August 15th, the day India succeeded in ending the British regime and established a democracy. A democracy which gave power to every Indian to select and elect people to power to do good for their nation. Most of them were illiterates and were unaware of the ways of the world. They chose people whom they believed would propel the country to prosperity and growth.
Sixty eight years hence people mostly illiterates and unaware of the ways of the world choose people whom they believe will propel the country towards prosperity. There has been some prosperity no doubt but largely the common man still lives with the hope that there will be a better tomorrow. There will be a set of people who will indeed steer the country towards prosperity and growth.. real prosperity and real growth.
Let me define what I exactly mean by prosperity and growth. It is definitely not measured by the number of high rise buildings that this country can build, it is not the number of people who feature on the Forbes list of richest Indians and not by the number of babies that this country produces on a daily basis.
Prosperity will be achieved when every person born in this country can afford three square meals a day; when he can build toilets in is house, when he can have a house to live in and not a shack, when the girls of this country can walk outside safely without the threat of rape.
Prosperity is when the children, all children receive basic education, they don’t have to work to feed their family, when every person can do a decent job and earn a livelihood, not clean up sewage waste.
So are we really independent? We are not independent from the perils of society like poverty, hunger, homeless, rape that we have inflicted upon us, so what exactly are we celebrating here? Is it the fact that our forefathers fought like one to establish a democracy sixty eight years ago? Well then my friend it’s a thing of the past. The British have moved on and so have our forefathers. But we are holding onto a memory to find an excuse to enjoy a holiday, hoist the tricolor and well up assumed pride at being an Indian.
I may sound a little too obstinate here but my friends in the US or outside the country who have long migrated from India send wishes of independence and a happy one at that. My friend, you are not stuck in the traffic jam every morning, driving to work, you are not waiting for the water to appear in the tap in your kitchen, you are not sweating it out waiting for electricity.. so feel happy about your independence from these pains and enjoy life. We are good without your wishes.
India should stop having any elaborate ceremonies and celebrate independence when the country has ousted poverty, hunger, homelessness and rape.