Making India Awesome: New Essays and Columns Paperback – 19 Aug 2015
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‘Bhagat is a symbol of new India. A torch-bearer for an unafraid generation’ - India Today
‘Many writers are successful at expressing what’s in their hearts or articulating a particular point of view. Chetan Bhagat’s books do both and more.’ - A.R. Rahman, in TIME magazine, on Chetan’s inclusion in the TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World
‘The voice of India’s rising entrepreneurial class.’ - Fast Company Magazine, on Chetan’s inclusion in the 100 Most Creative People in Business Globally
Fighting corruption is not restricted to naming and shaming a few corrupt officials. If we think it is okay to cheat in exams, lie to a ticket collector in the train about our kids’ ages and pay a bit of money to avoid a big traffic fine, then at some level we clearly don’t care about eliminating corruption all that much. At best, we hate the politician who gets to steal (while we don’t).
The average Indian anywhere in the country is looking for a better quality of life, a certain amount of hope and security and the freedom to make personal choices. The issues that really matter to us are the same. Differences exist, but they don’t run as deep as our politicians would have us believe….This similarity of aspirations, at a fundamental level, is what gives me hope.
If we really want them to ‘Make in India’, the government has to let go. Keep business rules, but align them with international standards. Get the government out of business….The current finance minister may be investor-friendly. The next one may not. If I have invested money in India, how can I be sure the new guy won’t come after me with a stick?
Quite frankly, we have some way to go in achieving awesome levels. We still have Section 377, a legacy of the Victorian age, which criminalizes gay sex, a law so regressive, only a few orthodox religious states around the world have it today. We still don’t treat our women right, and often deny them rights without even realizing it. And every now and then, the fear of communalism and actual violence against religious minorities makes them feel unsafe.
I never write an essay or discuss an Indian problem without proposing a solution, no matter how simple that resolution may sound. I urge you to do the same when you discuss a national issue anywhere. Let us not only complain and whine, but understand things and work them out.
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