India’s long path to Literacy

Baba Vickram A. Bedi
5 min readJul 8, 2020

My father, Baba Dr. Dina Nath Bedi left, myself as a Child, 1978.

When I was growing up, I would be dismayed one evening at an event at the Indian Consulate in New York. I was only one of three children there, and I would dare say I was the only one who was interested in what various diplomats and others were discussed on a very long table during dinner. It was 1983, and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister of India. Her portrait was prominently displayed along with Prime Minister Nehru her father, my parents had met both, and in my room at room I had and still have a book which was given to me on my birthday, it was called, A Life in the Day of Indira Gandhi. I was struck by its title as it seemed backwards to me at the time. My father would tell me that it actually held more meaning the way it was written. Sometime in my early youth I finally understood this. Truly, a life in the Day of Indira Gandhi, was far more about what she did from sunrise to sunset, it was about a nation which had gone from near starvation in 1947, to an Atomic Power in in just 27 years. A nation which had been become a food exporter in 1981, and where literacy had risen every year since 1947. That evening I still remember, a Minister who was my father’s childhood friend, introduced me to Mango Ice Cream, and handed me a leaflet to read. I could understand most of it, and somewhere that night I heard a comparison of how Pakistan had fared. The discussion seemed to indicate that Pakistan was doing better than India is many ways, but it had received massive foreign assistance from the U.S., and India had largely built initiatives on its own. He pointed to my father, and stated very proudly that India had dedicated itself to education and that both my father and him were examples of this.

Strange as it is, I remember that night like it was not long ago. Some days make an impression on a child’s mind and spark an interest. My fascination began in those days, with India’s closed economy, and its unique way forward. It would some years later that I realized that India and Pakistan rivalry was not a condition which would fade. The development of Pakistan which had been born out a horrific Colonial…

Baba Vickram A. Bedi

A direct descendant of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji looking for the benefit which can be found from them.