70 years ago, India stood strong and declared its rights to be a free and independent country. The country attained freedom following an Independence Movement which mainly centred nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. Since the 18th century the British East India Company established a firm foundation of dominance over the Indian subcontinent. Regardless of the fierce military strength against them a few brave men chose to stand tall and defend their mother land. While many tried violent and revolting ways to deal with the oppression of the British. A single man with a golden thought of fighting without complying delivered us Indians towards independence in 1947, one of the greatest achievements in history.
Till this very date on the 15th of august, seeing the national flag being hoisted, moves me from within. It makes me think of the vigour and strength that dwelt among those men who fought and layed down their lives, to fulfil their vision of being freed so that their children and the coming generation can live in peace in their home land.
On this very day as we pay homage to our national leaders and incredible men, an important question which always crops up; did we do justice to their dream by looking at India today? Or did their fight, loss of precious life go in vain?
“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication of the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity”- the tryst with destiny speech, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Our leaders encouraged for peace, eradicating poverty, building strong educational systems and growing globally in every way possible as means to achieving a powerful nation. And in the past 69 years we did manage to grow to a large extent.
SOME IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS OVER THE DECADES
• Indian economy did suffer for 45 years post independence because of a lack of meaningful policies. The major factors that drove India’s economic growth were the reforms in 1991 which increased FDI, adoption of technology and increased domestic consumption.
• The service sector and the agricultural sector saw a tremendous growth with multinational companies outsourcing their tele and IT services to India and investments in research, land reforms and development of rural infrastructure to strengthen the agri-biotech sector.
• With regard to infrastructure the Indian road network has become one on the largest in the world, and the expansion of state highways has contributed directly to industrial growth. After almost seven decades of independence, India is the third largest producer of electricity in Asia.
• Surrounded with widespread illiteracy, India as managed to bring its educational system in lines with international standards. The increased number of educational institutions and related reforms and policies made this all possible.
• The increase in life expectancy and lower infant mortality marked major achievements in the healthcare sector. It battled successfully from polio, reduced cases of malnutrition as well as HIV and other infectious diseases.
• India takes immense pride in its scientific development and space programmes, with the launch of the first satellite Aryabhatta in 1975. Since then it got global recognition. Its mission to Mars launched in 2013 was successful in 2014.
• It has also strengthened the country’s defence by pursuing both nuclear and missile programmes; it took almost six decades after independence for India to identify with the field of nuclear and missile technology.
Even though we took our own sweet time to achieve several important strides, from many aspects India can be thought of being on par with global standards. Looking at it from a larger picture it all does seem fancy, and yes we did manage to build an Incredible India. But when looked at closely we do see loopholes which go unnoticed when focussing solely on the big picture.
THE UGLY TRUTH
Independent India deemed for peace, prosperity, equality, to become more humane and develop together with its rich diversity to come out strong and undefeated. We are presently living in a country which is running on a very thin thread of power, money, and intolerance. The poverty line seems to be continuously increasing and bridging the gap between the poor and the rich seems impossible. The rates of violence and criminal acts have massively increased and standing for one’s own right is beyond the question. While the people today who are elected to run the country are actually working towards their own selfish motives. Its colonial time all over again; where following rules is the easiest option. Promoting one’s own religious values is more of a racket rather than something sacred. Speaking one’s mind can backfire at any time.
Every country around the world faces problems as such but the problem in India is that they are magnified to such a large extent that they tend to define us and our nation. A country flocked by cows, where women are burnt for dowry, where cleanliness is preached but will never be adhered to.
IF INDIA EVER SPOKE HER MIND
Yes, as proud as I was of my beauty it did attract thieving foreigners, who not only stole from me but also lowered my dignity by making me their slave. They put me in chains as I bleed of orange, white and green. I was compelled to take up their ways and sadness was all I got in return. But then the light shone as my people stood up for me. And I felt complete again, one with my people. Happy as every mother can be, to be united with her children. I did have full faith things would only blossom from then one, because my children will never do me anything bad.
But what happened next startled me, my own children fighting in the name of religion and I was left broken, shattered and divided. Nonetheless I remained strong hoping that in time they will learn. It’s been decades now, and all I wish was for peace and respect. Yet there is destruction all over, killing in the name of religion, attacks and conspiracies. Yes I did show my wrath when I could not take it anymore. It’s a reminder that I still have control and I hope for the horrid to stop; for them to make their motherland prosper. To live and think freely and independently is my undying dream.
Article by : Amanda Fernandes | Psychologist | 🇮🇳