Indian Independence Day

Today marks 70th anniversary of Indian Independence Day, the tryst with destiny which we achieved through 150 years of rebel, sacrifice, valor and united voice of demand of freedom.

Today, the world stands on an unimaginable volatile turn. Too many countries are armed with nukes and too few countries are talking sense and not talking about using it. Unites States of America has its conflicts with over a dozen countries. China is busy suppressing liberal voices in their country and standing firm as the strongest power in Asia. African countries are crawling their way out of oil and diamond mafia, poverty and AIDS. Middle-East is burning in the fire of extremists. Where as, millions of Iraqi, Syrian refugees have created the biggest refugee problem since WW2.

USA’s unwillingness to be part of the biggest looming threat of ‘Climate Change’ which has been underlined as they discarded Paris Climate Accord, is one of the reason world is in search of new leaders. Chinese government’s undemocratic acts and their stands on Tibet are quite objectionable. Russia, who is second most powerful country in the world and the one with largest land-mass, is ruled by Vladimir Putin, whose stranglehold on Russian people is often referred to the times of Stalin.

This has left a vacant space in International affairs, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi are widely regarded as faces who can lead the world.

India has marked its presence in world economy with it’s stupendous success with IT Industry Services. We have also made great progress in terms of power generation however, we haven’t been enough successful with non-traditional sources of energy.

 

Indian Independence Day

With over 1.2 Billion population India has highest number of youngsters (age 21-40) in the world. Man power has become India’s best asset.

And though things on International front seem favorable for rise of India, we are somehow unable to cash this opportunity. This makes us retrospect the internal problems our country is dealing with.

The dawn of 70th anniversary of Indian Independence day has a sharply contrasting story to all good euphoria, deaths of around 70 infants at Gorakhpur due to lack of oxygen supply in the hospital. This lack of supply is result of unpaid bills to vendors. This sounds too bizarre and highly unacceptable ignorant act for a country who is bidding to be the world leader.

Let’s look at the problems we are facing as a country which jeopardize our standing. I will not go into the debate of which party has caused these issues or whether they had always existed.

That’s not concern or solution which a citizen of India expects.

The issue of suicides of farmers has persisted for decades now. None of the previous government could find out a legitimate solution, policy or planning about it and current government too couldn’t go any further. I am no expert, but a genuine reason behind the unpaid loans and suicides of farmers lies in the failure of making money/debt available to farmers in simplest form. Loan sharks have always extorted over high interest rates from farmers. They were always left with no other option as banking process is not something they are comfortable with.

Illiterate and over-religious

The illiterate and over-religious population of India has been a major vote bank for all political parties. They have also realized that keeping citizen away from logical thinking and stuck in religious bounds favors their political position. No wonder, municipal schools which have given generations of Indian talent are now only left for families who can’t afford private schools. Improving condition of public schools and the quality of teaching is absolutely vital and there is no alternative if we are serious about becoming a super power.

If you ask me about one thing India needs the most improvement then it would be healthcare.

A large population of India still lives in rural area and the facilities available to that population are nowhere close to the standard we want to set as a nation. Every year about 45000 women die during child-birth in our country. Child mortality rate in India is 48 per 1000, which is third highest in the SAARC countries (Source Wikipedia).

Do you ever think about the talent in our country which dies even before reaching age of five ?

Naxals have been a serious trouble for development in affected rural areas and their attacks on CRPF-BSF soldiers have been increasingly devastating and casualties are on the rise. May it be Dantewada in 2010 or Sukma in 2017, government should be serious about making sure that the cost our brave soldiers paid for progress should not go in vain.

Rise in intolerance

It has highly been debated in India over past couple of years, especially after movie stars like Amir Khan has raised concerns about it and after many award-winning writers had returned their awards, condemning intolerance. The abusive comments on social media and threats received by these people only strengthen their argument. I wish if it hasn’t been a problem, but intolerance leads to death of democracy, hilarious censorship of films, ban on porn websites, beef bans, these all acts could be taken subjectively and as a strong advocate of free speech I will let our readers have their opinions on it. However, democracy by its very core means someone in our neighbourhood can have a completely different opinion than ours and we both should live with our respective opinions peacefully.

The list could go on.. But not today.. On this Indian Independence Day, let’s talk about

‘Patriotism’

which surprisingly became a controversial issue recently.

A large population in our country thinks hating Pakistan is patriotic. Everybody has their own definition of patriotism. For someone, standing for National Anthem is patriotic. For someone else, attending flag hoisting on 15th August is patriotic. Somebody could think that keeping national flag as DP on Facebook would be patriotic. Come on guys, its DEMOCRACY, everybody can have their own version of patriotism here.

But shall we just sit back and talk it through? How can I decide if someone patriotic or not? Can I judge? of course I can. But shall I go and beat the person who I think is not Patriotic?
I would condemn that. Let’s make it clear friends, standing for Anthem; hoisting the flag saluting the martyred soldiers is an act by which we convey our RESPECT. Respect for the message conveyed in national anthem, respect for the flag which we obtained by 150 years of struggle and respect for someone who died keeping you and me safe.

Anthem, flag or martyrs don’t require your or my approval for their place in history books.

Conveying respect is something we do willingly. Patriotism should not be mistaken for this respect. Patriotism is not bounded to the war and the shouts and slogans. Every act we do in our day-to-day life is a measure of our patriotism.
Not to forget that our country was created with the hope of prosperity and peace

Do we stand for the values our nation believes in ?

I say, paying tax properly is patriotic. Abiding to the traffic rules is patriotic. Not offering bribe is patriotic. Helping the citizens who can’t help themselves is patriotic.

And yes, those bravehearts fighting at blood chilling L.O.C are also human, they have emotions, families to look after. When we write war frenzy posts on social media and their by affecting political agendas, we endanger their lives as they would be the first casualties if a full-scale war opens up.

May be, just may be, rooting for war is NOT PATRIOTIC.

 

Gaurav Pande

 

 

 

 

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