of progress in almost all sectors, if it wants to. For this, the nation as a whole must need to bury two of its threatening ills, namely, religious communalism and corruption in public life. India being a land of multiple religious and linguistic communities, Indians have to accept pluralism and develop the trait of tolerance. Indians also have to think nationally and globally and not individually. Only then, our country can quicken her developmental progress and would in a matter of time, become one of the most advanced countries in the world.
In his book “The Idea of India” Sunil Khilnani notes that amidst all kinds of differences in languages, religion, customs, social behaviour, etc. there are a number of underlying factors that bind and hold the country together. The prime factors, according to him are a mix of shared ideas and beliefs, shared ways of living and other cultural aspects. These are the very things that we, too have to uphold in order to sustain and nourish the very entity of INDIA.