In 3 days, India completes 64 years of freedom. We will celebrate independence day of 2011 like we always did. Our prime minister will give the country a speech, a tradition that will happen for the 65th time. The flag will be hoisted and everyone gets sweets. Then everybody can go home, eat a nice lunch and catch up on an afternoon siesta. But what is this independence that we are enjoying? As a common man living on the ground, as the end customer of the country, what is that I am getting out of life in an independent country, supposedly largest functioning democracy?
India is a country of rich cultural heritage. This is a country where some of the greatest minds of the world were born. A country where great and timeless kings ruled. A country known for some of the greatest architectural and natural wonders. A country where great religions and philosophies originated. A country where we were taught to love thy neighbour and respect elders. But that is all of the past isn't it? We have all been living in the glories of the past. As I look at it, the last 64 years have seen a downward trend.
Currently I live in a country where everything is manipulated and served to its people on a plate. A country where media that makes me believe what they want me to believe. A country where I have to wait for hours in rain and traffic jams to make sure that some bloody politician has a better ride back from his First Class flight travel to his 5 star hotel. A country where I have to wait in queues and be at the receiving end of a police lati just to watch a cricket match or celebrate a festival. A country where I have to live with a constant fear when I leave in the morning, I don't know if I will reach back home in the night. A country where I am scared to go to the police station when I am facing a social atrocity. We have become a country where I have to bribe to be born and another to die. India, reduced to a country where crooks are born, breed and control my life. A country where money means power and only power can buy money. A country where everything including god is black and maligned. A country where law is at least a 5 year plan and parliament is also an entertainment TV channel.
The politicians who lead us are all thieves. Each and every one of them without exceptions are today making merry in the name of religion, caste, economic differences, language etc. Not one is interested in bringing an equilibrium among them. They want the differences. They breed on the differences. They breed the differences. And how! The ones with power are looting my money, a tax payers income tax and either stacking them up in banks out of my country or burning it lead a luxurious life. So basically my money is accumulating and resting in some hi-tech bank in Switzerland and I have been driving through pot holed roads paying fines and bribes so that more of my money can go to Switzerland. Everyone who can is doing it, without thinking about the country or its people so long as they don't get caught. Even if they do get caught, each major criminal is going to end up living in air conditioned cells, the electricity bill of which I foot.
And all I am going to get is to pay a huge fine if I don't pay my income tax on time.
Its not like I am doing anything about it though. I am a patriotic Indian. By patriotic, I mean I carry an Indian flag in purse or stand up in and respect the national anthem when it is sung in theaters or talk highly of my country and its culture animatedly in drunk conversations or try to follow as many rules I can. I celebrate every time India wins a cricket match and cry tears of pride every time I hear a Rehman patriotic song. I am not proud of the fact that my patriotism ends in dark bars of a disappointing Indian city but what more can I do? I have to wake up early next morning and get on with the life of using the trashed city roads dodging through trashed city traffic going to a trashed office and earn money for my daily bread and income tax.
I don't think I am Independent
I fall into that 1% country who is educated and employed. I fall into that small fraction of the country who lives in the city. If I look at it that way, I must consider myself fairly lucky. At least I can pay that bribe and get things rolling. What happens to the rest of them? If I am not independent, what about the rest?
I don't think there is point calling it an Independence day - more a dependence day - a day when we show to the rich and the powerful that we are dependent on them.
Still - Mera Bharath Mahan! Jai Hind!