This one’s a guest post. Quite late for the occasion though, yet i hope the author ( Raj vardhan Nigam ) won’t mind it.
Happy Independence day to everyone !!!
Here’s wishing you a very happy 65th year of independence. I know it’s been long since you’ve heard from me and no amount of explanation can justify this deplorable behavior. Nevertheless I take this opportunity to apologize for the conduct over the past years.
Every year on 15th August, your anniversary evokes nostalgia about the times gone by — innocent memories of childhood when tuning into Doordarshan to see the swaying tri-color on the ramparts of the Red Fort was a must, buying one-sided paper flags at the bus stop was a morning delight and singing the national anthem in school – a moment of great pride.
A lot has gone by from the time when I did not comprehend the meaning of freedom and yet could see a lamp lit with nationalism, to a time when I’m surrounded with manipulated definitions of freedom which has stifled the lamp and smudged the contours of democracy to elucidate the selfish motives of people.
Power is the new freedom, corruption is the new monotony, assurance is the new food, reservation is the new vote appeal, manifesto is the new betrayal, misinformed is the new patriotic, terrorism is the new communication-protocol, miss call for lokpal is the new devotion and a Facebook event is the new revolution.
Before independence we witnessed the Jail Bharo Andolan when people abandoned everything fighting to free you from the British rule and today after 65 years of independence social activist Anna Hazare ventures into bringing back the same movement to bring down corruption and tackle cases like the 2G scam, CWG, Adarsh, Taj Corridor, etc. through the Jan lokpal bill.
With the grace you bestowed upon us, we did take remarkable strides and achieved several milestones that changed the way world perceived us. To borrow from the title of a book by noted author Gurcharan Das, following radical reforms undertaken in the early 1990s, the economic growth rate, successful nuclear tests like Pokhran II, satellite launches, cricket world cup triumph, beauty pageants….you became “unbound.” But behind Mukesh Ambani’s landmark home Antilla hide the slums and refugee camps spread across the nation; behind Rahul Gandhi’s multimillion dollar donation for a Harvard degree hide schools with broken walls and open roofs; behind CEOs like Indra Nooyi hides inequality and discrimination towards women and behind the smiling face of politicians hides the ugly truth of scams and corruption.
I know this has disheartened you. Something is really gnawing at the heart of democracy and even though there might not be a panacea for all ill, but a ray of hope kindles as several steps are being taken in the right direction. I know there’s little point in complaining about evils like corruption when I myself am aware how and when I’ve got my driver’s license or how I’ve brought down a Rs.1500 fine to Rs.200(or less) on several occasions.
As an anniversary gift, I pledge to be a better citizen’.
Happy Independence Day!!