The year is almost at an end and heck, it was a crazy roller coaster ride. While we had cool things like the successful Mars Orbiter mission, international recognition for Kailash Satyarthi, the Supreme Court recognizing transgenders as the third gender, etc. we also had some pretty nasty ones like flash floods in Kashmir and Assam, countless number of rapes throughout the country, caste-based and racially motivated violence and a host of other ugly things.
But on some level, most of us are optimists, right? And since the year is ending, this might be a good time as any to wish for things we, as a people, can all look forward to in 2015.
[Note – No, this is not one of those “if you’re wishing for things, wish for immortality, invincibility and/or teleportation” lists. I’m trying to stay out of the mucho loco territory.]
I believe I speak for every Indian when I say we wish:
1. Our borders don’t get attacked. We don’t want any more dead soldiers.
Yes, we are surrounded by two countries we’ve gone to war with in the past. Pakistan is trying to wage a not-so-subtle war through infiltration in Kashmir and China is trying to expand like into others’ territories as if it’s a game of Age of Empires. But since we are wishing for stuff, maybe we can wish for no violence at the borders in the next year. Every soldier we lose there is another precious life lost. Even these guys deserve to safely return home after work.
2. No more rapes in the country.
Call me naive, but if wishing for no rapes in the country is stupid, then what have we really become? We’ve become a society where rape and gender related violence is normalized. If every assault is seen as one made on the entire populace, maybe there would be lesser attacks. Could 2015 be the year when we finally wake up?
3. Safer streets for everyone.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could travel safely all over the cities all the times? You know, it’s not impossible. Some efficient policing coupled with working streetlights everywhere can go a long way in making the streets safer – not just for women and children, but everyone.
4. 24/7 Public transport.
To extend the earlier point, part of making cities safer for people is to make public transport available at all times. After the recent Uber cab incident, the one thing that kept bugging me is how public transport like buses, trains, metros – they all shut down at night. If we can get night shift staff including security personnel, can public transport not be a 24/7 thing? People without cars and bikes can feel far safer if that were available. There could even be lesser number of drunk driving incidents if people knew they could reach home safe even at the wee hours of the night.
5. India reduces its emission levels.
Yes, India is a developing nation and we do have a “right to grow”. But wake up and smell the carbon dioxide people? After China and USA, we’re the third largest carbon polluter in the world. The planet knows no borders. CO2 emissions in the other end of the world affects the climate here too. Right now, apart from a few countries in Europe, not too many nations are drastically reducing their emission levels. But we Indians are buying more cars, taking more flights, using more ACs than ever and we are saying things like – ” Climate hasn’t changed. People have changed. ” We can’t have this “bring it on biaaatch!” attitude towards climate change. I hope this next year, we take climate change more seriously. If not, then let’s stop spawning kids – there’s no point welcoming new life into a polluted shit hole we call home.
Also, how many cars does one family really need? I’m looking at you, upper middle class families with two children and 3-4 cars. If you have so much money, wait for a Tesla car.
6. There’s a huge dip in suicide rates.
Believe it or not but currently, India ranks 1st when it comes to number of suicides per year. Trying to figure out the trigger points of people from so many different social, economic and psychological backgrounds is not easy, but if we take this matter a little more seriously and invest in some easily available preventive help or counselling options for ‘at risk’ people, maybe we can bring the number down.
7. No more shitty movies become “hits”.
Yes, masala movies sell well because you don’t need to think too much to enjoy them. But remember a time when we had good films that everyone enjoyed? Where have the days of Sholay and Gol Maal gone? But what hurts more than anything is to see the makers of crappy films laugh their way to the banks with their bags full of money. Now, since we can’t stop people from making awful films, how about we at least not make them super hits? Since the market dictates the terms here, how about, in 2015 we reject these mindless films altogether? Maybe that will help the industry change? Sorry if this sounds like a rant.
