How many Indias?

3000 kms of riding through India changes many things in you. Some changes were expected. Many were not.

The most surprising change that happened, was in my opinion of the Indian govt. Surprised?

I got to see many many faces of India on my trip, which existed previously only in my imagination. And with this “actualization” of the many Indias, came a new found respect for the government. Specifically, the Indian Government.

Why, you ask?

Do you know how many people India has?

Do you know how many different people you have met in your ENTIRE life? If you are pretty sociable, a few thousand.

Try and recall the most number of people you have ever seen together, at a single moment. Probably a lakh, if you have been to a live cricket match.

Now multiply that by 10000.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is still less than the population of India. More than 116 crores.

If you met 1000 new people every day, it would take you more than 3194 years to meet them all.

Oh, and thats hoping that they are not reproducing at the rate of 1.548%.

Do you know how many roads there are in India?

Do you know how much you commute from your home to your office/college? 5 kms? 10kms? 15 kms?

Now imagine doing that 10 km commute 6500 times. That will give you the approximate number of National highways in India.

But oh wait! That only constitutes 2% of the entire road network. So that makes it… umm… 3250000 kms of roads all over India.

If you covered 20 kms everyday, and never covered the same road twice, you would have to be on the roads for more than 445 years to cover it all. Assuming of course, that the Indian govt does not build any more roads in the meantime.

Do you know how many villages there are in India?

Do you know how many villages you have ever been to, in your entire life? Zero? 1? 5? 10? 20?

If you visited a new village EVERY SINGLE DAY, it would take you around 1749 YEARS to cover them all.

Yes, there are 638,365 villages in India.

Do you know how many people do not have access to electricity in India?

According to this, 47% of the rural population are still NOT using electricity as their main source of lighting.

If everyday, 1000 more people were given access to electricity, it would still take around 1096 years to reach all of them.

Yes, there are 400 million in India, without access to electricity.

Do you know how many languages are spoken in India?

How much time did it take you to learn a new language, the last time you tried? 1 year? 2 years?

If you learnt 1 new Indian language every year, it would take you more than 262 years. Assuming you already know English.


And the Indian Government is supposed to take care of ALL of this?! While we, the “intelligentsia”, sit in our comfortable homes, twiddle our thumbs, and accuse it of not-functioning?

Yes, I know it is slow work. But it IS working!

Yes, I know it should do more. But it IS doing SOMETHING!

Yes, I know criticism is just a way of pushing the changes forward. But cannot WE do something more too?


UPDATE: Really liked this video. Click here.


7 Responses to “How many Indias?”

  1. Samudra,
    I am not one to criticise the govt because it is fashionable to do so. I don’t blame all that’s bad in the world to the govt (as I have seen many do). And I am aware of the tremendous task that is on hand, and the effort that it takes for the whole thing to work together.

    But I would also not condone the govt just for the quantum of task on hand. Someone, at some stage, did a phenomenal job of the “organization”. What we now have is a completely distributed structure and where it finally boils down to a person taking care of a small task, and many such persons all over, in place, to make the whole machine work together. If there WAS an equivalent of a CEO, I would still respect that. There isn’t. Dr MS does not need to worry about water reaching the Dharavi slum, it is someone else’s problem. He does not even direct that.

    All that being the case then, it is an amazing organization that is in place, with the inefficiencies and the excesses and all that. But we can still expect better performers and performances, and due to which reason, we have to keep pushing them, with complaints, votes, whatever..

    My 2 cents..

    • I agree we need to push them. But are WE? By “WE”, I mean the people who complain, almost no matter who is in power. The “intelligentsia”. The people who seem to have NO power over who is in power. Our votes, are they powerful enough? Our complaints are rarely bothered about. And rightly so. When a majority of the people are still struggling with issues like drinking water and electricity, how legitimate are our demands for more action on climate control and environmental protection? Those issues are far more governed by external factors (read WTO) than us.

      We expect better performances and better performers. But when we dont get them, are WE able to do anything about it? No. Mostly, it is governed by what the paan-wallah and the rickshaw-driver and the dabba-wallahs think. Their parameters for performance are of course far different from ours. So who looks after OUR interests?

      How can WE be more effective, in looking after OUR interests?

      I think I should have brought my point more clearly in the original point.

      My point was that, this country is humongous in its scale and breadth. And the govt is doing a pretty decent job of running the country, no matter who is in power. And it is time, WE recognize that fact, stop complaining, and take some sort of action to look after our OWN interests.

      Wow, this should have been a blog post in itself 😛

  2. Man ! It seems that you really have understood , how in-harmonic and yet stable country we are ! It reminds me an incident ( Again me and Nishant together )

    There was some discussion going on and all including the lady who facilitated the debate in classroom ( who teaches comm. skills and other such subjects, you know who is she ! ) were of the opinion that INDIAN DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM is NOT working ( Multiple – party system )! They believed that American way of democracy of TWO part system is better ! Then she asked who doesn’t believe so ! WE raised the hands ! The whole class laughed ! They were of the opinion that current democratic structure is the RESPONSIBLE thing for our backwardness even after 50+ years of independence !

    The ironic thing is that it’s not the matter of the way system is organized, It’s the way PEOPLE perceive and follow it !

    and the fact is that NONE of that class would have seen/met the no of people you have mentioned !

    System IS Working !

  3. […] There are way too many India’s in India. And there are way too many TVS service centres in South India. And not enough in the rest of the country. […]

  4. Good one.. !! good to connect with another riding fella !! 🙂

  5. Your style is so unique compared to other folks I’ve read stuff
    from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this web site.

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