Like you, I spend much of my time worrying about this fine nation. We have problems, and who can deny that? But where there is a problem, there is always a solution.
The top problems of our nation:
■ Problem: Malnourishment and stunting
Five lakh Indian children die from malnourishment each year. At the age of two, 38% of Indian children are stunted, also because of malnutrition. Stunting is a medical term meaning they are prevented from mentally and physically developing fully. They have no chance to lead a fulfilling life intellectually or physically, and it will not be easy for them to compete in the workplace. Since these children are only two today, we can write off 38% of the working age population of 2034 because we have failed to give them proper nourishment.
Solution: Beef ban
■ Problem: No money for health
India‘s Union budget for health is Rs 35,000 crore. It was cut by a couple of thousand crore because this nation does not have much money to spare for the poor. Government does not have the capacity to run the hospitals it builds and has no money to build many more. Government healthcare is accessed by 25% of the population and the chances of a government doctor diagnosing you correctly is less than 10%. America’s government spends more on healthcare alone than the entire GDP of India.
Solution: Buy 36 warplanes for Rs 59,000 crore.
■ Problem: Inability to educate our children
Government schools are worse today than they were a decade ago, according to Pratham’s ASER report. Over two-thirds of students of Class 7 in Gujarat cannot read a sentence in English. Half cannot read a Gujarati text meant for children two classes lower down. The vast majority cannot do division. India’s Union education budget is 85,000 crore.
Solution: Spend Rs 98,000 crore for bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai.
■ Problem: Dowry deaths
An average of 8,000 Indian women are murdered for dowry each year. Media has stopped reporting this because it is a problem they do not believe concerns their reader. This number has not fallen for four years.
Solution: Shout ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’.
■ Problem: Underreporting of sexual violence
Government data suggests 99% of survivors of sexual violence in India do not report the crime. Reasons range from social stigma and lack of capacity in the state, to police apathy and hostility towards survivors.
Solution: TV debates against ‘anti-nationals’.
■ Problem: No justice under AFSPA
Jammu and Kashmir Police have been filing FIRs against members of India’s armed forces. After investigations, chargesheets have been filed and the Centre been asked to lift the immunity of these individuals so that they can be prosecuted in a civilian court. Since 1989, how many requests of the J&K police has the Centre approved? Zero.
Solution: Surgical strikes.