Six decades of Indian independence

Forget about the meaning of being a republic nation, what does it mean to be an Independent nation to you? Well, why don’t you give it a thought yourself before reading it further? Let’s say, we have a freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of culture, freedom of language, freedom of place, freedom of profession etc. & the list could grow larger and longer. Did you consider one or many more of it? If yes, then let me tell you, principally it has got nothing to do with being an independent nation, these are few of the many legislative sections which define us to be a republic nation & not an independent nation.

Image source:http://www.makingthemodernworld.org.uk/stories/enlightenment_and_measurement/01.ST.06/img/IM.0111_zl.jpg

15th August is being celebrated not because any of the aforementioned reasons. The first & the foremost being freedom from British rule. Well, yes, in literal terms, this is what it exactly meant to be an independent nation when we won our freedom from the British rule, 60 years ago on exactly the same day of 15th August in 1947.  It was a matter of almost two century long freedom struggle & the saga of thousands of sacrifices from the known names and millions from the unknown faces, who devoted their lives and embraced death happily with such a great pride, grace and dignity. It was one of the most significant days of importance into Indian history & it will always be. Let me ask you something further here; WHAT IS YOUR RELIGION? Believe me, sooner or later you’ll realise the importance of this question. (Here, I hope, religion is understood as a way of living in terms of thoughts & actions & not merely as a communal identity or idiosyncrasy)
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Image source:http://www.soyuz-fair.com.ua/picture/air_indiya.jpg

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Indian stock-exchange is sailing into trillions & Sensex has gone past 15000. A record break GDP of over eight has been observed for last 3 consecutive years & will continue to be so for upcoming years. India is the second largest economy of Asia. Indian markets are flooded with FDI, FII into virtually every segment of market. SEZ, supermarkets, metro rails, malls-multiplexes-chain restaurants, express highways, realty business, phenomenal IT-ITES industry growth, incredible financial sector growth, Pharma-Petro-Metals-Auto industries, higher consumer index are only few of the blazing examples of the extraordinary growth stories of Indian economy in just last one & a half decade. Not to mention the incredible success stories & influence of media, pleasure, entertainment & ‘e’ (Electronic) industry into the remote most parts of this nation. The bottom line is: Indian citizen is breathing into high-tech. 21st century of pleasure, entertainment, infotainment and information-telecommunication driven & governed Indian economy with higher standards of life-style, higher consumer index & higher GDP. IS INDIA REALLY SHINNING?
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Thousands of cases of farmer suicides. Millions of people deprived of their homes due to floods, riots, terrorist attacks. Thousands of people dying of diseases, lack of medical aid & even more than that; predominantly of mal-nourishment & starvation. Tens of millions of people living under the poverty line. Thousands of children still do not reach upto the school going age & rest of the millions of children are deprived of primary education and many of them are dragged into child labour. Everyday news flashes full of bomb blasts, terrorist attacks, murders, scandals, accidents, rapes, thefts, power cuts, corruption, cheating, pollution of air-water & soil, floods, famine, deforestation, epidemics, child abuse, women exploitation, communal &  religious controversies, political-economical-social discriminations and what not ! ARE WE LIVING IN THE REPUBLIC, DEMOCRATIC AND INDEPENDENT NATION CALLED INDIA?
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15h August is a national festival & thus a national holiday. Probably, one more day for enjoyment, one more free-day to relax & have fun. Or, at the most, one more day to show-case our patriotism for which everyone feels all geared up. Floods of “Happy Independence Day-wishes” via mails, forwards, SMSes, mobile/phone calls. Celebrations with tri-colour flags & that too made of polymer material & purchased from a street child-vendor. DO WE KNOW HOW TO CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAY?
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http://www.makingthemodernworld.org.uk/stories/enlightenment_and_measurement/01.ST.06/img/IM.0111_zl.jpg
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In 1757 when East India Company’s ship harboured onto the Indian coast, it was only single company which eventually got hold of the entire Indian sub-continent but today they are plenty of such. On the other hand, Indian companies are marching onto the world market with biggest acquisition deals into many major segments of economy. India is all set to mark its presence in space. It has already proved its presence into nuclear armamental race. But it’s a pity that every growth story is built on the ground of in-justice in terms of basic amenities & the core concerns of human survival and socio-economical developments; be it food, infrastructure, education, water, health-care or even transportation. WHERE ARE WE HEADING?
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Indian population is seen as a major constraint to the economical development & that is what even today’s educated, well to do, qualified youth has to say, in tandem with the financial, economical & MBA wizards. The most young nation whose 50% population is young has got nothing to channelise the resources. Out of thousands of graduates only 25% technical & 15% overall are capable & suitable as per industrial & market standards. DO WE KNOW HOW TO CHANNELISE OUR YOUTH?
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Indian independence did never only mean freedom from the British rule; it meant to possess our own governance, to build our own nation; “The nation of people, by people & for people.” Indian independence means a nation where every Indian is given the freedom to grow with the nation irrespective of cast-creed, religion, language, community, gender, profession, region, culture & irrespective of the political, economical & social status. That’s the meaning of true independence of India. LET’S BRING FORTH THE TRUE MEANING OF INDIAN INDEPENDENCE.
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Well, did you remember something that I asked you in the first paragraph? (Please refer to it, if you don’t remember it now). INDIA is my answer to it after humanity and I truly believe that it would be the day of a great significance in the history of India, when even 1% of the population would have the same answer to it. The moment, INDIA becomes your religion, your passion, your commitment; trust me, you belong to the people whom I term as “Truly Independent Indians” and whom I respect, admire & salute for they being the real flag-bearers of this great nation & religion called India. IS YOUR RELIGION ‘INDIA’?

~ Robin Jani (robinjani@gmail.com)
{In the process of becoming a ‘Truly Independent Indian’.}

(I have intentionally avoided not only exact facts and figures but also my opinions, conclusions and answers to the questions in capital letters to almost every segment of this article since I believe the reader of this article is sensitive & intelligent enough to grasp and infer; what is meant & what is not. However, any questions; comments; suggestions regarding the same are most welcomed. ~ Robin Jani.)

Pity the Nation

“Pity the Nation”, by Khalil Gibran

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it
does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine-press.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems
the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,
yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice save
when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except among its ruins,
and will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.
Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler,
and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,
and farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another with trumpeting again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle. Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.

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