Good write up by chetan bhagat

We can take some lessons for Gurgaon.

A catchy slogan of the new government was 'Acche din aane wale hain', translating to 'good days are about to come'. However, the party did not specify timelines. When exactly do the acche din or good days start? Did they start on the counting day, or on the swearing in? Or will they take a while to kick in, perhaps a few months? Or possibly even a few years?

There are other nebulous elements of acche din. What exactly does it mean? Is it enough we don't have a scam-tainted government anymore? Or that we have a PM who asks babus to come on time and clear files fast? Is the rising sensex a sign of acche din? Well, perhaps to a certain extent. However, there're clearly more expectations Indians have from these acche din.

The generic term carries with it a massive burden of aspirations, across socio-economic categories. A slum dweller wants running water, a graduate wants a good placement, a village lady wants a toilet in her home, a stockbroker wants the stock market to rise, parents want a good school for their children, a commuter wants good public transport, a businessman wants lower taxes and regulations — the list is endless.

For the middle class that reads this paper: less traffic jams, clean streets, low inflation, rising salaries, ample jobs, affordable education, cheaper healthcare and safer cities would probably figure on their 'acche din' Santa wishlist. What is a government to do? The question worth asking is this: Can any government ever deliver so many acche din requests?

The answer is no. Any government, no matter how efficient, honest or well-intentioned has its limitations in terms of what it can do for society at large. What makes a society thrive is, well, society itself. Make no mistake; a good government is important. It is a necessary condition for a society to thrive. However, it is not sufficient. You can't have true progress, or acche din with an acchi sarkar alone. You need one more variable. You need a society with good people.

To be specific, you need society where people have good values, or acche sanskar. I am sad to say we are far from that. We have started to change, but at present, we are not all good people. If we truly want acche din to come, let us also change ourselves.

Watch the government. Keep a keen eye on it for accountability. Praise and criticise their actions as needed. However, realise the government alone isn't the only entity that needs to change. We need to change too. Some people ask, what can i do, all alone? Well, here are specific suggestions. These are some not-so-acchi habits of Indians that need to be fixed.

One, care for those beneath you. Do you know what kind of school your domestic help's kids go to? Does he or she get water and electricity? Does it upset you if they suffer? Or is it their lot to suffer? Do they deserve acche din? Or should they be given to you first? The concept of greater good is missing in our society. This doesn't mean we turn communist and feel guilty all the time. This does mean we fight for a minimum standard of living for all Indians. Ever thought of giving your helper a weekly off? No? Why?

Two, have a certain civic sense. As a general rule, follow rules. Never litter, disobey traffic norms or do anything at the expense of society. The best traffic commissioner in the world can do nothing if citizens have no inclination to follow rules. Why do so many educated Indians take their cars past the zebra crossing at a traffic signal? Why do so many Indians strew plastic wrappers around even at our prettiest tourist spots? Did our parents not teach us otherwise? Or is it because of that Indian belief: If you can get away with it, do it. What kind of government can do anything if we think and behave like this?

Three, respect women. No, respect doesn't mean you fall on their feet and start calling them devi or ma or behen (goddess or mother or sister). Respect means treating them as human beings. It means respecting their opi-nions, giving them a say. It involves accepting their status as equals today, which was not the case 100 years ago. Times have changed; women have to be viewed differently.

Similarly, respect should be given to all Indians, of whatever religion, region, colour or race. No government can force a society to give up prejudice. Society, and individuals that comprise it, have to change.

Four, respect talent, innovation, creativity, risk-taking and entrepreneurship. Instead, we respect power, money (no matter how it is attained), connections, and the well-settled. We also think business is bad and businessmen are evil. Thus we make laws to make their life as difficult as possible. Less business, less jobs. Less jobs, less acche din.
We also think piracy is OK and intellectual property is of no consequence. Well, don't respect creativity; it will flow out of the country. No creativity, no wealth creation, no acche din. Get the drift, right?

India has tried its best to put a government in place that seemed to be the best alternative available. However, acche din needs a little more than an acchi sarkar. It also needs acche log. more  

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