“To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect, and their oneness”Mahatma Gandhi
India and Pakistan were once under colonial regimes together, but now they have declared themselves independent. As we are entering the 74th year of our Independence, we need to think about changes that have occurred and progress that we have made from 1947 to 2020. Both countries have suffered major political upheavals; in the case of India, the democratic umbrella has successfully sidelined leaders’ autocracy whereas in Pakistan military coup and political assassinations exposed the massive failure of democratic ideas.
Today, when the whole nation is blossoming with tricolour, we need to think about the role of saffron in it. Ideologically saffron represents courage and sacrifice but the intentions have changed. Saffron remains at the top of our tricolour flag but now it holds a soft corner and strong space in contemporary ruling ideology. In all this, white and green is somewhat ignored. RSS which once advocated for a complete saffron flag as nation’s Identity has successfully achieved it in a practical sense as evident from Ram Temple’s construction and present condition of Kashmir.
After 73 years of independence, the differences between Sardar and Pandit Nehru are discussed more than the reasons for riots as it happens due to decisive politics and dominating ideologues. We forgot the ideas of Ambedkar and his arguments on one language policy as we are busy in glorifying the NEP 2020 which aims at the imposition of Hindi. Now Phule and Jagjivan Ram’s presence is limited to the posters of political parties as Mayawati and Ramvilas Paswan have to barter CBI inquiry and Ministerial post through it.
These years also saw the change from “Indira is India to “Modi is Bharat”. A concern which comes here is, so what we have achieved? Does this independence deserve a celebration? Are we really progressing or just growing?
The nation doesn’t cry when a girl dies in fear of eve-teasing by goons, the nation doesn’t light candles when Muslims form a human chain to protect a temple from a destructive mob, the nation doesn’t lament the loss of Kashmiri women, the nation doesn’t suspect when JNU is defamed, the nation doesn’t unite when thinkers are molested in police custody, the nation doesn’t refute when Gauri Lankesh was assassinated, so introspection of independence is necessary. Bull’s nationalism and cow’s protectionism have totally isolated the idea of the nation. The ideas of independence that Gandhi holds, the beliefs in “wonders of India” by Nehru are lost forever.
A political boundary that suppresses the ideas of liberty, question individual’s sovereignty and discriminates on caste, race, and gender have no right to claim themselves as an independent. The transfer of power from British to barbarians hasn’t changed any aspect of human life. Development Index, surveillance on art, disparaged human life and blind favouritism have proved that only the master has changed, slave and slavery still continues in one form or another. Till our moral conscience will not rise, till we will not come out of our prejudices, till we are living in an illusion or in search of a golden era we will never be able to raise our standards of independence.
At this moment and in this context let’s celebrate a dwindled independence with a misty-eyed speech and soldiers sacrificing their life at Ladakh. The tyranny seems to continue, just the treatment may change, as we have yet not lost our chains!
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