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People write diaries. Their diaries describe their personality. I write on my blog. It describes me way too well. :D
My writing takes me places my mind never wanted to go
Everyone writes. From the ink of their thoughts, by the pen of their mind on the page of their face. Everyone writes.I love to write. It is a passion; a compulsion; something that gives me an avenue to express myself. I write when I am happy; when I am sad or when an issue touches my heart. I find inspiration to write in every aspect of life.
This blog is dedicated to anything and everything that fills my thoughts and occupies cranial space

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

How Free Are We???

The word freedom means different things to different people at different times and in different places. For instance we talk of freedom from constraint and freedom from hunger but each have very different implications. Freedom can never mean constraint, but nevertheless it implies constraint because a person can be free only if they can constrain in some way other people to refrain from constraining them. ( By Bruno Leoni)
On 15th Aug 47, India was granted freedom from English rule, it means that India gained sovereignty to rule itself and be vocal with her independent views on worldly matters.It was just a political independence. It doesn't guarantee us with all luxury of the world.
Corruption and all the ills existed even then and it continues to exist even today with varying proportion and intensity.
India being a sovereign state is in better position to handle shortcomings than an alien rule which dictated rules based on their English customs and civilization.
Media and sensationalist journalist have created a false analogy between freedom from English rule to comparing it with our present state of affairs. I hope my views are clear. If someone argues that "What good is political freedom" if the result after 64 years is dismissal then answer is simple, You become the change, lets see what you will do, over which you crib that our forefathers failed to do.
I don't think that we are free at all, especially for a woman in this country being free is an after thought as there are too many things that are still keeping women in dark, But on a contrary note also people here are free to indulge in as much bribery & corruption, as one likes. There, the words Dalits, caste, religion etc. don't mean anything. You can even commit murder & get away with it.
On 15th August. I suddenly see the TV channels, radio stations and even the magazines and the newspapers off loading information about Independence day, freedom and patriotism, they reinforce the fact that each one of us should really take pride in the fact that we are a free country. And now except Independence Day we Indians wear patriotism on our sleeves only during the cricket matches
I just wonder, how short is the public memory or is it just me who feels in a country where every second day there is a case of honour killing, caste discrimination and words scheduled caste and dalits are still a common parlance, what freedom are we really talking about.
If I forget the larger picture, even after 63 yrs of independence I don’t feel like stepping out of the house alone after 8p.m. , what freedom are we talking about, when there is a rape happening every 10 minutes somewhere in the country, can we celebrate this freedom?
For those who live in Democratic First World Nations, they will often say, I live in a free country and I am free. But are they really? Should we question this, analyze it and study it, or should be just feel lucky and accept everything the way it is?
Gravity works like that too actually - a black hole becomes so powerful that it sucks everything in it, prior to that they perceived they were free yet were actually in tow of that which they thought was free also, but in reality never were.
WHILE I was in the ninth standard, I read an eminent personality’s quote in our history book that sent a shiver down my body and mind. That great personality was none other than Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India. People heard him on All India Radio on that much-awaited midnight of August 14, 1947. They heard him say, "Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. 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.... We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again." Since then 63 eventful years have passed. India has also been growing gradually. Now, into the 64th year of its valued independence, I would like to draw your kind attention to some issues that have been haunting the nation.
The first and foremost issue that frequently crops up is how independent we are in reality; are we really independent? Before Independence, we were ruled by the British; for everything, we had to bow down before the foreign power. After much bloodshed, we secured independence from the British but an undivided India was divided into two– India and Pakistan. Though both the countries swore by secularism at the time of independence, Pakistan turned Islamic. India has stuck to secularism till date as assured in the Constitution, ignoring all heinous attempts by some political organizations to make it a ’Hindu’ land. Every five years, we, the proud citizens of India, cast our votes and elect those who will represent us in the Parliament (the very citadel of democracy) and the legislative assemblies. But the overall procedure of election is well known to us. Except in some major cities, especially where the proportion of the highly educated and socially-conscious people is higher, elections have been neither fair nor peaceful. Booth-capturing, rigging, forcing the masses to stay away from the ballot box and other malpractices are commonplace; vested interests thus secure maximum votes in socially and economically backward areas. Casting a vote upon being pressurized by some goons is equal to staying inside a prison and acting like convicts. After the voting, when the winner along with his/her supporters holds a victory rally, an imbecile like me can’t suppress laughter.
