When I came back to this country about four years ago after completing my higher education abroad, I remember feeling passionate, enthusiastic and most of all, hopeful. People would often ask me why I returned to a country with so many problems, when I could have had a life of comfort. In response I would repeat statements made by so many others prior to me, that I wanted to do something relevant for this country. To at least try and be part of the change we all wanted to see.
In the last four years I have managed to do my part, whatever was possible in my capacity, however small, as an academician. I shared my expertise in the formulation of an important national policy, extensively worked on India's manufacturing sector and what could be done to improve it, wrote in columns and science forums on issues I felt were important for the economic growth of this country. In doing so, I came across many issues plaguing the country, particularly from a researcher's perspective. So much manipulation, hiding of information, lack of data infrastructure, funding cuts, degrading science and technology to name a few. The country also showed me its abhorrent intolerance and hypocrisy time and time again. It crushed me every single day, but never managed to dim the light inside me. "Koi bhi desh perfect nahin hota.. usse behtar banana padta hai".
But today, I feel broken. Not only sad, disappointed, angry, frustrated, scared, helpless, but broken. I feel immense hatred towards this nation that I once loved with all my heart. No amount of logic, explanations, "fake positivity" will change that. This nation, in its blind megalomania and boastfulness, failed me, and millions of others like me, who tried to serve the country in whichever potential they could. Today, each one of us is on our own, utterly humiliated, disappointed, and mostly doomed.
This is not the country from my childhood, there is no iota of semblance. Today, my voice no longer trembles to say that I wish I never came back to this country that had lost its soul long back.