Despite some unflattering findings of UNDP report (2002) on human development, and some equally disturbing distortions thrown up by Census 2001, on socio-economic scenario, there is every reason to envision an India of 2020 as a strong, stable and successful power in its own right.
When the President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam exhorts people, especially the children, to think big and strive for bigger aspirations and achievements, he shows the way how to envisage the vision 2020 and translate it into a reality.
No doubt, visionaries sell dreams and talk of visions so that people at large are excited and exercised to make the best of their caliber and capabilities, in turning sand into gold, and dreams into roaring realities.
With our rich and powerful cultural tradition, our huge reservoir of trained man power, our considerable natural resources and our growing defense capabilities, we have the potential to make a major contribution to the emerging global society, so as to ensure a stable, multi-polar world in the years to come. But this will be possible only if we learn the lessons that contemporary history is teaching us loud and clear.
The years ahead are full of promises. It is up to us how we use our prudence and potential to make the best that we possess, both in physical and intellectual terms.
Since beggars are never choosers, it is in the fitness of things that we learn to stand on our own legs and see straight into the future that beckons us, to make new strides and carve a niche for India that is both sturdy and sustainable.
Mere wishful thinking leads nowhere. The tendency to look before and after and pine for what is not has to be replaced by an attitude of action in the living present. Nations do not become great by accumulating heaps of gold, but only by men/women who are determined to chisel the present in such a way that the future unfolds itself exactly the way we have worked for it.
Long standing problems are never cured by short-cuts. Freaks of fortune cannot take the place of meticulous plans and programs.
In order to achieve our goal of a vigorous polity, by 2020, we have to put all the contentious issues on the back-burner. With our faculties of head and heart focused on ‘Vision-2020’, we have no choice but to harness our energies for productive purposes only. With the endurance of a camel and the patience of a saint, we have to look ahead and claim what is our due as the second largest country of the world.
If the present trends are any guide, we can hopefully look forward to making faster development on various fronts that help measure the resourcefulness and resilience of a country.
Notwithstanding a few discernible hiccups erupting here and there on the politico-economic landscape, the indications are indeed positive. In the years to come, if our heads and hearts remain at their proper place, and we could take care of our social sectors with much more care and concern than what we have done in the past, there is every likelihood of India withstanding any challenge that time might throw up.
It seems the worst is over as far as the uncertainties of the Gulf War are concerned. The spectre of drought too has disappeared and India is on the move to reach its coveted goal of becoming an economic power, fully supported by its military might. The doubting Thomases should be rest assured that India is ready to take its rightful place at the global high table.
Lest we forget the robust role that the dispensation of social justice plays in the life of a nation-State, it is imperative that the fruits of economic progress percolate to the last person. Unless the Indian polity ensures a level playing ground to one and all, all our claims of a resurgent economy, rising foreign exchange reserves, inflation under control and the like shall prove pre-mature and precarious.
Inspired by the ‘Vision-2020’, we are conscious that we are a continent sized economy. When we begin to hum, the world will hear our song. Rightly, the policy makers have also worked out what they call a “strategic vision” for India. This includes global acceptance of India as a nuclear weapons power, and getting a seat in the UN Security Council. We need to project ourselves in the region. A global role has to be built on a regional foundation.
No doubt, the road ahead is arduous. Endowed with massive manpower, abundant natural resources, a rich and riveting heritage, our prowess is not confined to any one field. A new study has ranked India second in the world, next only to the US, in terms of distribution of certified professionals in nine major categories, including computer software, finance and health care.
“Only by the highest and best can we judge a nation; the fallen are a race in themselves”. —Swami Vivekananda.