Earlier, we were under British rule. Post independence, the oppressed, deprived and neglected people continued to remain so. No change is discernible in their plight. The ’Sun of Liberty’ has risen only for those who can wield the stick and thus ride roughshod over the less fortunate by any and all means. After 63 years of independence, the Central government is yet to fulfil the three basic needs of the common man, viz, food, clothing and employment. At least 9.05 per cent of the youth are still confronted by unemployment. Yojanas after yojanas have been implemented; a number of policies and plans have been implemented, but the stagnation continues.
Our Central and state governments make a lot of noise about development, but it is limited to metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and a few more. But what becomes of the villages? Shortage of potable water tops the list. May be the residents of A-1 cities / metropolitan cities get copious potable water regularly courtesy the municipal corporation but those who dwell in remote villages strive daily for a bucket of potable water. Keeping apart Rajasthan, the only desert state of India, until you visit the villages of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamilnadu, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, you will not realise the level of distress. Everyday, groups of women in these states, cover long distances just to collect one or two buckets of potable water.
Electricity is the next issue. India is a country with over six lakh villages. But alas! After sunset, most Indian villages go under an impregnable curtain of darkness owing to lack of electricity. Thermal power, hydro power, nuclear power - so much power and yet a large proportion of the Indian population is denied electricity.
Now comes the next issue - food. I came to know from a renowned Bengali daily, ’Anandabazar Patrika’ that some people starved to death in Amlasol, a village in Bankura, an impoverished district of West Bengal. Such news is nothing but a shame on India, which is globally known as a developing country. It is a striking fact that while a large proportion of food grains is wasted each year, people starve to death owing to its non-availability.
Once I heard a news about Malkangiri, a village in Chattisgarh in mid 2007, I could not believe my eyes when I noticed some people moving around completely naked, as they had no clothes at all to cover themselves. When the media asked the government official concerned, he replied smartly, "They belong to the Bonda tribal group; they are primitive." Initially, all believed his words, but when the media asked one naked ’Bonda’ where he stayed, he answered as any civilized person would: "We stay under the trees. We heard that the government had allotted some houses for us, but we never saw them." Now whom should we call primitive? We, the well-dressed people, wearing the tie of civilization around our neck or the Bondas who stay naked for want of clothing?
Surat is known as the Manchester of India - Reliance, Gwalior, Shiyaji, DCM and Raymonds are some of the renowned Indian garment factories, known throughout the world for their quality products. Can’t these companies spare some rags so their brethren can at least cover themselves? If you take a nocturnal walk along the streets of the metropolitan cities, you’ll find a number of homeless people sleeping under the sky after working hard the whole day. Each day, these homeless come to your house to clear your dustbin, clean your car or polish your shoes. But we fail to provide a shelter for these people; the people with whose help we are able to move about comfortably. If your air-conditioned car stops at the traffic signal on a busy road, little hands holding some popular magazines appear outside the film-coated glass, seeking money to buy some bread in exchange for these magazines. Girls fear to come out alone at night in cities and villages since they fear rape and molestation.
Children are kidnapped for money; people vanish and then their dead bodies are found without kidneys and other rare organs. Blinded by religious fanaticism, one community mercilessly kills the other and gives the impression that it has achieved a feat. So, are we really independent? We were under the bondage of the British and now we are under the bondage of poverty and darkness. If we are really free, then why are we still shackled by poverty and backwardness? Crackers worth millions of rupees go off on the eve of the 63rd Independence Day, perhaps hoping against hope that all these scars will be wiped away by the light and sound the firepower generates.
We proudly say that India is a free country. Its been 63 years of Independence. The infrastructure has changed, the education level has increased, lifestyle is broaden, glamour, style, entertainment, market, and what not. But are we really free ?
"The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear"
H. Agar - A Time for Greatness
We have reached the moon but yet there are many homes where a girl child is not been accepted. Women have reached to the status by becoming a doctor, politican, engineers, actress etc.. but why still is just considered as sex toy. Till today the rapes and molestation of women is increasing everyday.
Human trafficking and child labour are one of a major issues in our country. Sitting in an AC cabin is easy to write on it but is it easy to live a life like them? The answer is definitely a NO.
We are attacked by the people who are threat to our nation. Aren’t we our self responsible for it. Cruel intentions of external and internal people are because of the injustice, races discrimination, politics and narrow mindness of the old tradition like sati, dowry, domestic violence, poverty which is existing in our country even today.
The corruption, the imbalance of society, political games, unawareness of rights is dropping one side of our country in a gutter.
India is celebrating its 64th Independence day. Are we really Independent?. Are we enjoying the fruits of Independence? Has Independence brought peace to India and its people? Has Independence brought prosperity to India and its people? Can we keep our head high for having won Independence ?  These are the honest questions every Indian should ask to himself.
Prior to Independence father of our nation,  Mahathma Gandhiji,  could move freely all over India and to foreign countries. He was safe while Britishers ruled our country. But our Independence could not keep him safe even for six months.

