Bhagwan ke bharose mat baitho, ka pata u humre bharose baitha ho!
1. Worsening Water NightmareIndia is facing the worst water crisis in history. Nearly half the population is struggling with drought-like conditions. This year, rainfall in western and southern states is below average.The NITI Aayog has warned that the demand for drinking water will outstrip supply by 2030 if preventive steps are not taken.Nearly 600 million Indians suffer from high to extreme water stress. About 2,00,000 deaths per year are attributed to lack of access to safe water. Experts predict that 21 big cities will run out of groundwater by 2020.2. Fake News MenaceMisinformation, hate speech and false propaganda on social media are dividing India’s community fabric one WhatsApp message at a time.Fact-checker Pratik Sinha believes, what gets maximum likes on Facebook goes viral at least five times more on WhatsApp.For two years his team has been debunking thousands of fake news cases. Ahmedabad-based Sinha, co-founder of India’s leading fact-checking site AltNews, says it is the lack of digital literacy that makes fake news acceptable.3. Agrarian CatastropheSuicides, debt burden, falling prices of produce… India’s farm economy is in turmoil. Massive protests by farmers swept India late last year as thousands of them marched to Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai in the last week of November alone.An estimated 26 crore citizens work in agriculture making about 55-57percent of India’s population dependent on the sector.Despite the government’s implementation of the new MSP regime, profitable remuneration is eluding farmers.Agriculture contributed 21 percent to GDP in 2004-05 but has dropped to around 13 percent in the past 15 years.4. Political Arrogance“Hua toh hua is the mantra of arrogant Congress,” PM Modi raged against Sam Pitroda’s cavalier remark on the anti-Sikh riots. Politicians consistently misuse their position to suppress cases, assault government staff, laud goons and in extreme cases even rape women and get pliant cops to intimidate.Members of ruling parties are the worst: the misconduct of Akash Vijayvargiya and Sadhvi Pragya Thakur invited Modi’s ire. Crimelord MP Shahabuddin was called ‘bahubali’ until he was sent to jail.An MP trashed an airline employee. Another ejected confirmed passengers from a train compartment to seat his gunmen. A law is necessary to rein in such hubris.5. Flood MismanagementMonsoon is synonymous with floods. This year, rains killed nearly 500 between April 1 and July 17. Nearly six lakh houses and over four lakh hectares of crop were damaged, according to home ministry data.It’s the same story everywhere, every year: thousands evacuated, hundreds dead, livelihoods lost, villages and settlements washed away, houses submerged, and the authorities always caught napping.People die even in financial capital Mumbai, which is paralysed by rain every monsoon.6. UnemploymentOne in three formally trained youth were unemployed in 2017-18, according to the Periodic Labour Force Survey 2017-18. Automakers, parts manufacturers and dealers have laid off about 3,50,000 workers since April.In this economic climate, luck hasn’t favoured Akash Trivedi (name changed). The polytechnic graduate from Itarsi, Madhya Pradesh, came to Delhi seven years ago.“I borrowed money from friends and did a short course in programming and coding and got a job,” he says. After a year, he moved to a better job. Three years ago, he married a hospital receptionist. They bought a small house.Last year, Akash was sacked. “My firm said investors had pulled out and they couldn’t keep a large workforce. Since then I have been unemployed.” His younger brother completed his MBA a year ago but hasn’t found a job.Akash’s wife’s salary of `16,000 is their only income.7. Pending JusticeBureaucratic sloth coupled with slow settlement of cases in India’s courts is a scourge the country has to fix on priority. The 100-year-old M Kaliyan will tell you. He has been part of two struggles over a century.The first, the Independence movement, and the second, a Kafkaesque trial for his freedom fighter’s pension. The Tamil Nadu government initially turned down his application which was passed only in 2010 after a protracted legal battle.His application for central government pension is yet to be approved.8. Poor PolicingAccording to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, India’s ratio of 138 police personnel per lakh of population in 2013 was the fifth lowest among 71 countries.Experts state that the archaic Indian police system doesn’t meet the requirements of a modern welfare state and reforms proposals have been pending for long.A 2018 Lokniti team survey at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies found that less than 25 percent of Indians trust the police highly. The distrust is mostly attributed to factors such as: interactions with the police can be frustrating, time-consuming and costly.