It has been 69 years since India earned its independence from the East India Company. The struggle that began with one man, Mangal Pandey, in the year 1857, ended with another man’s Tryst With Destiny speech on the midnight of 15th August 1947.

Ever since then, the country has undergone many changes and today, we are one of biggest democracies in the world and a country that has secured a convincing position in almost all the global forums. This country has contributed to the world in many possible ways as well as to its own growth to be where it is today.

On this day, rather than just focusing on the greatness, uniqueness, and contribution of India to the world, we thought to take a U Turn and find out what people of this generation think about India. So here, Quora, the excellent Q&A forum came to our rescue and we came across this question

What Is India’s Worst Contribution To Itself?

This question definitely triggered many nerves and what followed are answers ranging from hilarious to serious and thought-provoking to nonsensical. People named popular faces from different walks of life, highlighted social menaces, economic blockages, and also wrote about sad state of politics in this country.

Names That Made It To The List:

On a lighter note, many names popped-up in this list that does not even require any further explanation as to why these people are India’s worst contributions to itself. Kamaal Rashid Khan’s name and face appeared more than once. So is Kapil Sibal’s name and Anoop Arora wrote:

It’s clearly and undoubtedly one man who thinks himself as the most intellectual personality, who is full of innovative (bullshit ) ideas, and has a major role in ruining the education system of India.

Student Anu Priya pointed that:

Brought so many changes in the education system and not one of them were good.

Arindam Chaudhari was also mentioned several times. It seems those who mentioned his name thought that the name itself is self-explanatory. The term Godman also found its place in the answers. The other names that were mentioned are Sajid Khan and Farah Khan, cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, and couple of other names.

Apart from the popular, not-so-popular or rather nameless people also were mentioned. Rohit Iyer pointed out that the worst contribution is

“Char log” and their expert opinion on everything that matters.

Things That Were Mentioned:

Population is a matter that has alarmed many in the forum. Describing the nature of the population Vipin Sharma  wrote

Our exploding population, a huge chunk of which is thoroughly confused, utterly conceited, abysmally ignorant, utterly Americanised (which they blissfully confuse with being modern) and supremely badtameez which they confuse, again, with being bold and smart, wallowing in the cesspools of call-centre culture.

About the repercussion of this population explosion Shashank Shekhar pointed out that

Its due to population that each and every person is not able to get opportunities like a good job, support from the government(what ever trickles down!!) and fruit of economic development are less for every one. I think majority of the problems that India is facing now can be traced back to our over-populated country.

Adding to the same, Anantha Padmanabhan’s observation is

Imagine the strain that the huge population is going cause on infrastructural requirements for instance. Policy implementation (assuming that the administration functions seamlessly sans corruption) would become a gargantuan task. If the same trend continues then our population is going to be more of a bane rather than a boon.

Education system of India seems to be a matter of wide concern for this generation. A number of Quora users gave their insightful thoughts regarding our education system.

Akash Narendra wrote

People who somehow have access to top colleges in India such as IIT, DU still lack creativity and intellectual abilities as their education is based on rote learning and lack ideas and critical thinking.

Mechanical Engineer, Shanmugam Ramalingam Karthikeyan thought on education is

The education system has failed to produce responsible social beings.

We can bask on the glory of the few Indians who are making the country proud, but our education system still needs a lot of reformations.

Reservation system is another point highlighted and wrote about by many. Indeed, many see caste based reservation as a social menace that needs to be done away with.

An anonymous member provided a more detailed view on his comment

In order to correct the ‘wrongs’ brought about by thousands of years of caste-based exploitation, the government of India chose to reserve seats for members of oppressed castes in government jobs, and educational institutions. Noble intentions, right?

Sure. Except that, 65 years after independence, the system still persists, and the people who benefit from it aren’t necessarily the people who deserve to.

A word that appeared in every second or third comment is Corruption. The state needs to take serious cognizance about this as people have loads to say. Here are some of the thoughts:

Prudhvi Reddy commented

None other than “Corruption” which is deeply rooted, it starts with bureaucrats and ends with politicians.

Akash Narendra has this to comment

Did you get your driving license/ Birth Certificate/ School Admission etc with the help of sm money. When Educated people like us cannot get simple things done without paying a bribe. What Makes you expect that the other 90 percent of partially educated people will fight this system.

Another issue raised with statistical details is Pollution. Mithun Mohan mentioned World Health Organization reports and posted

India has some of the most unhealthy air of any country in the world, with pollutants from rapid industrial growth killing an estimated 620,000 people per year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

An Anonymous post pointed out that

Excessive littering on the streets, open sewage directly into rivers and no regard for emissions from rickety trucks, old cars, two stroke autos and carburetted bikes. People don’t realize how we are slowly poisoning our precious land and the worst part, most of us just don’t care.

Apart from these serious matters of concern that needs immediate attention, there are many other issues pointed out by the members of Quora. Child marriage, caste system, nepotism, cricket, reality shows, daily soaps, cricket are the things that are mentioned as India’s worst contribution to itself.

Thoughts That Found A Place In This List

Beyond people and state govern things, there are certain aspects of India that must be changed and this change has to come from within the citizens.

Setu Saurabh points out at the Chalta Hai attitude of people and said:

So what is wrong with “Chalta hai”? Well nothing at first, in-fact in the world’s most diverse country where the poor slog, yet remain poor, where governments keep failing its people, yet remain democratically reelected; it was an excuse, and sometimes a good one for giving “it” a try.
But somewhere on the way, “Chalta-hai” transitioned into a way of life and people start taking everything as “Chalta hai”.

A member also spoke about how both the genders are “never treated equally”.

A lot of comments are about the cultural aspect of the society and where we are going wrong. The inherent thought process of cultural superiority, rigidity of the society, culture of intolerance, self-proclaimed greatness are a couple of worlds that were written on the long string of answers.

Dheera Prabhakar Tallapragada wrote about a certain king of inferiority complex that this country suffers. After analysing its root cause, he made a strong statement:

This inferiority complex had trickled down into the future generations and manifesting in the form of poor governance, bad political philosophy, bad social and civic sense.

About the culture of intolerance, Sidharth Dassani has this to say

For India to become a truly progressive country we have to change our mindset about everything around us. We have to learn to take a joke or a movie as seriously as they ought to be taken.

Superstitions, religion, mindset, obsession for fair skin, and a number of social issues were mentioned as the answer to this question and none of them are irrelevant.

The Crux: As we kept on scrolling down the page, answers kept on popping up and the more we read we realised that this country does not lack thinkers, what we lack is people willing to act on those thoughts. Our inherent tendency to isolate ourselves from others while assessing the overall situation of the country reflected in many places. And, that is where we fail to be the action and remain just words.

India gained independence from the Britishers 69 years ago, but we are still trapped in self-created issues from which, we must break free soonest possible to be a developed nation from a developing nation.