'India allows me to be what I want to be'
'India allows me to grow, allows me to think, allows me to blossom. We can open our arms and our hearts to the whole world and adapt what is good from other cultures and allow the bad to sift through,' says India's very own pop diva Usha Uthup.
There are so many things I love about India. But if you insist on knowing what I love the most, it is the diversity we have in our country, we have variety in everything here.
Most of all, you have to appreciate the unity in spite of the diversity.
We can open our arms and our hearts to the whole world and adapt what is good from other cultures and allow the bad to sift through.
My country allows me to be what I want to be, allows me to grow, allows me to think, allows me to blossom.
Our unique culture is our best asset in the World. It is our biggest USP. It makes us stand out.
In recent times we have done very well in the IT sector. But our Art and Literature has always been a world leader.
We have failed in poverty, education and health care matters.
I am a compulsive optimist, so I think we will overcome all these failings.
We have to honestly get down to giving people roti, kapda aur makan. It is an old slogan, but we have not implemented it. We must now get down to actually doing something about it instead of just talking about it.
If there is one thing I could change about India, if God gave me one wish, I would 'Wipe out Poverty.'
Usha Uthup is one of India's best-loved singers. She has sung in 13 Indian languages and in several foreign languages. She has been awarded the Padma Shri.
Usha Uthup spoke to A Ganesh Nadar.
The complete series: Why I love India
Image: Girls wait to perform during Onam festivities in Chennai.