8. No caste-based or racially motivated acts of violence.
A lot of us in urban India say that caste based reservation is not a good thing and it needs to be done away with. But then how do we react when an entire village is burned down because some lower caste kid there wanted to go to have lunch at the same place the upper caste kids were eating at? Why do we turn a blind eye to the deaths of lower caste people when there are riots because a pet dog of a Dalit family barked at a Jat person in Mirchpur? And violence based on race – these aren’t even restricted to villages. Right here in our cities we see people who look different being harassed, taunted, assaulted and sometimes even killed just because according to the so called majority, they do not “look like us”. Really hope 2015 can be a better year.
9. Section 377 is finally amended or repealed.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like we “pro-LGBT types” do not understand the Supreme Court’s verdict, when it said that the amendment or repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code needs to be initiated in the parliament. But we really hope that all kinds of sex between consenting adults be legalized. The state should not have a say in what consenting adults do in their bedrooms. Will 2015 be the year of equality? Let’s see.
10. The Rupee rises for once.
A lot of you might say that for the rupee to rise again, we need to “create” and export more and to do that emissions will rise, so we can’t have both. But if we invest big in education and healthcare, maybe a few years down the line, we won’t have to make everything in India for a strong rupee.
11. No more religion in politics and governance.
Let’s take a religious book and make it our “national scripture”. Doesn’t matter that not all people of that religious community really read that book, doesn’t matter that there are other religious communities in the country; let’s just do it. Because, Power! Let’s usurp an internationally recognized holiday, make kids write essays on ‘good governance’ and say “happy birthday” to our senior party leaders. Because, Power!
Kids, would you rather eat a Christmas cake or write an essay on ‘good governance’? Somehow, “Dear Santa, I have been a good boy all year. Can I please have some footnotes?” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
12. No more riots or bandhs.
Riots and bandhs suck. We all know that. People get hurt or killed, shops and vehicles are burned down, work suffers and then a curfew is called forcing everyone to stay indoors. Simply put, there is no positive spin to this. Time to do away with these things, don’t you think?
13. Politicians get off their high horse.
People who are in charge are running the government are answerable to us. If they get offended and defensive about every jab or criticism, they do not deserve to be a public figure. Putting people in lock-ups for voicing their opinions seems to have become a tool for some of them. No free country should put people behind bars for liking or sharing something on Facebook. Time to get off your high horse, politicians. You work for us. Show some accountability.
14. India wins the Cricket World Cup, again.
Cricket is a huge thing to us and we are proud of it. No doubts there. Dear 2015, can you please ensure that we win the world cup once again? We have a new team of young lads who are pretty awesome at what they do. This would have a great time to say that we do not falter when in Australia and New Zealand. And if we can’t have that, can we at least beat Pakistan again? That would be equally awesome. Thanks.
15. Indian national football drastically improves its FIFA ranking.
The recently held ISL (apart from the years and years of domestic club football) proves that India has a football culture. We also have a national team that currently ranks 171 on the FIFA list. It’s not like our players don’t work hard. Maybe they need to know we’re behind them. Point is, it would bloody nice to see our team win some matches on the international arena.
16. Small businesses could thrive.
In an earlier article’s someone told us how low India ranks in the ‘Starting a Business Index’ which is published by the World Bank. Believe it or not, we are somewhere near the 150 mark. This means that there about 150 countries where it’s easier to start one’s own business before India. The rules, regulations and tax breaks seem to benefit the elite and the super rich but not the struggling entrepreneur. Yes, we’ve come a long way since the early 90s but we still have a long way to go. Let’s turn small businesses into success stories.
17. A vaccine to counter Ebola.
We are known for coming up with cheap but life-saving medicines. And yet, we were equally scared about the recent Ebola outbreak. I don’t know about everyone else, but epidemics scare the shit out of me. Dear scientists, it would be supremely awesome if you could come up with an Ebola vaccine.
On a lighter note, we also wish…
18. No holidays should fall on Sundays.
You know, some of us work on Saturdays. Some more unfortunate ones work on Sundays too, but let’s not go there. Every time a public holiday clashes with a Sunday, my heart bleeds. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. I haven’t looked that the holiday list for next year yet, but dear 2015, it would be great if most of them fall on Mondays.
