Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The I in India.

The "I" in India. Does it stand for Independent? Or for Ignorant?

67 years on, you hope to see the glasses as half full, desperately so. BUT scan the newspaper, switch on the television or just scroll down your twitter feed, and you will find a little evidence that it isn't so. Infact, it is still half empty.
Couple of days back, I decided to look up on the word "Independent", and here is what popped up at synonyms.
Self governance    Self Sufficient    Impartial
That made me wonder, whether our country, is actually independent?
The answer for me was very easy. Being the grand daughter of an Indian army officer, India was free and independent because our soldiers and freedom fighters had fought wars and led mu tines to protect it from the Imperial rule and safe guard it from the foreign invaders.
But as a citizen, how do I interpret it to be?
Self governance is a beautiful concept. A government which is of the people, for the people and by the people. But we still have Indians ruling over other Indians.
Everyday, when I open the newspaper here is what I read. Congress is blaming BJP for it's peace initiatives and BJP is blaming Congress for it's lax anti terror laws. I agree arguments is healthy for a democracy, but isn't the end result suppose to benefit someone, somewhere? And do these arguments really led to the benefit of a common man, who is killed in a bomb blast in Mumbai or Jammu and Kashmir. Or to the man who is sitting on the polluted roads, among the chaotic traffic just to be able to get home to their families. Or is it the need of the hour, to sit and jointly think of where we went wrong and what can be done to eradicate this and many others problems at the grass root level, itself?

Self Sufficient.
Well, I have doubts about this topic on the onset itself.
I agree that India's economy was closed for a long time after India got it's independence, and thus we like to think that we are self sufficient. But speaking after all the liberalization,  are we really?
We feed our people with grains and rice grown in our fields and clothe them with cotton clothes grown in our won country, so we like to think that we are self sufficient. BUT, do we really feed and clothe all of our people? I still find half naked children roaming around the streets, selling items like tiranga or shikhar, just to be able to eat one square of meal, a day.
Jobs are plenty, but how many of those were generated within our country itself? What happened to India being primarily an agricultural country? Has that taken a back seat with all the other global ideas? What happened to gender inequalities? What happened to quotas and anti-quotas? Are those problems resolved? No. Women are still underpaid and unsafe today. Independence of India has very little to do with freedom of it's women.
Delhi, the capital of our city has recorded 845 rape cases, this year till June 20th. The business capital Mumbai, has recorded 237, and the IT hub Bangalore has registered 97.
So tell me, is this the India, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, and other great freedom fighters fought for? I don't think so.
67 years is a long time, and we are still facing problems inside our society as well as withing our country. It's the time to start contributing to help India reach the highest level. Contributing in whatever way we can, like by educating a child or a woman to help them feed themselves or by honoring a veteran, who's been forgotten once he returns from the war. Let us start by empowering ourselves.

Let us actually make India, Independent.