‘Real Independence’

Individuality, impartiality, and objectivity are a few words that can be used to replace the English expression ‘Independence’.Nowhere could I find or for that matter relate independence with just freedom from the foreign rule. Yes, The Day, 15th August has recurred for the 68th time this year and for sure everyone has sensed the delight of the same, may be just for a second or two.Proud, contented, and buoyant are we to be Indians. I am, however, worried about the rest of the year. From 16th August 2014 till the 69th Independence Day, would we carry the samefeeling, joy, and patriotism? Ask yourself once that beyond being Indian are you a loyal citizen?

Until when would we relate this day with just the battle against the British? Does independence in our dictionary know only one connotation? When would we step ahead and talk of fairness, open-mindedness, and justice and dignity for all? Every word of Shri Narendra Modi’s speech demands sincere elucidation.Explicit mention of all that he conveyed to the nation in his first Independence Day speech is for sure not necessary as his message must have reached all Indian men and women via one or the other source. I would, however, talk about his concern forthose basic needs viz. lavatories for girls, cleaner India, freedomto daughters, and dignity of farmers.

A day prior to the 15th August of 1947, Mahatma Gandhi shared his mixed feelings, wherein he was happy about the end of British rule; however was depressed about the partition. And are we not struggling with similar issues even today? Right to equality, Right to freedom of speech and expression, Right against exploitation, Freedom of religion, and Cultural and Educational Rights are guaranteed to all Indians by the Constitution of India. Then why aren’t girls and the poor able to make use of their rights? Why is the common man afraid ofchallenging the wrongs of politicians and criminals? And why are basic needs still beyond reach for underprivileged?

The question is ‘Are we independent in real sense?’ Some of the Indians, running businesses or employed in an MNC would say ‘Yes’. However, what about that larger chunk which even today lacks the opportunity of viewing PM’s speech on YouTube? I do not want accessibility to internet for all; but yes, I want even the children of the farmers and factory workers to search Google for their school projects. I want that every Indian should have easy access to information and should know his/ her fundamental rights. Post six decades of independence, if we are still fighting with evils like dowry, domestic violence, and female infanticide, are we actually free?

‘Real Independence’ is not just freedom from foreign rule, rather this expression embraces social pluses like dignity for all men and women, minimal crimes, easy access to basic needs, and nil demarcation between rich and poor. India may have become an independent nation in 1947; we still crave for independence for each and every Indian. And unless every Indian is empowered, educated, self-assured, and above all, realizes his fundamental duties towards the nation, real independence will remainunattained. Cleaner politics, true secularism, stable economy, and resourceful leadership will be the four pillars towards the goal of realizing real independence.

Transformation, as I believe, has begun. From the verdict of the general public in the 2014 LS polls to the extraordinary words of the new PM from the historic Red Fort, it is evident that we have broadened our views towards real development, real leadership, real secularism, and real liability towards the nation. The war against poverty, which I consider as one of the underlying causes of all evils, has to be won by the new union government, and all Indians will have to be the participant. Let’s promise that the 15th August of 2015 will see a revived India and thriving Indians. Be assured of the fact that with honest and dedicatedendeavors, victory will be ours.

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