Friday, 16 August 2013

India- Still Not Independent

My country will be celebrating its 67th Independence Day this year. And just like we follow rituals for Durga Puja, Eid, Christmas, Easter, Moharram, Diwali like tradition coming down since ages immemorial, the entire country would be celebrating Independence Day. A parade at Red Fort, the Prime Minister’s speech, honouring our great Jawans and martyrs, schools and colleges organizing cultural programmes, sending messages to family and friends wishing Independence Day (and at the same time cursing the telecom companies for not providing rate cutter services) putting up photos and status updates on facebook, celebrities would tweet and fans would be delighted at them (as if they fought for our Independence) and all wound end with nightfall with the National Anthem and the National Song being played innumerous times all over the country. And not to forget some NRIs in distant countries and continents across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Pacific celebrating August 15 the Indian way and showing off their patriotism.
 Amidst all this somewhere in some village of the same India, a poor child would be crying out of hunger, a widow would still be looking across the broken village road for her husband to return who had promised to bring colourful bangles for her despite the known fact that he lost his life in some hawai-jahaj crash to rescue the bhakts trapped in Uttarkashi. Somewhere in the capital-Delhi of the same India, yes the same India which is celebrating its Independence Day, a mother would ask her teenaged daughter to return back home before it gets dark reminding her of the plight of the girl who became a prey to monsters on the fateful day of December 16 last year. A lean and frail father would be walking all alone to the doctor because his young son is dead. The one who died while participating in a rally in Kolkata whose cause of death has kicked off a political debate among parties blaming each other for his death but no one remembering that he would never walk back from the dead. A mother would be crying all alone throughout the night because her son committed suicide as he was bogged down due to debt, the reason for which was actually a bhodrolok from Saltlake, Kolkata who promised him to return double the money once he put in some cash.
 A state would still be burning due to clashes of the people erupting out of the proposed bifurcation. Some foreign tourists who felt delighted to be visiting a Himalayan hill station in India would be regretting for their decision since the hill people have called for an indefinite strike in their area demanding an ‘extra’ state just for them.
At the same time, journalists on the broadcast media would be speculating who would be the next PM? Which would the next ‘new’ state of India? Should anti-rape laws be harsher? And at the end of every bulletin they shall be wishing the entire Hindustan a Happy Independence Day. Yes, the 67th Independence Day. Matter to be proud of. Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Nehru, Matangini Hazra, Rani Laxmibai, Netaji and many others, they all fought for the country, The class 8 history books says they fought for us. But today I question, “Did they really fight for us? Us, the people who never care to think twice before throwing off food which we do not find tasteful whereas still the majority of the nation’s population is under below poverty line who cannot even afford to have a full square meal a day even if it just costs Rs12!. Us, the people who never stop ourselves from calling a woman wearing a knee-length dress and coming out of a pub at 10 in the night, a slut.
  Yes we are celebrating the 67th Independence Day. The era when my mother still could not abandon her fears of visiting Kashmir because of the fear of terrorist attacks. The era when, I, an educated and independent girl, and many more girls like me would still fear to step of home once it’s dark. Even though we belong to the age of independent thinking and equal respect for women! When a boy at a University would seek first class results and yet be looked down upon because he belongs to a lower caste community or might be because his father could not afford to buy him an iPhone. The same father, who has only one square meal a day to ensure that he saves enough money for his son’s education.
   And we tell we are independent. We debate, write long words and sentences discussing on the future of independent India once it becomes the superpower! And I keep wondering out of my illiteracy on the issue, that on what basis are we planning to emerge as a Superpower!! I still do not understand what would be our characteristics of emerging a superpower! Now I know, superpower of having more and more people dying due top hunger, more girls being molested, raped and their rapists roaming free (because some generous Human Rights group fought for him, I wonder where does humanity run away when it comes to the dignity of the girl!), more and more Jawans dying to save the country from militants, our dearest mantris still fighting into how many more states can they divide India!( Might be they think the more they divide the soul, the more powerful it becomes. Might be they are great fans of Lord Voldemort and sought the idea from his horcruxes!)
    No I am not proud of celebrating the Independence Day. I feel ashamed of singing the national flag and saluting the National Flag. Because we failed the very purpose of Independence. August 15 for me, for the entire nation, is very much like another day (Of course with ‘beefed up security at airports, railway stations and places of national importance). But apart from that, it’s nothing different. We are still not independent of corruption, crime, harassment and oppression of the weak, rising poverty, gender inequality, terrorism, communal clashes. We still have a long way to achieve ‘Independence’.

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