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Achhe Din – Myth or Reality?


Parental Responsibilities – Reincarnation & Karma,Personal Arena

Now let us compare the circumstances of our lives in the city from a few years ago to today.

  1. Electricity availability – 24/7 vs Power cuts
  2. Water availability – Everyday vs once in 3 days
  3. Conveniences and Transparency for dealing with Govt (E-seva/Passport/Birth Certificate/Property Taxes).
  4. Schools/Pre-schools/Crèches
  5. Gas Cylinder availability
  6. Options for a Variety of Services – availability
  7. Inflation at low rates, hence actual interests on deposits are higher and costs are lower
  8. Internet, Media and WhatsApp accessibility
  9. Vehicle Insurance claims – convenience
  10. Direct Benefits Transfer and many such facilities
  11. Sports facilities and exposure
  12. Market is now Global (On-line).
  13. Foreign Exchange availability and ease of use
  14. Railways Services Improvement

We should also, value our leisure time especially when complaining about growing inequality. The Economist (Dec 20, 2014) writes about USA, People with less education, who did not finish their high school education gained nearly 8 hours of a week leisure between 1985 and 2000. Men with a college degree saw their leisure time drop by 6 hours during the same period. For women it was 11 hours less for the well-educated in comparison to women who did not graduate from high school.

Inequality of leisure has coincided with other measures of inequality, in wages and consumption, which have been increasing steadily since 1980. This makes leisure time very expensive. Labour unions trade for more leisure time – essentially for more holidays.

This raises the utility of leisure, as holidays are more fun and less costly when everyone else is also, taking time off. Hence, the value of such leisure and family time and, opportunity for happiness it accords, needs to also, be factored in when looking at inequality.

To hold that such progress has only been at the cost of environmental degradation leading to more people being exposed to greater pollution and suffering greatly from such effects, is being selectively short sighted. In many places especially in Europe, pollution today is far lower than it was just a century ago. It is estimated that once the annual per capita income level is over 1990’s US $4000 more people begin to insist on better environmental conditions. So the aim should be to work, so as to as rapidly as possible get our people to such levels of income even if for a while we need to use available energy sources that are more polluting, such as coal. Of course efforts should be made to develop technologies to keep such pollution as low as realistically possible.

Surveys constantly reveal that individuals tend to be personally optimistic yet socially pessimistic. There seems to be a vested interest in pessimism and scare stories get wider hearings. They forget the pollution of the past (wood or dung fire places) and exaggerate those of today (carbon pollution from non-renewable energy sources and chemical pollution from fertilizers and insecticides), even as our lives are longer and more comfortable. Ofcourse, we need to understand and deal with such matters as best as we can, trusting increasing knowledge and technology development to do so. We definitely should not allow them to scare us into only seeing a depressive view of our future. Let us work with the confidence that we can and will make our future even better, leading to really more Achhe Din!


Recognizing the value of the ‘Achhe Din’ or Good Days that we are going through is difficult as we soon get used to such times and then keep expecting even better times. Learning to be content and valuing the extra time we get for work or leisure or Family is what is necessary.


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