By Isha Kalra
Barbarity was inflicted upon the innocent for nearly an entire century; battles and bloodshed had prevailed across the country for decades, generations of youth had succumbed to martyrdom, a population of over 300 million had tolerated massacre after massacre, and what was once known as “Sone Ki Chidiya” (a golden bird) was now engulfed in revolting chaos.
Despite the broken spirits and shattered livelihoods, the traumatic experiences and ever-weeping wounds, Bharat remained undefeated as it grappled its way towards freedom. The western observers continued to predict that India could not survive as a single nation, owing to its multicultural population and fragile economy. The fate of the nation seemed arbitrary at best, and unfortunate at worst.
However, the remarkable individuals who led the struggle for independence and enabled the emergence of a robust constitution, bestowed upon the people the greatest power- the power of a democratic establishment. An establishment that promoted harmony amongst the citizens, inclusivity amongst diverse communities and diplomacy in the political spectrum.
The foundations of democracy also established impartiality in the eyes of the law, and sovereignty in the hands of a common man. Even though the laws and remedies often fall short in actual practice, the demand for justice continues to be expressed without inhibitions, and thus paves the way for consistent improvements.
The fact that we, as citizens of India, often express dissent towards the functioning of our government is itself a crucial testimony to the success of ‘freedom of speech and expression’. Freely assessing the functioning of the power holders, also enables the prospect for continual growth while manifesting the true spirits of democracy.
The core values of the constitution include the principle of ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ and this vision continues to remain a foremost segment of Indian democracy.
The long years of colonial suppression remain in stark contrast to the participatory nature of our democracy, and thus exist as evidence of an explicit advancement. Today, as the entire nation celebrates seventy-five years of independence, Indian democracy stands strong as the basis for the principles of both, our nation’s governance and the citizens’ livelihoods.
Even though several scenarios highlight the ever-existent vulnerabilities of the traditionally marginalized communities, it is important to acknowledge the extent of advancements in social inclusion. Economic growth is steadily combatting income disparities, and chipping away at unemployment. Educational awareness is also on the rise, along with an increasingly favourable literacy rate.
The industrial revolutions that India undertook facilitated collective upliftment in society, and led to the emergence of India as a global economy. Several credible advancements in agriculture have also been realised (such as, the green revolution), and have provided the Indian farmers with greater opportunities of self sufficiency.
In recent years, India has also witnessed considerable growth in the scientific domain, while also successfully executing commercial ventures in technological research. With regard to social welfare, a plethora of policies have been executed and have facilitated the commencement of gradual change. Many of these policies also aim to achieve gender equality, through diligent efforts towards women empowerment.
Today, the youth community of India is more aware than ever before, and is taking up triumphant community-driven projects, along with initiatives that gain global recognition. While acknowledging that the current progress does not warrant for complacency, I do believe it calls for a recognition of the headways accomplished in these 75 years.
At present, our nation proudly serves as the homeland of over 1300 million Indians who unitedly strive towards the consolidation of democratic principles. Hence, the undeniable success of Indian democracy, coupled with an affirmative outlook in terms of future progress has the capability to pronounce triumph, and mitigate contemporary adversities in society.