The Viewspaper organized a Letter-A-Thon Campaign “PM Ji Samjho Ji” where people were invited to write a letter to the Prime Minster offering constructive criticism. I would like to thank the Editorial team for having invited me personally to write in the campaign. Here is my letter. You can also read it here.

You can read the other letters here.

Image Courtesy : The Viewspaper

Dear Prime Minister,
I write to you as a citizen, who is concerned about the direction in which the nation is headed.

I have always admired you as an individual and your profile, but somehow things don’t seem to be going in the right direction, for some time. Everyone has their share of bad days; You just seem to be having all of them together.  I don’t wish to add fuel to the fire and point out why things went askew. Past is past, there is no point talking about it now. We can only hope to make sure that we do not repeat the past mistakes.

In this letter, I wish to outline certain things, which would definitely help the “aam- aadmi”. More than just helping the common man, it would help the nation too.
The foremost concern of mine is for the people who gave us this place today, the previous generation, the senior citizens.  We are what we are because of them. We need not celebrate them every day, but the least we can do it to make sure we respect them and not belittle them.  As family members they have helped us to evolve and mature as a person and as a society, they have laid the stone and kick started various initiatives that speak of development. In many instances, it pains to see them undergo such a harsh treatment, both by their own kin and by people in various offices, mislead them and take them for granted when they come forward to claim what is rightfully theirs. We need to respect them and make them feel comfortable and we shouldn’t humiliate them. Their share of work is done, and they’ve done enough. It is time for them to rest and it is up to the Government to take care of them and not leave them scurrying around, from building to building to get their pension. The Government could possibly set up old age homes and help them lead a comfortable or at least a decent life.
Having taken care of the previous generation, Let us now focus on the current generation. The Youth Brigade. The youth are accused of leaving abroad in search of better pursuits without any consideration to work for the upliftment of their own motherland. Well, not just the Youth, a lot of others are also accused with the same statement. All I would say is, if people are provided with good opportunities in their very own motherland, why would they even bother considering going out in search of better pursuits ? The Youth are being branded as arrogant. If they raise their voice or if they act indifferent, it makes no difference, because either way they are being branded that way. This is a dangerous trend. They have to be given opportunities too. They have to be groomed from the beginning to take over when the right time comes. You seriously don’t expect to keep someone backstage for 20 years and one fine day ask that person to take over the dais, abruptly, do you?
One might essentially argue that not everyone is to be trusted ,young or old, especially with the aforementioned responsibility. Fair enough .Now, if you want to filter out the good from the bad, there is no better way of doing it, than by enacting stringent laws and by making the Judiciary more effective.  There is always this lackadaisical attitude in India about obeying laws and rules. It is time to change that. The laws should be effective where people cannot escape on playing with the loopholes. We need a whole new system and we need to slowly but gradually adapt ourselves to a much better system of law. If it is a mistake, it is a mistake, no matter how small or how big it is. The intensity of the punishment can vary based on the offence, but there should be a minimum level of punishment, for someone to realize their folly. I am not trying to advocate the policies of Hitler, just that the day people obey rules and try not to bend rules, is the day we can actually say we are a developed nation.
A lot of people attribute their decision to involve in petty crimes to poverty. As soul stirring as those responses and emotional speeches could be, we need to realize that, in a way we are giving them a chance to go astray. We are giving them a chance to choose a path that would come to haunt their future. If not in a big way, at least in a small and significant way, the Government can help people living below the poverty line by providing them with shelter (taking enough care to see that the middlemen do not try to loot) and food. There are so many schemes and initiatives by the Government to provide food for the people,  a few more can be initiated to ensure that a considerable proportion of people are covered and that they schemes of the government actually reach out to those who desperately need them.
Once this is taken care of, people wouldn’t have to resort to other measures to satisfy their basic needs. Following this, the importance of education should be imparted to them. Yes, the Government has to make better arrangements for the compulsory education scheme. We do not know how many talented people are lying beneath, unaware of their inherent potential. There are schemes in place, but one can easily say that they are just not effective. Running a school involves a lot of things apart from teachers and students and that paraphernalia has to be taken care of. Even in the current education system, the focus should be on learning and not just testing. When a proper system is in place, we are actually giving people a chance to rise above others and prove themselves to the nation, and to the world.
Having said all this, one last point which I would like to mention is, the Government has to protect the citizens not only from unknown terrorists, but from people within the country with other plans. Irrespective of whether the person who has committed a crime is a man or a woman, the treatment of the criminals should be the same. There should be no partiality in that. Innocent women should be protected from the hassles of men and Innocent men should be protected from the hassles the not-so-innocent women. The law is for all, there should not be any disparity, just because a person is of a particular sex, caste or creed. One for all, All for one.
There are far more pressing issues for which I haven’t the expertise to advise someone like You, Sir. There are people to take care of that, which we hope would be taken care of. Our only option is Hope, against hope. The ball is and has always been in your court. It is up to you to steer the ship in the direction which would boost the prosperity of the Nation.
Regards
A citizen, hoping to see a change!
Ashwini C N