After 59 years of Independence : Has India attained independence in its true essence?
By Anupreet Kaur
On the 15th of August,India celebrated 59 years of independence.Fine.
Infact,celebrations started a week ago,with all those news channels carrying special coverage on our achievements and shortcomings in the past 59 years in almost every respect be it industries,education,gender etc.etc.The movie channels too,showing patriotic movies.
No matter,how much we brag about our progress,but the fact is that our progress has been slow,uneven and not upto the mark.Take for example,despite of all the progress that India claims to have made in the health sector - the sex-ratio of the country has witnessed a sharp decline.26% of our population of billions still lives below poverty-line,we rank second in the world in terms of people affected from AIDS and we have failed to control our ever-growing population,the second largest in the world.
Anything is possible here,these days....You can shoot someone point blank and go scot-free.You can swindle crores of rupees from the public but still rule the market.Illiterate persons are being elected as Chief Ministers of states.A rapist and a murderer is now serving as an attorney in the District Court.This is the height of corruption!Today,the beautiful,virile and spiritual India has been battered and bruised.One wonders what's becoming of our nation,now.....
Almost every citizen says that "This country is going to dogs!"
Its true.Sad but true.
But the cause of this is rooted in our past.We,Indians have always been ignorant and silent.Its because of our silence that we remained slaves for centuries!Anyone could come,invade and conquer us!
Right from 180 BCE,the long series of invasions followed - from the Indo-Greeks,Indo-Scythians,Indo-Parthians,Kushans,Turks,Mongols,Mughals to British,Dutch,French and Portuguese in the sixteenth centuries.All of these people came - looted,plundered and exploited us and our land and further divided the already divided community!And,we,couldn't do anything to prevent this!We remained mute and ignorant while our kings were busy in their own conflicts!
We did break our silence,but that too after centuries of slavery!Our society was,and is still divided on several bases like those of language,caste,religion etc.etc.And,its a pretty known fact that "a divided society falls".That's why,we fell at that time and we still haven't been able to stand upright,unshakeably today.All because of our hypocrisy,silence,ignorance and selfishness!
It is rightly said that people get the governments they deserve.And an analysis of performance of successive governments would surely indicate that by and large the Government of India has been an unmitigated disaster for the People of India. Hunger, poverty, widespread corruption, shortages of water, power and a host of other maladies continue to plague the country, more than a half century after attaining self rule.
Thanks to our silence,those plunderers in the past left our country limping and crawling.When the economy of the country was virtually on its last legs,they set it free,declaring it independent!This is the reason that when anyone comes into power,they want to hoard as much money as possible so as to secure the future of their present and coming generations because the country is still struggling to get over the effect of the centuries of slavery and loot.And,in this scenario,one is always doubtful what the future holds for him.....
I hope we live to see the time when we can truly revel in our progress and celebrate our achievements.We have to fight yet another battle for freedom,for true independence.We need another revolution to free the nation of hatred,jealousy,ignorance,corruption and all such elements which are squeezing the blood of our motherland.
We must remember that the battle for Independence was exhorted not only to emancipate India from the imperial shackles,but also to foster a sense of national integration to further the national interests,peace and prosperity.
But the picture today is not what our freedom fighters had envisioned for us.It is upto us to change it,we must cleanse ourselves in order to cleanse the society.So what if only the corrupt are heard?It is us who have to SPEAK UP.We have to find the strength and be the change.
By any means,we must not remain mute spectators and ignore the plight of our fellow countrymen,for they are ours, as much as we are theirs. Without each other,we have no identity, no meaning, no belonging.
Officially,India might have been declared free,59 years ago,but in reality its people are still longing for freedom in its true essence.....
© Anupreet Kaur