'There is nothing in the world you cannot find in India'
‘Everything has variety in India. There is no uniformity or one kind.
‘I also love the fact that there are always sensible people here, even when everything around you is collapsing,' says former chief election commissioner JM Lyngdoh, in our special series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com why they love India.
I love the variety in our land. The people, the culture, the languages, the food, the customs, the geography, the history -- everything has variety. There is no uniformity or one kind.
There is nothing in the world that you cannot find here.
I also love the fact that there are always sensible people here, even when everything around you is collapsing.
It pains me that the country is no longer secular, it is unrecognisable from what it used to be a few decades ago.
Politics is now a game of buffoons, some of them are really dumb. Learning and intelligence has vapourised. We are at the mercy of such people.
We have destroyed nature. We have just taken everything not realising that we are destroying the environment. Every rock in Hyderabad has been removed. Lakes are dirty. Rivers have become receiving ends of sewage. Animals are disappearing.
We do not respect anything except money. Some people are very happy with this situation, maybe I am out of touch. Maybe I am outdated.
It will take a lot of effort and time to improve the whole organisation. Changing the entire system is due.
The only solution is to give our youth a good education. Let people be free to make up their own minds.
Give them education that will help them make a good choice, the best choice.
Engineering and Medicine is not education. These are ways of making money. We are going down the wrong track.
To educate means to teach History, Literature, let them think for themselves. People have to learn to think for themselves and make the right choices in life. Only then will we will be an educated country like we were when we got Independence.
JM Lyngdoh was India's Chief Election Commissioner from 2001 to 2004. He joined the Indian Administrative Service at the age of 22 and is the winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
He spoke to A Ganesh Nadar.
Image: Indian hockey player Dharamvir Singh holds the Commonwealth Games Baton which arrived in India before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters