By Shreya Vajpei : And now sixty plus years on, the spectre of terror still exists Where bombs are thrown in crowded buses and trains This hate between religions and jihad still persists And murder and rapine still the country’s reputation stains” I question, “Have we as a nation truly attained independence ?
We as a country became free from British in 1947 and as the nation started maturing. India today is the 5th highest in the world in gross domestic product and recognized as the super power in the world. We no longer discuss the future of India; we say the future is India. But with social ills making the country hollow inside and killing the very spirit of democracy, can we consider ourselves independent?
We talk about Right to Equality. But where does equality exist? Are we all really equal? If so, why do we need caste, religions and reservations? Are we being subjected to equal treatment irrespective of what we are? Where is the equality when the people under the general category are the worst off?
We talk about cultural and educational rights. It means that education should be freely available to the people. In a country where education has been a right, we see so many children not attending school. Government schools have become extinct and every small town is mushroomed with private schools who charge to the tune of Rs. 40000 even for a kinder garden. Education no longer remains a right, but is a privilege.
I urge you to walk down the streets of a metropolitan city at night and you are sure to find number of homeless sleeping under the sky after a day’s labor. Their families barely survive on the wage they earn. Aren’t healthcares and shelter supposedly the fundamental rights of a citizen? Aren’t the poor and the needy entitled to it without any prejudices? In a country where corporate hospitals are becoming the new mantra, public health is becoming a myth. In such a scenario, how can the fundamental right of health care be a reality?
In our male dominated society, has not the position of women always been denigrated? Women do not lag behind men in any sphere, then why is the gender biased still practiced? Do the girls in our country have the freedom to choose their life partners? Then why do so many honour killings still take place?
Which milestone are we celebrating? The independence to take bribes or the freedom to discriminate? The freedom to break rules or the independence to adulterate basic food amenities for meager, pity gains?
60 years on…. Are we truly independent?