for giving us this assignment to write about our grandparents’ generation,
India in 2020. Gosh, it feels like so long ago. If we hadn’t been given this
assignment, we wouldn’t have known how to value what we have around us now.
today’s India for granted. Almost everyone has a car and a house. People have
access to good hospitals and colleges. The roads are good, public transport is
even better than private cars. Our per capita income, they told us in economics
class, is $60,000. This allows most Indians to have a good life. But did you
know, in 2020, we were only at $2,000 a person annually?
along the way, perhaps in our parents’ generation, India decided to focus on
growth. Not in our grandparents’ 2020 generation though. As I researched this
assignment, I realised that they used to be quite wild. Like did you know, in
2020 India was facing the slowest growth in several decades? Jobs were
difficult to find, businesses from autos to real estate to banks were
suffering. And yet, guess what our wild grandparents decided to focus on?
at that time Hindus and Muslims in India didn’t like each other. Politicians
would use it to divide people and get votes. Of course, all that stuff is
strictly illegal now. In fact, today in India we socially look down very much
on people who talk divisive stuff. We even have laws that disallow any violence
in the name of God or nationalism. Thank God for that.
2020, it was free for all. Our grandparents didn’t care about lack of income,
poor roads and bad healthcare. Today, if a hospital neglects patients and some
kids die, imagine the havoc. At that time, it became news for a few days, and
then people went back to their lives. When it came to voting time, it wasn’t a
factor at all. Imagine how crazy it must
two main political parties. One of them, BJP, had a strong majority. They kept
winning, so clearly people liked them a lot, especially when they talked about
religion and nationalism. But whenever they talked economic reforms, people
didn’t appreciate it. They called them suit-boot ki sarkar (what’s wrong with
suit-boot? Didn’t they want all of India to have suit-boot like we have now?)
party, Congress, lost two elections in a row. However, they didn’t change
anything because of it. Apparently, the son of the son of the daughter of
India’s first PM was their PM candidate. So no matter what happened or what
people wanted, they wouldn’t change.
there was also a global scare of a coronavirus. As a result, China suffered the
most. India could have taken the opportunity – the world wanted to reduce their
manufacturing dependence on China after the virus. However, we didn’t
capitalise on it. People cared little about the economy at that time.
they talked Hindu-Muslim all day long. Like who was good and who was bad (both
had good and bad people, but they never realised that). Or they wanted to prove
that historically it is the Muslims, or Hindus, who were the bad guys. These
would be prime time debates. People loved all this stuff. The world worked
towards the future, advancing in artificial intelligence and robotics. But our
grandparents could not get out of their past.
there would be riots on the streets. People died, but since they were poor
people and India had a lot of them, they didn’t really matter. In fact, the
riots provided another opportunity to discuss Hindu-Muslim issues. Later oil
prices collapsed, the virus spread and Indian businesses suffered more.
said let’s focus on the economy was termed boring. GDP, unfortunately, didn’t
have a religion or a Hindu-Muslim discussion component.
grandparents also loved to talk about and compare themselves to Pakistan, even
though they agreed India was much better than that country. It’s like maybe we
are messed up, but we feel better when someone is more messed up than us.
people did try to talk about real issues like healthcare, growth, jobs and
education. However, they were very few in number and used an old social media
app called Twitter, which doesn’t even exist now. However, they were ignored as
noisy people discussed Hindu-Muslim issues on Twitter all day long.
somewhere along the way, Indians woke up. They realised all this was entirely
stupid and will lead to nothing good. They made laws, and also socially
ostracised people who spoke about absurd things that had no relevance to
India’s growth and progress. The country decided to grow, grow and only grow.
Both Hindus and Muslims decided to educate their kids, teach them coding,
business, networking and communication skills. Voters judged leaders purely on
performance. For the next couple of decades, they said, let’s do nothing else
but grow our country.
India is rich, and glorious. Because India is rich, we are also considered
cool. Diwali and Holi are famous worldwide now, because a rich country like
India celebrates it, just as American festivals like Thanksgiving and Halloween
were famous in 2020. In that way, even Hindu culture is promoted much better
now than it was by its so-called guardians in 2020.
shudder to think what would have happened to my generation if India had not
changed. Indeed, how fortunate are we today in 2070 to not have been born in
that India of 2020.
People cared little about the economy at that time. Because they talked Hindu
Muslim all day long. Like who was good and who was bad (both had good and bad
people, but they never realised that). Or they wanted to prove that
historically it is the Muslims, or Hindus, who were the bad guys. These would
be prime time debates
Headline: School assignment, circa 2070:
The wild, wild India of 2020 AD: When our grandparents talked only Hindu-Muslim
Source: The Times of India