19. Better fitness role models.
Some of you might judge me for using Baba Ramdev’s picture to make this point. But I’m not saying he’s not attractive (tee hee). It’s just that it’s a little difficult to motivate my self to wake up and work-out by someone who’s as preachy as him. But that’s not his fault. I mean, they call him Baba after all. Preaching is his daal-chaawal . The fault lies with us for elevating him up on a pedestal from where no matter what he says sounds like sermon. My solution is, we should all just buy Bruce Lee posters and place it in front of our work-out mats. Or maybe we can get Ronda Rousey to kick our asses or host armbar camps to counter all those Baba sermon sessions. I dunno – the point is, we need better role models.
20. Tigers should have more sex.
There are less than 2,000 tigers left in India. Listen up people. Before we go about naming national scriptures, let’s do what we can for our national animal. Let’s stop invading the privacy of these animals and let have some good old
If you’re a tiger and you’re reading this, stop wasting time and go do your needful. Your country needs you.
21. An Indian film gets nominated for Best Foreign Fim.
I’ll say it. It’s been a long time since Lagaan happened. But I still remember the excitement of waking up in the morning and crossing my fingers during the Best Foreign Film announcement in the Academy Awards. And it would be nice to feel that again. This year, we’ve sent Liar’s Dice. The excitement a few good Indian films have generated in the world arena (The Lunchbox, Fandry, Miss Lovely, The Good Road, etc.) gives me some hope that this year we might just make it to the final nomination list. *fingers crossed*
22. Music channels start playing good music again.
Remember the days of MTV Select, Most Wanted or Channel [V]’s Luke’s After Hours? I do and it hurts to see the degeneration of music channels in India. Maybe someone from those networks will finally wake up and start playing some good music again.
23. Arnab Goswami and Dr. Subramanian Swamy should go on Vipassana retreats.
I know, I know. This is wishful thinking. But can you imagine the tension brewing if Arnab and Dr. Swamy were to share a room during a Vipassana camp. Oh, the peace we shall have for a few days! For those who don’t know what Vipassana is, in short, it is basically silent meditation. I see a reality show right there.
24. Our favourites bands would finally come to India.
India has been hosting some awesome music festivals and international acts these last few years. But for some reason, bands we grew up listening to, like Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Oasis, RHCP, Foo Fighters – they never come to India. When oh when will one these bands treat India as a serious touring destination and not something they visit when they’re trying to start out their solo acts.
Event organizers, get your act together. We can’t have another Metallica fiasco .
25. Some intelligent stuff on Indian TV channels.
Yes, most of us who appreciate good TV, download or stream our favourite shows and watch them. Some of us do so while sadly glancing back at the TV remembering the good old days of awesome Indian serials. Hum Paanch, Hum Log, Chitrahaar, Samandar, See Hawks, Nukkad, ….. the list is endless. Where have all the good shows gone? The last good thing I remember watching on TV was Sony’s Powder (which was like an Indian version of HBO’s The Wire ) but even that was cancelled after one season. Will 2015 have something good to offer?
26. We get confirmed tickets on IRCTC.
I don’t need to explain this. The collective blood pressure of the country would be lower if it were not for the stress that IRCTC generates.
27. KRK quits Twitter.
As a ScoopWhoop writer, that might be a loss of content right there for me. But for the collective good of humanity, I can be totally okay with it.
28. No working weekends.
If you love working on the weekend, you are not normal.
29. Legalization of weed, perhaps?
Yes, there are many arguments on the legalization issue from both sides, but personally, I think it would be neat if India was one of the countries in the world where weed is legal. And don’t tell me it will affect productivity. Have you ever seen a weed smoker panic when there is nothing to roll it with? No, because we’re the most productive ones at that time. We’ll find anything and make do.
30. We Indians get a sense of humour.
This is actually a serious wish. After reading this long piece (thank you, thank you, thank you!) you might have realized that this post talks about both serious and not so serious issues. But that’s what life is, isn’t it? We might not agree on everything or share the same opinions, but as long as we can learn to take it easy and learn to laugh at certain things, life could be little easier and way more fun. Let’s not get easily offended at every other thing. Life’s too short to be grumpy all the time.