Flawed Beauty: India at 64

Every year on August 15th, I blog about one event: India's Independence. Today, strangely, I'm a rather odd state of mind. I woke up this morning ready to rant on about what a proud nation we are. Independent,. modern and savvy. So why is it then, I find myself lost amidst negative comments from locals. Some call our independence an "illusion" while others question what the point of our independence is? Today is a day where we are supposed to remember the teachings of Gandhi. But what do we really have to remember? That we're independent of a country that ruled over us for years before we finally kicked them out? But over 60 years later, are we really independent? Till date, we hear of stories of the female infanticide, dowry, corruption and even caste discrimination. Not really independent from our mentality or thinking.

This word, "independence" is totally taken for granted. Physical independence was the initial problem. And so through brave hearts like Gandhi and Nehru, we drove out the British. That act in itself was a foundation for what should have followed. However, here we are 64 years later, still reeling in issues that are rather sticky. Ultimately the problem is simple: a lack of education. And let's not confuse education with literacy. There is a huge difference.

But is it fair to blame all the above issues on the uneducated/illiterate? As educated Indians, we too have a responsibility towards our country. The first of course is simple. Vote. The illiterate do not know the difference between their politicians. They're hungry for anything and thus, will place their vote in those who provide them with empty promises. Every time a metro voter chooses not to go out and vote, you allow one more corrupt politician to gain another illiterate vote.

The youth have a responsibility to get involved. It's your country, your future. If you're sick of the system, then get up, get out and do something. There is no point sitting on your young buttock watching your country falter at the hands of ministers who are filling their pockets. And if you're told you don't know what you're talking about, bachche ho tum and all that jazz, then instead of shrugging and walking away, take a stand. The power of the youth should never be underestimated.

Look to say we're not an independent strong nation is totally false. This is one of the reasons we're attacked by terrorists regularly. They fear the pace at which we're progressing. But this is not a reason to back down. In fact now more than ever, we need to get it together. The time is now. Our freedom fighters say, "This is not the India we fought for." It's now time to make it that India.

Today happens to be one of my most favorite days of the year. I miss my summers in Bombay where I'd run down to my building podium in my pj's to watch the tricolor go up. A moment of pride would fall over me. And even though I'm on the opposite hemisphere today, my heart beats saffron, white and green. I am and will always be a proud Indian. Jai Hind!

3 comments:

Mee Asli Mumbaikar said...

I love your spirit!
And yes, the heart can beat in saffron white and green irrespective of where you are!

Mee Asli Mumbaikar said...

Love these lines...
...And even though I'm on the opposite hemisphere today, my heart beats saffron, white and green. I am and will always be a proud Indian. Jai Hind!

MOHAMMED FARHAN KHAN said...

nice one ...

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