What I Wish for India This New Year

We reached out to committed individuals who have made a significant contribution in their fields to bring to you their vision.   

BY TEAM RD Updated: Oct 3, 2018 12:28:01 IST
What I Wish for India This New Year

We reached out to committed individuals who have made a significant contribution in their fields to bring to you their vision.


My wish list for the future has only one item on it: the disappearance of all religions from the face of the earth.

HARSH MANDER - Social worker and writer

I do hope that 2016 is a year in which the ordinary Indian will assert the idea of India as a country to which everybody, regardless of faith, caste, class, gender or sexuality, belongs equally. That it is a year where there is an assertion of equal humanity and citizenship of all people. And where none are children of a lesser God.

There is a growing assault on the already poorly developed framework of a social welfare state. I'd want to see the strengthening of public healthcare, education and social security. And, a universal old-age pension.

KARUNA NUNDY - Supreme Court advocate

I would like to see more deliberative democracy, more of us listening deeply to the 'other', learning to reason and make decisions together. With an unprecedented democratization of public speech, there's a tendency to shout down anyone who thinks differently. This is one planet and our lives on it our inextricably interlinked.

SHYAM BENEGAL - Film-maker

Self-sufficiency, or what we now call 'Make in India', has been talked about for some time. While the ambition endures, so does widespread poverty. And for people to be able to come out of it-they have to do it on their own-there are two preconditions: affordable and excellent education and healthcare for all.The responsibility, of course, lies with the State and cannot be left entirely to the private sector or NGOs. If people are educated, they will be able to look after themselves, make things for themselves and earn a livelihood. What more could I want for the country?

MAHESH DATTANI - Playwright and actor

A safe planet. We are just three minutes short of midnight on the climate doomsday clock and 2016 may well be the tipping point. Less fossil fuel usage and greater usage of solar energy just might save us!

More funding for the arts. Not just for individual artists, but for art therapy programmes, art in education, art in the workplace, etc. Human expression is the most sophisticated among all species. It cannot be replaced by computers.

And greater wisdom. We can all do with a little more than what we have!


All we need is love. Not just the kind of familial love one has for parents or husband or children, but the love poets have talked about-a harmony with nature, therefore everything contained in nature. A friend recently went to Sariska in Rajasthan and wondered where all the tigers had gone. We are finishing off entire species. It's not just caring we need, but also warmth, affection and a sense of ownership.

ANSHU GUPTA - Social entrepreneur, founder of Goonj and winner of the 2015 Ramon Magsaysay Award

I would like to see citizens take more responsibility. In our country, citizen participation is low and largely event-based. We see massive volunteerism at the time of Chennai floods or other such calamity... Until citizens become a part [of the system] this won't happen. Citizens need to stop complaining and get into action. This country does not need thinkers any more, but doers. Either you take an initiative or support one. Enough of Facebook intellectualism!

VISWANATHAN ANAND - Chess grandmaster

In 2016, I want the young students of India to be socially conscious and strive for an equal society. Above all, do what believe in and enjoy the challenge. And for Indian chess,I want more Grandmasters and world titles.        

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