Independence is a sweet sounding word. However, mere political independence does not guarantee freedom. The constitution may enumerate freedoms available to a nation’s citizens yet people may not enjoy them. That’s what has been precisely happening in India during 68 years of independence.
Indians are entering on August 15th in to 69th year of independence. Yet freedoms elude the large mass of Indians. Going by the statistics, India has developed and made great progress. Politicians in India do not tire repeating that Indian economy is one of the most stable economies, growing at a reasonably good rate despite global recession. They keep telling the people of the country that it is a matter of pride for India that she will be the second largest economy, replacing USA, of the world by 2050.
Nobody will dispute that India’s GDP has shown remarkable progression and that Indian economy has survived the scare of global recession. India has wealth, no doubt. But this wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small percentage of the Indian population. Benefits of national growth have not percolated down to the common people. It is the unequal distribution of wealth that is the bane of India.
India’s claim to democracy will be a hollow claim if India cannot reach the benefits of growth to every single person. In the absence of means of sustenance, freedoms enshrined in the Constitution have no real worth, no meaning, and no relevance.
On the 68th anniversary of India’s independence let each Indian ponder how he can have real freedom which means freedom from hunger, from ignorance, from exploitation.
One of the worst enemies of freedom not reaching people is the corrupt system obtaining in the country. Hordes of scandals involving politicians, businessmen, government officials are an indication that our society is sick. There is a mad race for amassing wealth. There is a wanton desire to have power.
Gandhi Ji who prized means so much must be an uncomfortable soul in heavens to see the by hook or by crook approach being adopted by the people of the country he rid from hundreds of years of slavery. He must be very uncomfortable that no body has the vision he so much cherished to wipe every tear in every eye.
Let us resolve to annihilate the corrupt and the corrupt system and ensure the people have not just independence but freedom. The sooner the better it will be. We will well be reminded of an Urdu couplet which reads: “Kaun rahata hai teri zulf ke sir hone tak”? which means who can wait for all that long to happen? Indian people, particularly, the youth will not wait long.