Even as I see our prime minister striving hard to place India as a country to be reckoned with, what will cause impediments in his vision, is not a jealous China, nor a rising population, nor any domestic upheaval, but the clamour for reservations.

Was listening to a story of a lady who heads a company, and her rise in fortune. She was, I heard, the daughter of a welder, but because her father worked in a prestigious company, she was allowed to study in one of the company’s schools. She spoke of how the other children contributed her share when the class went on picnic, because her father, by then had got into the clutches of alcohol. She then went on to be married at a young age to a man, who soon turned out to be a philanderer.

But she persisted in training herself, and now heads not just the country’s offices but that of Asia.

Like the story of the butterfly emerging from the cocoon, adversity made her get her wings!

That’s the way people become strong, that’s the way a country becomes powerful. One has only to read about the early settlers in America, to understand how they as a hardy people became wealthy and transformed their country to be the richest in the world.

But as long as we allow the butterfly to emerge without the effort of breaking through it’s cocoon, as long as we allow people in our country to have seats reserved for them, without them showing any merit for it, we will remain weak, as a people and nation.

A few weeks ago, I visited a government office, and though the office was meant to collect taxes, which would allow the government to run smoothly and help it’s citizens, the staff acted as if they were doing me a favour. The idea of service, of getting a job done faster, of being pleasing to the customer was nowhere around. Because merit or performance was not valued. They had a government job, they got an income, and they were settled for life, without having striven for it. I don’t know whether they were from the reserved category or not, but they certainly did not act like they were competing for a promotion.

They knew they would go up the scale, without effort.

Without competition. Without striving and winning we are becoming weak. Like I said, the prime minister is striving hard to place India high on the world map, but this has to be reinforced by all the people, and to be as relentless as he is, we also need to stop getting things on a platter, and instead develop muscle by winning life’s battles, like the lady I mentioned.

Otherwise we are falling into the biggest trap, that will prove our downfall as a nation..!

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