By Ayushman Basu:
On seeing the title of my piece some may be startled a bit and some may agree with it. But nevertheless, I would like to wish all my fellow Indian brothers and sisters a Happy Independence Day. I can hear outside, songs of valour, courage and which share the stories of those who gave their lives fighting for the freedom of our country. What bothers me is that I can hear these songs only on one day in the whole year that is on 15th August and on the other 364 days I can only hear the cries of anguish and pain which is coming from each and every corner of India. As a student of Political Science, I am bent on questioning the situations and circumstances which are surrounding me and not look at it with a veil of ignorance over my face.
So I give all my readers a third degree; are we living in a country where we are really autarchic? And here by independent I don’t mean colonized as we are living in an era which has moved on from those days and now our priorities are also very different from what they were 60 years back. India as a country never ceases to astonish me. During the recession, our economy of one of the less hit and our GDP growth was considerably good compared to the ones who were severely hit by this phenomenon, but when I walk around the streets I see souls who are either nearing death or who come and hold your legs and crave for a rupee or two. These people are far from being independent as they don’t even know what their own prerogatives are. Let’s forget about the ones on the streets for a moment and look at the ones who are so called educated in this era.
The bourgeoisie with the wealth and the basic necessities (which is important to mention in the case of a country like India), I bet more than half of them don’t know what their own rights are, but the only difference is that we fail to notice this in their case as they have a faÃ§ade of money and wealth. Let’s be honest, during the time when the constitution was made, it had great promises and showed us dreams but the harsh reality, it failed. Democracy is our country till this point of time failed. While reading Aristotle one day I came across a line in which he said that Democracy is a perverted form of government as it only looks towards the interests of the majority and ignores the minority. But the irony in India is that more than half of the country is living below the poverty line and they don’t have anything to look up to for their interests and I don’t think more than half of the country’s population will be considered a minority.
‘We the People, For the People, By the People’, is what democracy is for India but it’s only on paper. When it comes to the implementation of the above said phrase, the word PEOPLE is nowhere to be seen. As far as I think, poverty in this country has killed more people than that number of people who were killed in the independence struggle. The government in our country is busier in thinking whether to sign a Nuke deal with the USA rather than looking into its own backyard and seeing millions dying without food and other basic necessities every day. We still stay quiet and go on with our lives as if everything is okay. Well, who wants to go out of their perfect little lives anyway and get their hands dirty for their country eh?
On this Independence Day we shouldn’t sit back and just have flashbacks of our independence struggle which happened decades ago but I urge my readers to think and take up a stand for this nation and for democracy. Nowadays many of us will have role models and someone to look forward to for a just cause.
Anna Hazare’s and Baba Ramdev’s movements have lost their respective momentum from the time Anna Hazare’s team decided to join politics, and in the case of the Baba, I think he just wants to get into the back room and nothing else. If we need to take a stand it should be ourselves and not in the form of another. If we want out interests to be fulfilled we should be the ones on the podium instead of some social activist and yoga guru.
After reading till here, many may think that the writer is just blubbering out emotions and not writing with rationality and substance, but I should justify this. It has been 66 years from the time we are an independent nation, and yes, not to be a total pessimist we have advanced in many fields. But our basic structure which is the people of this nation are still ignorant of their own rights and due to this democracy is failing again and again.
Personally, if I have to be straight with all of you, I worry and am bothered more about my fellow Indians who are not getting to eat two meals a day rather than be concerned about the GDP of my country. The rising economy of the country is not affecting the poor in any way or the other and with the entry of globalization from 1992 their situations have gotten worse. On nearing the end of my article I would like to stress upon a very basic point. We Indians are not proud to be Indians as I see it nowadays. When I see the level of patriotism in other countries and when I see the same in my own land I feel ashamed. For a revolution to take place, first and foremost we must instil pride in ourselves as Indians. If we are divided among ourselves then we will keep on rotting in this mud pit forever and never see a brighter future where everyone will be equal, and justice will be done not on the basis of one’s social position but on the basis of the crime itself. I hope and I will keep on hoping for a brighter India and a Democratic India. Jai Hind!
[box bg=”#fdf78c” color=”#000″]About the author: Â Ayushman Basu is a student of Political Science, Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi.[/box]