There comes a time in almost everyone’s life when the the disturbed surroundings make us say things like “If I were at his place, I would have done….” Our exasperation and discontent leaves no room for our mind to silently reiterate the thought that popped out a few seconds back.
A few days back I was asked this question by a fellow worker. He walked angrily and sat on his seat in a little disturbing manner. “What would be the first thing you do, if you become the prime minister of this country?” he asked. My inability to utter any reply made me realize how tough the question was! The level of difficulty in this question is decided by the differences in perspectives. Whether we are watching it from the closest level or the farthest one, what are things are we looking at while deciding to answer the question, through whose perspective we are viewing the entire picture? The three sentences above changed the level of a simple question asked generally by a friend.
Speaking of the country I live in or any country for that matter the difference in the answers to this question depends upon who answers it—
Labor class worker– If I get a chance to be the prime minister, I would increase the per day wages so that we can make the two ends meet with quite an ease.
Lower middle class– We are the ones who always get sandwiched between the elite class and people under the poverty line. Subsidies, benefits, and everything are made by keeping them in mind. What is there for us.?I would make new rules regarding subsidies and benefits given to our class.
Woman–I would definitely make stringent laws for rapists and the one who molests women/girls in any way. I would make sure that they get their due punishments.
Student–The education system in our country is draining the real talent out of us. Why these ministers there aren’t changing the way things work in schools and higher education providing institutions? I wish I had the power to reform our education system.
Upper middle class– (because they have time and resources to think on a bit upper level) Terrorism, corruption and underdevelopment are taking their toll and need to be stopped. The firs thing I would do is…..is……..is……..
……and this is the point where he gets confused. Different people deal with different situations everyday and are bound to amend their situation before anybody else’s (courtesy human nature). And the moment you start dealing or getting in touch with multiple situations, you want to amend everything that comes by. You can decide on the things you want to fix viz. terrorism, better monetary policy, better reservation system, better economic policy, better scopes for foreign direct investments, development of villages, better the education system..but it takes a thought process to prioritize these tasks. What is the most important of all? I am sure most of us can’t answer it within a fraction of seconds along with proper justification and explanation. An answer that would make all the educated people contented?
One simple question has suddenly shifted to the other side of equation. Being one among the “Mango people fraternity” if I am finding it so difficult to prioritize, how the question would have haunted (at first) the ones who are on the other side of population! The ones who need to take everything into the scene—people from all classes, problems from all spheres, and (under)developments in all areas to take care of.
How easily we comment on one thing that, according to our mere understanding, goes wrong! Why? Because we just take one person into the picture–our own self or our class of people for that matter.
The same happened with me when I was hit with this very question. It took me so long to just add the first thing on my priority list. May be I am still failing to think from everyone’s perspective, may be I am completely wrong in making my choice of this “FIRST THING” and may be even this is the answer worth nothing. May be…but I still dare to answer…
If I become the prime minister the first thing I would do is to make my country go back to its roots–our culture, make my people understand and embrace its culture, make them value the core values of our culture. Just like going back to basics helps when we don’t understand the intricacies of a problem! I think this would make us more productive in facing every situation. Not that I hate any culture, but my point here is to focus on the fact that if our roots are laid down at one place we cannot grow by watering some other place. If examined closely, all the major developed countries place their culture, their core values first on the list. Be it WEST or EAST and if you look at the others who are somewhere in between the both–is poorly under developed. I am not saying that this would solve all the problems lined in front of us, but it would make a good start. I would make efforts to Indianize (if that’s a word) our education system along with modernizing it. I would inculcate this in the schools children study, in the homes where they grow up embracing the values they see. A country is filled with its common class of people which lies at it’s heart. A country becomes whatever it is with the kind of mindset most of its population holds. If you ask me, I only know a few souls who genuinely respect our culture or is inclined less towards the OTHER side. I’ve seen people loving the OTHER side of the world and hating their own just because some of us chose to stick to our rituals. I’ve heard them saying “Nothing is never going to change in this country” and “I am leaving the place once I grow up”. However, this is none of their fault. They speak what they’ve seen in their growing years, the years when supposedly they should have taught about the uniqueness of their country..that how once Lord Macaulay said that “Crux to conquer this country is to replace its ancient education system and culture with ours, for if Indians think that all that is ‘English’ is better than theirs, they will lose everything. They will lose their culture and their self esteem and would become exactly like we want them to–A truly dominated nation!” and that ” I am sure that we can never conquer this country unless we hit and break its backbone. The backbone is its spiritual and cultural heritage, and the ancient education system which make them invincible.”
My understanding of culture doesn’t stop at wearing culture specific clothes or celebrating cultural festivals. There is much more to it, which is out of the scope of this write-up for now..(as I am running short of time)
I am a very benighted soul to understand the intricacies of how the world works and I am no one special to suggest anything like this. Anyways, but I would love to ask the same question to all the readers!! Do answer..I am curious to know!
“What is the first thing you would do if you become the prime minister?