We have seen leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Radhakrishnan, K.Kamaraj, Jayaprakash Narain, Morarji Desai, Indira Gandhi  and others freely mingling with public without any fear.      
All these could be possible because there was no fear of bombing.  Mahathma Gandhi was shot by a culprit -  there was no hindrance to public safety.  Indira Gandhi was shot by her own security – there was no hindrance to public safety. Of course the riot which took place after Indira Gandhi’s assassination is a different story.
But the case was different when Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a human bomb. When a bomb blasts, innocent public are mercilessly killed for no fault of theirs.
Now every leader has to travel in a bullet proof car. Independence day address is given from a bullet proof platform (what a shame). There are security checks every where which starts a few days before Independence Day and other important days.  With so many checking’s are we able to stop these bomb blasts?  Honestly we have to say NO. The numbers of blasts are increasing by leaps and bounds and the number of deaths is increasing in geometric progression.
Public fear to attend public meetings to hear the speech of eminent leaders, fear to go for pilgrimage, fear to go for shopping. Even they fear to walk on streets. Their fears are not unfounded.
Terrorism has taken a deep root in our country. Religious intolerance is at its height. Corruption has become a common practice from people  to parliamentarians.
In our country right from a traffic offender to terrific murderer can easily escape punishment with the help of two P’s  -  Purse (read suitcase)  and Politician,  two C’s  Cash and Corruption.   CPC (Civil Procedure Code) and CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) cannot withstand the wrath of the present day CPC (Corruption  -  Politicians  -   Cash ). In India without Power, Contacts and Influence any application is futile.
In India only you can see a government doing the business of selling liquor,  instead of providing the basic infrastructure like good roads,  timely transport, potable water, uninterrupted electricity etc. to the citizens,.  What a shame.
In India only you can have a parliament consisting of MPs with tainted history, murder accused and corruption charged.
In India, a girl child is most unwelcome in a family. What are the reasons? A girl would become a permanent member of another family after marriage. Whereas a boy will keep up the name and prestige of the family. But a cynic looks at a baby girl as more forunate than baby boy right from birth to death..
In a free society, are we really free?
Yet another Independence Day has slipped by, and with it, all the usual rituals – flag hoisting, speeches, prayers and songs. Everybody seems content with remembrance of the day and of those who lived and died for it.  It seems enough to say we have played our path.  Yes and with it, the pledge that we are proud, free Indians.Each year, should however make us ponder on ‘Freedom.’  Are we really free? Have we attained true freedom.  India has gained physical and external freedom, but ‘internal’ and inner freedom – how much of it do we have? Are we free, for example from the bondage of ignorance? Many of us hardly realize that living as we are in the 21st Century, we are still slaves of rumors, of taking media, politicians and other sources of information as ‘truth’. Years ago, as a school student attending a camp, we were exposed to slums and slum life. By the end of the camp, I knew what suffering really entailed, what hunger meant and what every rupee could do.  Over the years, whenever I grumbled a fleeting image of those slums has shaken me back to thanksgiving that I have so much more.
To-day, our community here, is better off than it ever was, most children have more than their parents could have ever dreamt of.  And parents in the haste to give what they did not have, are guilty of over doing their idea of love and generosity.  The result is – what we see around us!
Yes, freedom is the ability to choose and being responsible to ourselves and others.  If this had happened there would be more peace in the families, village and country at large.  Parents need to take control of the situation from the early years.  Correction should be of the ‘behaviour’ not the person.  If this is impressed on the child as he grew up there would be more acceptance of correction.
Responsibility brings in maturity and with it, will be freedom with value attached to it.  The family needs to share its conflicts, problems and to communicate.  Then and only then, there will be true freedom.  Let me end on a note of hope that not just children and youth will hold up the torches of true freedom, but that parents and the community at large will rise up to the idea and that faith in God will help all to make a difference and bring change for today and the future.
Hope a new India, a real ’Independent – India’ will take birth again.
To summarize, “The "How free are we" debate can take on many shapes and forms, one might even call Earth a prison planet in a way, of course if that was all you know, you would not look beyond the horizon to see what else is, or even dare to take it.
The system we living is basically corrupt, isn't it? Since last 63 years of freedom, the richer are getting richer, poorer are getting poorer and a common middle class man is a crushed vegetable of a sandwich of both the classes. The market in today's scenario is leaving the middle class people to work more then 14 to 16 hours a day and the value in return is like pebbles sinking in water. 
Those who taste a sense of freedom once will always long to be free. People want to be free, people want liberty and people love democracy, yet do they really realize what freedom actually is? Do you? If you are surrounded by laws and confined and constricted in your movement are you really free?
If you live in a free country and yet cannot leave it in any direction because those surrounding you are not free, then are you really free or in a prison with rights and liberty with no where to go? Think on this.

