“The winds of change is blowing this continent . Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a fact” -the british Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on 3rd Febraury 1960 to the Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town
“Winds of change” –No other title would have been more appropriate because indeed. Just like the direction of winds changes , it changes moods , instilling new ideas or maybe bringing in a dramatic change in our perceptions which may lead to actions , fruitful or disastrous.
1. INDIA AND THE WORLD
Before discussing how the scenario of the world has changed over the years in terms of economics, politics , governance, the human resources, and most importantly the technology and scientific temper, let’s go back to the days post the Second World War; the era of the freedom struggle when politics in India was not about fighting for armchairs and the economy was far from developing, the days when the unit of currency was anna(rice) or a few pounds of it, if lucky; when words like stock market , annual reports , turnovers were not conceived in India.
An era where racism , casteism , practices like female foeticide , evils of illiteracy and unawareness was rampant. Sadly, the chief difference between ‘then’ and ‘now’ is that the number of aspiring leaders who actually bothered with the nation’s development were more as compared to now . Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi in India, talked about the guidelines of governance; a transparent, corruption-free political system and dreamt of India emerging as a superpower in the decades to come.
Nelson Mandela in South Africa who initiated the fight against the cruel racist policies followed by the whites had been quite fruitful. The U.S.A , a country governed by a ‘black’ president- Barack Obama, whose prolific leadership is appreciated worldwide.
Whatever the name, these people inspired a following, eliminated various societal evils and limitations leaving a large influence in India, especially among its youth.
2. THE ECONOMY IN PARTICULAR
The global economy is being buffeted by powerful crosswinds. Today, there is a fierce demand for only the best and a recession hit balance that keeps workforce to a minimum. The result — an increase in unemployment, leading to high levels of stress. Students go in, bearing the stress of unbelievably competitive exams and emerge with goals and ideas that transcend academics ; With such a multifaceted personality, a student is able to build a portfolio that meets recruitment requirements. Tech-fields and MBA are in vogue these days . Keeping India in perspective, foreign investments have seen a commendable rise since the government has freed the subsidies on foreign investments in 1991. Today, opportunities in a field extend across many nations.
3. ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY AND CHANGES IN PERCEPTION GO HAND IN HAND
Apart from the economy, technology is growing and people are adapting . Today, it has achieved a greater outreach than many previous decades combined. This outreach has helped improve our perception of trivial issues. Before girls weren’t allowed to step out of houses. Today, we see them holding high and challenging positions, examples being Mrs.Chanda Kocchar[MD , ICICI bank] , Indira Nooyi[ CEO of PEPSICO]. This outreach has also motivated cripples into doing more for themselves. These changes in the way we perceive things, our general ethos, have been greatly shaped by advances in technology.
4. POLITICAL REFORMS AND CHANGES IN GOVERNANCE
Politics has been evolving since its conception and execution. From what it previously intended to be, and what it had the power to do, everything matters when this has the potential to go sideways.
It started with a genuine interest to lead change and drive productivity. It led to the industrial revolution and sustained innovation. Slowly, it became a game, a dirty game; a pursuit of power. It turned out this way because people realized how easy it is to manipulate the public and how fickle minded the public is. Today, again, the public is tired of all the nonsense. They want to see competent leaders again who think genuinely along the lines of moving the country forward, developing it and driving its resources into activities that contribute to growth of a fair economy.
A very appreciable reform that was brought in was ruling out monarchy and dictatorship rules from various countries and countries to either democratic nations or president ruled nations whereas in earlier times monarchy and dictatorship were the the two most popular forms of governance been practiced and people had no other options except abiding by the orders of the king or the dictator due to fear of tax imposition or brutal punishments. Nowadays the people know when to raise voice and dissolve the government when they start malfunctioning .Lot of awareness programs in the last few decades has atleast taught people to come forward with their opinions. Nowadays we too have an opinion poll on various news channels before the elections and people express their views, and to put forward their complains. They do not fear harassment by political leaders and cast their votes with freedom. This year during the Lok Sabha elections in India, a lot of people came forward to vote including the newly turned eighteen year olds. This was a remarkable change in the country’s democracy.
5. THE INTRODUCTION OF THE RTI AND THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM
Talking about India ,after the RTI ( right to information )act was passed, lot of services as well as the governments have become answerable to the common men in case they find some fault or something fishy in the policies laid, the rules ,the jobs or the tax amendments.
