I was very intrigued (and frankly slightly amused) by Hillary Clinton’s use of the term “Indian Dream” in her official message to India and Indians on the upcoming Independence Day.
It mustn’t be difficult for you to think that the term is just Clinton’s extension of the domestic concept — the American Dream. Exactly what is an American Dream? What might be its notion?
American Dream is an ethos1, which promises every American a hope for a happy, prosperous and fulfilled life. Eventhough there is no specific definition, there are commonly recognized symbols. Owning a house is an American Dream. Having a million bucks in savings is an American dream. The notion of “hardwork yields rewards” is an American Dream. Having a rewarding job is an American Dream. Even some really trivial things — a summer day at the beach, eating a hot dog, having a nice car, holiday season — are sometimes considered to be part of the dream.
My opinion is that American Dream is a vehicle ridden by politicians and marketers to sell what they need sold. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong about it, but it amazes me that a singular concept can be relevant and applicable for such a large population of people.
Now, is there an Indian dream?2
Surely, Indians do dream. Infact, there is more things we (collectively) don’t have, as compared to America. There is more poverty, less education, less wealth, less of a functioning system etc… Bottomline, there are more reasons for us to dream and more things for us to dream about. And we are more than thrice as populous as America.
And we don’t have a dream? Is there no Indian dream?
I want to see what you think before I come up with what I think may be a comprehensive answer.
1Ethos — Wikipedia defines the American Dream as an ethos. Besides, the term was originally coined by James Truslow Adams, an American historian/writer.
2I am sensitive to the thought that I have a tendency to try to relate everything American to India and vice versa. I know these countries more than I do others, so I can’t help I guess. But you should still be able to relate to what I write, regardless of the country of your origin, residence or interest. I make every effort to do that. In any case, specific to this post, I blame Clinton :p