Bridled Independence

As an Indian, the completion of the sixty-second year of my country’s Independence evokes in me a mixture of emotions. The country has indeed moved on. From being an underdeveloped nation with an uncertain future, India today has risen in stature to be one of the powers to be reckoned with on the world stage. Industry and intellect have combined to transform a country of hope into one of fiery ambition to be a major protagonist in the affairs of the continent. Yet, I say a mixture of emotions because in spite of all the achievements over the last six decades, the nation hasn’t moved as far forward as is desirable. We have certainly freed ourselves from the reins of a foreign monarchy, but can we say that we are independent in the true sense of the term? How can a country gain Independence if it is still hopelessly dependent on the following?

DIRTY POLITICS: The biggest scourge of the country yet. Politics in its ugliest form has continuously deprived the laity of its fair share of education, nutrition, equality of religion and caste, freedom of speech and even the right to life and property at times. The poor are being trampled upon for the gains of a mighty few. How long will the politics of flagrant inequity rule our land?

CORRUPTION: The Late Rajiv Gandhi confessed that ninety five paise out of every one Rupee sanctioned for the needy is lost on the way due to corruption in the system. How long will it take to turn that same statistic upside down?

MONSOON: Every year we look up to the rain gods to save our economy from destruction. Just how long will this country be at the mercy of the monsoon clouds?

USA: Even today, we cannot dare to make a move against our cross-border enemies without the approval of the United States. We have to think a thousand times before we can develop our nuclear arsenal, lest we offend the Global Cop that is the USA. We dare not express our friendship for our natural and traditional friends such as Iran because such countries are on USA’s list of enemies.

CHINA: We cannot dream of speaking ill of China in spite of its excesses in Tibet and its incursions into Indian territory because China is one of our chief trade partners, in addition to it being a massive military power. Are we ever going to be free of China’s military and economic hegemony?

OBSESSION FOR ALL THINGS WESTERN: We continue to be attracted to anything with a western hue, so much so that we have developed a deep-rooted inferiority complex for western people, western merchandise and their lifestyles. As a consequence, we have ended up being copycats rather than aspiring to be trendsetters. How long is it going to take for us to be unshackled of our subservience towards all things western?

Are we ready to fight another war of Independence to rid ourselves of all the vices and evils that shackle us even today? If the answer to this question is anything other than an imperative YES, India’s dream of becoming an economic superpower will drift farther away than ever. Complacency will yet be the curse of the nation if it does not wake up to its deficiencies with utmost urgency. If and when that does come about, Independence will have arrived in its truest form.


Roshmi Sinha said... [Reply]

Very well written, I must say.

I found your blog to be quite informative... apart from having a range of topics/issues...

Will visit often.

P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)


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