India at the Brink of Independence! August 15, 2011Posted by Akriti Bahal in Corruption, Freedom, Independence Day, Patriotism, Politics, Poverty, Struggle.
Wondering if I’m talking about just-another festive day in India. National holiday. Ensconcing yourself at home. Complete rest and relaxation. Well yeah, then I’m talking about just that!
Talking about this just-another holiday what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Of course kite flying, I know! Coz we’re just happy comfortably sitting at our homes giving free advises to run the country and criticizing the system. Coz we’re just too busy (or lazy) to step out of our comfort shell and actually do something. And when some Anna Hazare steps up for us, we do nothing but give advises to him too! This is OUR country and he is out there fasting and giving them a run-for-their-black-money just for us. What will he get on doing something like this? Now, here there is no selfish motive involved.
So, the fact is that we still have good people in the country. It is just that they are crushed. Why? Because we Indians are too chickened to come out on the streets and support someone who is doing it.
Now, I know I need not give any reasons why you must support Anna Hazare, for it is beneath Anna’s dignity to beg and make case for support when he is fighting for you against an abusive, corrupt regime. But, for those who still prefer to be the ostriches of their country (nah! country would be too vast a term, even I’m an ostrich then, in fact I may even be an ostrich of my city, Delhi, too! But, let’s just keep it to ostriches of the city), here’s a quick recap.
(As stated by Chetan Bhagat) Anna did a fast in April, which became the nation’s movement and spread virally. Concerned, the government agreed to make a good Lokpal Bill, shook hands with the activists and in principle agreed to Anna’s version, designed to truly check corruption. Since then, the government has insulted Anna’s team, thrown away their draft, and come up with its own almost pointless draft of the Lokpal Bill. The draft the government is presenting to Parliament will not check corruption. Only 0.5%, or one in 200 government officials are under its purview. Your corrupt ration shop, RTO, passport office, panchayats or municipal authority will not be covered. State scams will not be covered – yes, the Adarsh society scam or the Jharkhand scams are all out of its purview. The prime minister is excluded as well. Ever heard of a corruption law in a democracy that only applies to a certain section of people? The government is throwing magic dust in your eyes – and counting on India’s illiterate and ignorant to not know the difference. However, you reading this are educated. You know when wrong is being committed. You know that while you have lived your life with corruption, you do not want your children to do the same. A bad Lokpal Bill may not affect you today – but tomorrow it will hit you when your child does not get a college seat, when your hospital gives shoddy treatment, when your government work doesn’t get done. We live in a poor country – poor not because we don’t have what it takes to be rich, but because our leaders have let us down. We have given them too much power, and they consider our vote as a mandate to steal and be incompetent. They hate accountability. However, without accountability, our progress will stall. There are countries where the average income per person is 50 times more than in India. Don’t we deserve the same?
Thus, whatever your personal view on Anna, it is not him but his cause that needs support. The government can crush a few activists. However, it cannot crush India on the streets. A peaceful, firm, decisive protest is every Indian’s birthright, and must be exercised in times of need.
Coming back to flying kites on Independence Day, you know flying kites symbolizes the spirit of freedom, a spirit of free India. But, do you think we really are independent? Being a part of a political discussion, I was really ashamed to see that most of the people (and I mean people from all ages, including those who have witnessed the freedom struggle, too) acknowledged that India was better when there was British Rule than what is prevailing here today. Now, this is a point of real chagrin for all of us, for this means all those who struggled so hard only to make their next generations see a free country, all those who lost their lives in the struggle, was in vain? Are we so insentient that we don’t even canonize their sacrificed lives? And then we are happy digging our faces into the air and symbolizing the spirit of freedom when what we are suffering from is worse than British Rule!
Ending it with an excerpt from the ‘Tryst of Destiny’, the historic speech by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, which I think most of the ‘people-in-power’ have forgotten today.
The pledge “At this solemn moment when the people of India, through suffering and sacrifice have secured freedom, I, a member of the Constituent Assembly of India, do dedicate myself in a humility to the service of India and her people to the end that this ancient land attain her rightful and honoured place in the world and make her full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of mankind.”
With this, it’s a cry for help from India and we have to aid her coz she’s our mother and she needs help.
When there will be freedom from hunger, freedom from poverty, freedom from child labour, freedom from corruption that’s when India will be Independent. Coz ‘Nothing is permanent’ and we have to change it. We have to prove the advisory-systems, present in every home, wrong. We have to prove that India can change and we have to do it.
We have to save our country’s future. It’s time for us to come out on the streets and that’s how we can end this trepidation!
Now we have a job to do, coz we know that we are on the brink of independence but we are not independent yet!