61 years! 61 years ago, India won independence on August 15th, 1947. Towards the midnight of August 14th, 1947 Nehru made his "Tryst with Destiny" speech.
It is a fateful moment for us in India, A new star rises, the star of freedom in the East, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materializes. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed! We rejoice in that freedom,
The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.
We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.
Did we bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India?
No. No one, including the government and citizens, cares about common man. Agriculture is dying and so are farmers. The government is killing farmers to grab their land and build SEZs.
Did we fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease? Big NO!
Did we build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation?
prosperous - a little; democratic - technically, yes; progressive - what is that?
Did we create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman?
In our dreams, may be.
Did we encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action?
Yes, we have made a lot of progress: economy is opened up, middle class is raising. India Inc has made a lot of millionaires and billionaires. But, what about the tasks we set ourselves on August 15th, 1947? We have failed, miserably.
some poet wrote (in Tamil)
Amit Varma sums up all my feelings.
The British empire was naturally the focus of that struggle, and when we were rid of them in 1947, the relief must have been enormous. The tragedy is that for most Indians, political independence was freedom enough.
As a nation, we stopped caring for freedom once we gained independence.
The oppressive empire from a continent away was gradually replaced by an oppressive, omnipresent state, and we did not protest. The lack of economic freedom kept India poor for decades, and we did not protest. Personal freedoms were routinely denied to us, and we did not protest. In parts of our country people are treated worse than the British treated us, and we do not protest.
We let our guard down 61 years ago. Perhaps it’s time to fight back?