India, as of its 74th Republic Day, is immersed in a mix of emotions. There is hope that the country will be able to beat the global recessionary trends and continue on its growth path, yet, at the same time, there are trends that say that certain over leveraged corporate entities now have the capacity to bring down age-old solid foundational entities that had held up the markets and people’s hopes for decades. A market crash late in the month leads one to believe in bad omens, and one is left worrying if we do have the resilience to overcome these massive obstacles and keep moving towards a better future.
The future of the country depends as much on its politicians and its corporate superstars, as it does on its students, its middle class, and on the common man in the street. The common man today is faced with difficult choices. How to make ends meet? How to feed the family? How to make the small industries survive, keep the employees fed?
Every Republic Day, watching the parade, we feel proud of our heritage, of our natural wealth, but as we turn off our television sets and turn towards what is happening within the house, stark realities come to face us. Prices are still rising, incomes are failing, the banks are uncertain of how to swim against the current, the entire micro enterprise sector is in a mess and, overall, there is less and less each day to provide hope.
This is the time when the common man looks ahead to the Union Budget. Will the government offer some help? Will the budget address the depressed markets and the even more depressed youth of the country? Will there be peace? Without an environment of peace and solid policy backing, there can be no sustained development, there can be no growth, there can be no wealth generation.
We do not want to be in a situation in which Sri Lanka and Pakistan find themselves in. We are a better nation, a responsible nation, responsible for the well-being of its last citizen.
These, therefore, are hopeful times; these are troubled times.