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Social Issues in India

June 23, 2014

India has made a place for itself as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, yet it loses behind in a lot behind in the name of growth. As the rich are getting richer and the poor get poorer, the divide has been expanding more than before. What can after all be attributed to the various issues that pose a threat before every government that comes to power at the centre? From the increasing poverty, to the corruption at an all-time high, the increasing violence against women across the nation, the incidents of terrorism that rock some or the other city, and the rising prices of basic amenities, are some of the most scary facts of this fast-growing economy, India.

Social Issues in IndiaWhile these are not the only issues on the list, let’s go through some of the major social issues that mar the reputation of the country off and on:

Poverty

Poverty is one of the biggest evils faced by India in the present scenario. With an increasing population of people in the Below the Poverty Line (BPL) across the nation, it seems like a never-ending issue. Rising inflation has added further to the existing problem. India has an unbelievable number of people suffering due to this evil. According to the Indian Planning Commission’s 2013 estimate, around 269 million people (approximately 22% of the total population) live under the poverty line. And, when we start looking around for what has actually been done about it, we wouldn’t really find much.

The government needs to take a strong action against the biggest social evil of all. Ministers need to work towards creating employment, and providing enough for the large population which does not even receive the basic amenities. New policies are the need of the hour, not only for employment creation but also to create a young educated population. Education must be promoted at all levels of the society to create awareness especially among the poor.

Corruption

Corruption is ruining the spine of the nation, and has adversely affected the economy of India. India has been marred by a list of scams and scandals, which have crippled the nation from inside out. From the Coalgate scam, to the 2G scam, to the CWG scandal and the Bofors scam, all brought forward the weaknesses of a government and a nation as a whole. As the government at the centre changes every time, the blame game changes and political parties start blaming the other, but corruption is not really being fought at the ground level. From babus to ministers at the top, all have been found involved in some of the world’s biggest scandals.

What has created a hole in the pockets of the Indian economy, it has become essential for the government to tackle it at different levels. From strict rules at all levels of government undertakings, to an awareness among the people against the spread of corruption, needs to be maintained by the government. Anna Hazare’s fight againt corruption should actually be taken up by the leaders of the nation and must imply the Anti-Corruption bill in the government completely.

While pointing a finger on others is the easiest way out, people need to realise the need to get rid of the ‘under-the-table’ bribing habit and strengthen our system by neither giving bribe, nor taking bribe. The government needs to take strong action against a bribe-giver and a bribe-taker equally.

Terrorism

Terrorism has affected India since the day India was partitioned. The dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan has been a long-standing unresolved issue. Using this, the neighbouring country has often used terror against India in the worst manners possible. Uncountable incidents of terror attacks in Kashmir, and its nearby regions such as Srinagar, along with the major cities of the country, have been a source of disturbance very often. One such incident which shook the nation was the 26X11 Mumbai terror attack, among the uncountable similar attacks. India has been disturbed by external terrorism as well as internal terrorism through Maoist attacks in the western parts of the country.

Terrorism mainly causes loss of lives, but also affects the country economically. Tourism in Jammu & Kashmir has suffered for years on end due to the threat to tourists due to sudden terror attacks. Alongside, the clean-up after every such attack involve long governmental processes. How is the government tackling the issue, only remains a question.

The government needs to take a strong stand against the neighbouring countries terror activities and needs to take action and not only hold peace talks. It’s the need of the hour that the citizens of the country are provided with security as well as an assurity of safety as well. A sensitive approach towards terrorists may be attempted to make them surrender.

Communalism

Being a mix of various cultures and religions, India has ever-since its formation suffered due to communal differences. Communal clashes have led to a lot of violence in various incidents across the country. The hindu-muslim clash during the partition of India, and the Operation Blue Star which led to the assassination of the then PM Indira Gandhi are the worst examples of communalism in India. Not to forget the bloodbath that took place during the Babri Masjid demolition case. India has been affected both economically and politically, after such incidents took place.

The government needs to handle such issues with extreme sensitivity, along with making sure that communalism is not used for political gains by its ministers. Besides political understanding, change needs to be brought from the grass roots level itself. The caste divide must be decreased by educating the younger generation and sensitizing them about such issues.

Illiteracy

On one hand, India has a state like Kerala that boasts of 93.91% literacy in its state alone, while on the other hand there is a backward state like Bihar with 68.8% literacy rate. Education is not necessary for employment and learning, it is required to create a sensitive and growth-seeking younger generation. A youth needs to be empowered with education, to further know their rights as the citizens of the country. Illiteracy needs to be tackled as one of the biggest social evils of the nation, as this is the biggest reasons why the youth is misguided and involved in criminal as well as terror activities.

The government needs to enforce free education and strict rules to follow it in every family in India, poor or not poor. An educated population will eventually lead to the country having a stronger workforce as against the world. Education is sure to change the poverty and unemployment scenario in the country. At the core level, the people need to be made aware of the need of education to have enriched lives.

Inflation

The past years have seen inflation as one of the major issues faced by the common man. The rising prices of basic amenities have created furore among the people. Rising rates of food items and fuel have affected the pockets of the middle class so much, bringing them out on the roads in protest. The government has not been able to fulfill any of the promises made before coming in power, which were all forgotten later, leaving the people to suffer the brunt of inflation.

There is an essential need to bring inflation under control, and bring basic amenities at affordable prices for all. When will this economic divide be erased, is a question no government has been able to answer as yet.

Violence against Women

Women in India live under a constant fear all the time. A fear of going out alone, disturbs every female mind living in India. The rising cases of sexual abuse and rape across the country, have left a black mark on the reputation of India. Foreign tourists have been known to have been given special warnings while travelling to India, in fact some countries even labelled our nation as an unsafe country for women, after the deadly Delhi Rape case. Is this the reputation we wish to maintain across the world? Definitely not! But, what are we really doing about it. The recent rape cases in Badaun, UP moved the entire nation, though no concrete action was taken for a long time. Rapes continue to take place, and no action is taken against the culprits. In most cases, victims die, and if they survive they live a worse life than ever.

Before the government does anything about the security, the people themselves need to take a stand against crime against women. We as a society need to fight this social evil from within. The youth needs to be sensitized about the safety of women, and the respect to be given to women.

Strong police action needs to be taken against the culprits, and cases need to be handled with more sensitivity and through a quick process. We need to see justice happen, and now.

The country as a whole needs to be ready to tackle such social evils, along with the government.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of Elections.in.

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