Re: HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY !!! -
August 15th, 2009
India celebrates its 63rd Independence Day on the 15th of August 2009. A vibrant democracy that it is today , it still remains a 'perennially developing' country (a near-synonym for 'underdeveloped'). The Independence Day in itself has become an annual ritual for our leaders to make high decibel speeches and ensure that we remember the contribution of the late Mahatmas, Nehrus and Ambedkars. Remember we will , Gandhi for disintegrating India and showering crores towards Pakistan at our expense thus firmly proving his craze to attain immortality; Nehru for his tactless haste in seeking UN's intervention during India's first war with Pakistan where our army was so close to taste ultimate victory; Ambedkar - possibly the most hurting- for leaving behind an acerbic legacy of 'Reservation in Education' on which our politicians feed and continually add their own versions of Reservation to ensure their political longevity. The Indian Independence Struggle could well be defined as the struggle to achieve 'political independence' and nothing else. Deep within its system , India is still a casteist nation. Economic disparity of the extreme sense further fuels discontent in its people. To add to the poor people's woes, our law-makers spend precious time arguing over feuds among the delectable Ambanis than debating the Education Bill or a permanent solution to the Bihar floods.
Such is the importance attributed to non-issues at the highest level, a taxi-union strike forces the govt. to give in and increase freight charges within 2 days but at the same time it can afford to waste 31 days of indecision over increasing the salaries of teachers in govt. colleges. A former Home Minister is accused of abetting murder of his own former associate. Prosecution of a certain Mulayam (disproportionate assets case) or Mayawati (same yaar) depends on their political affiliations and not on the merit of the case. The good old days of a People's President have been laid to rest with the entry of Mrs. Pratibha Patil who clearly perceives Presidency as Sharad Pawar's rakhi gift to her, something she will enjoy till her tenure ends - or she ends, whichever. Terrorism continues to engulf our country from all sides. Our problems on this front have only multiplied inspite of scoring stunning military wins over Pakistan in the last 5 decades. To compare India's CBI or RAW agencies to US' FBI or Israel's Mossad will be the most nasty joke on the eve of Independence Day.
Information Technology has been India's claim to fame in the 21st century. We keep churning out s/w engineers, coders & now MBAs too; year after year. But is there one weather forecast software or an Agricultural Manager that will help our poor farmers out when the rains fail them every year? Can we really claim that the technology our Armed Forces uses is at par with the best in the world? Do we really have the best Intelligence procurement officials in our Security Agencies? Doesn't it sound dispiriting when 10 Pakis could so easily infiltrate in our country through the sea-route and force their way in some of our prestigious hotels making a mockery of homeland security? We were attacked , fine , but who stopped us from retaliating? What came in the way of employing precision or surgical strikes inside Pakistan where we suspect (we're dead sure) terrorists having set up training camps?
Lathi-armed policemen, scamster politicians, sluggish bureaucracy, self-centred citizenry and corrupt 'everyone'; are reasons enough to not celebrate this Independence Day but to sit and ponder whether we can regroup and revitalize our system and its people so that we work towards a much stronger, secular, competent and independent society. Only then will we be able to justify the colourful words thrown at us by Nehru in his first Independence Day speech :
'....At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.....'