The judicial system continues to be lethargic and cumbersome as filed cases are yet to be settled. The lack of witnesses and proof continues to delay the process. Although the new youth pursuing law have high aspirations and have great determination to bring great reforms in the judicial system in the years to come. One change that can been seen here is that people are fighting for justice until they are done. Even if the criminals are from powerful backgrounds, the sprit to seek justice persists unlike the earlier days when people didn’t even dare to file cases if the culprits were the dogs of the supreme forces. And in addition to this, RTI’s fear has provoked the police forces to register every case that comes to them.
Such changes in the thought processes are likely to make the scenario even better as it is now.
6. EXCHANGING CULTURES
Most work and developmental environments are cosmopolitan these days, which has led to the diminishing of the identity of a single culture. There are no longer clearly defined boundaries. Every culture has a piece of another these days. Is this going to lead to harmony, or conflict ?
It depends on how you perceive it; as a species, or as a culture seeking to not change for the better. In fact, one of our articles speaks exactly about this topic, and we have dug deeper. You will understand whether culture is a source of synergy or conflict.
7. FROM THE SUPPRESSED CLASS TO “THE WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE”
Apart from all these, one major change in the country that has been quite significant is the admission of large number of youth in the three prestigious forces namely the Indian army ,the Indian navy and the Indian Air Force. It not only the men who are joining these forces, but a large number of women folk have showed great interest. The credit goes to the parents of such girls who have sacrificed their very dream of getting their daughter married lavishly, and instead are supporting them in this great work of serving the nation. This is why this change can be considered ‘significant’ ; because, where women in earlier days were confined to the walls of their houses, are now achieving great endeavors in every known field; amongst which defense is a major one. Other fields like singing, dancing, drama, and sports too have seen great presence and excellence of women-folk in recent times.
The changing perceptions of the world with this regard have contributed well to the development of women, and hence the nation in its true sense.
8. CONVERTING CRIMINAL MINDS TO PRODUCTIVE ONES AND FIGHTING AGAINST THE EVILS
Coming to reforms in the areas of crime control, two aspects of change have emerged out, where one is striving towards transforming criminals into beings with a healthy mind and inculcating positive thought processes by holding cultural activities and exhibitions made by the prisoners themselves; giving them chances to turn over a new leaf when their jail term gets over. This practice got its roots from the Tihar Jail, and is practiced by many other jails in the country. Initiated by the first woman IPS officer , Dr.Kiran Bedi who believed that “Nobody is born a criminal , the negative influences and circumstances make them so”. This initiative has shown commendable transformations.
The other aspect is training the youth , especially the women to fight against the crimes, as a result of which , we can see lot of women who have been a victim of some or the other harassment come forward and form associations to save the other women who are going through such sufferings or are going to be a part of the same. Mrs. Bedi herself has solved many such cases and busted many rackets that involved trafficking of women and children. Inspired by such great women, we have witnessed many victims of sexual harassment , trafficking , acid attacks who have started living again with new hopes and courage, and this time with an aim of ruling out all the evils that continue to harm the society. Thus, proving an example for the rest of the women folk. There are also people who are accepting these victims as their life partners, and even their families are ready to accept them wholeheartedly when they were ignored and thrown out of their own houses, thinking that they will bring a bad name to the family. Commendable changes indeed!
9. A DREAM COME TRUE
The SCs, STs and the women who used to be regarded as untouchables are now the sarpanchs and pradhans of their respective villages and tehsils. Where earlier, they had been dependent on the upper castes and the men folk in case of the women, are now the decision makers for the village as a whole.
Prestigious jobs which have always been a dream for them are now a dream come true. Swami Vivekananda had predicted this scenario a long time ago. He said,
“The 21st century will see the uprising of the women and lower castes, and the world will be ruled by them”.
10. WELCOME GOOD CHANGES, RULE OUT THE UNWANTED ONES.
One drawback, which is a result of all this fast paced growth is the destruction of moral values , murder of relationships and much more. Even though we have progressed in all aspects of life , the values ethical and morality have significantly decreased.
Money and parental properties have become more important than blood relations. In fact, it seems funny to even consider them. People are running to psychologists and counselors who charge them as high as a common man’s monthly income, but the people are so disturbed to get inner peace that every amount seems affordable to them. Some even take the help of medicines , stress relievers that may be fatal if taken very often. The others seek help from saints and gurus; many of whom turn to be frauds and run away with heavy amounts. Peace doesn’t exist in all these places but in valuing our relations, and the people around us. This is the fundamental aspect of a good network, which will only aid you.
Changes are many, but the time is less. Every minute should be utilized , to enjoy , work , rest and live because after-all we get this life just once and it is not meant to be wasted. Let’s contribute to the changes in and around the world and make it a wonderful place to live in. Let the winds of change bring all hope and prosperity to humanity.