The more I learnt, the less I understood. Finally I gave up trying
Thanks

12 comments:

  1. amazing thought....loved reading it..

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  2. Seems all your wait over the exams has payed off well.
    If this is the result of my loooong wait, i am so happy i waited for your post.
    Lovely post. Great thoughts. And have come across a long post from you after quite some time.
    In all, great going.

    P.S. Will do the grammar editing later... not much time today.

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  3. Thanku very much jojo
    I tried my best not to trouble you with all that grammar editing, but......
    and ya have written it in my exams during my so called study time, and from the length of this post u can very well imagine how much time i use to spend in my studies;)

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  4. The grammar part. :p
    HAHAHA.
    (Read your post, my numbering is in order with your post, not haphazard)
    1. plural of ill is not ills
    2. 'it' continues - "they" continue
    3. is in 'a' better
    4. journalist has created/ journalists have created/ journalism has created
    5. analogy....to (grammar mistake)
    6.dismissal ',' (u missed the comma)
    7.You become .......... failed to do(reread)
    8. But on a .......... one likes (reread)
    9. talking about? (not talking about.)
    10. 64/63... contradiction
    11. are ' they' really??? ( are 'we' really)
    12. It's (not its) been 63 years of independence...

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  5. u should really pat ur back. ur thoughts r too good and amazing. a wonderful experience while reading it. well done

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  6. ankit u have done a great job

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanku very much
    But you have posted as anonymous
    May I know whos dis???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. actually i needed this for my debate competition in my school. this gave me a great help. thnk u so much

      Delete
    2. oh great to know that my blog was of help to you
      all the best for your debate competition:)

      Delete

I guess, you liked this post..because you read until here, soooo long...:)
So let me know also, by leaving a comment so that i can pat myself on my back....;)