It is ironic that we dream of the same future and progress that we did when we were a British colony.
We are still caught in a vicious web of religious superstitions and social obscurantism. Animism and irrationality still prevail and continue to influence our beliefs. Raja Rammohan Roy, Syed Ahmed Khan, and other nineteen-century socio-cultured reformers sought to create a social climate for modernisation, and we are still, after two centuries, striving for a rational and secular outlook. Religion, be it Islam or Hinduism, has failed to evolve and keep pace with and demands of the time.
Women in India, for countless centuries, have been subordinated to men and socially oppressed and handicapped. Women were taught to accept their subordination and even welcome it as a badge of honour. The various religions, as well as the personal laws based on them, relegated women to a status inferior to men. Women, today, are called ‘whore’ and ‘bitch’ and, slut-slammed on social media platforms. Rape threats to women, which are being used as a vehicle of abuse, an assertion of male power, are startlingly commonplace on social media.
Caste continues to play a role even in the part of India that thinks that caste discrimination is a thing of the past. It does in so overt ways like the newspapers which criticise caste violence on their front and editorial pages, yet carry caste-based matrimonial advertisements.
70 years after gaining independence, India hasn’t been able to clean itself of the communal dirt. Britishers adopted Divide and Rule policy in the past. In the present, RSS-BJP has adopted the mechanism of Divide and Rule policy to capture power.
Our freedom fighters fought for an independent nation. Resistance activists, during the Emergency, fought for our fundamental rights and restoration of democracy. In the present, we are still fighting for democracy and fundamental rights though not many seem to be bothered about democracy nor do they seem to appreciate their fundamental rights.
So how would India be after 25 years or 50 years down the line? Would it still be engulfed in casteism, poverty, communal violence?