60 years of independence. Yayy ! We have been a "free" nation for the past 60 years. We have made major advances in all fields - science, technology, sports, art, agriculture, rural healthcare and sanitation, infrastructure, clean drinking water, free and compulsory education ...the list goes on .. or so the government and the news channels claim.
Is this really so? Are we really a "free" nation?
At the risk of sounding boorish, i beg to differ.
Even after 60 years, we are not a free country. We still follow the much-criticized 'divide-and-rule' policies of the British raj - under the guise of 'reservation' and 'equal distribution of rights'. What about the caste politics that our leaders unashamedly practice? Aren't we slaves of a corrupt mindset?
Does 'upliftment of the downtrodden' mean 'trodding upon the rights of the "uplifted" '? Isn't that policy again a consequence of the greed for power? Aren't we now slaves to power, which, in turn guarentees money and fame in the 7th most corrupt country in the world ?
Are our girls and women really 'free' ? We hear of female foeticides, kidnapping and gang-rape of little girls, trafficking of women and flesh trade, dowry deaths, abusive households, eve-teasing , kidnap and murder of working women. The solution offered is this - stay away, stay safe. Is a country that can't guarentee safety to 48 % of its citizens really free ?
Are our children free ? Sucked into the system right from the tender age of 3; they bear the burden of expectations, try to excel in a system that does not recognise ingenuity, basically live the lives of 10 people who want to make the child what they could never be.
Aren't we now slaves of the system?
To quote former President Dr.Abdul Kalam, who, in his farewell speech said :
My dear citizens, let us resolve to continue to work for realizing the missions of developed India 2020 with the following distinctive profile.
1. A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.
2. A Nation where there is an equitable distribution and adequate access to energy and quality water.
3. A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony.
4. A Nation where education with value system is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.
5. A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors.
6. A Nation where the best of health care is available to all.
7. A Nation where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption free.
8. A Nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women and children are absent and none in the society feels alienated.
9. A Nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
10. A Nation that is one of the best places to live in and is proud of its leadership.
His vision can only be achieved if we become a free nation. A nation that is free from its own vices. A nation where the people do not make money by starving poor people. A nation that is proud of itself, its heritage, its culture.A nation where merit is rewarded and mediocrity punished. A nation that is proud of its every citizen. A nation where every citizen is proud of it.
JAI HIND. I firmly and truly believe: MERA BHARATH MAHAN. Happy Independence Day.