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August 15, 2015

Independence Day: A time for introspection

Asif Amaco

Today, not only India is celebrating its 69th year of independence from the British, but Indians across the globe are hoisting the tri-colour with joy, pride and spirit of patriotism as a considerably large number of the citizens of the world’s largest democracy are scattered across the world. Hence, ‘India’ is not only India but Indians across the world.asifamaco

At this moment, as responsible Indians, it is our duty to look deeply within us and analyse our successes and failures in nearly seven long decades of independence. Of course, Indians in their motherland and abroad have achieved significant progress.

Slowly and steadily, the country has been moving ahead in various sectors — industry, technology, infrastructure like roads, power, agriculture and services that collectively determine the gross domestic product. Non-resident Indians too are shining in various fields and are greatly contributing towards the development of the country.

Amidst this phenomenal achievement, we should not forget the undeniable fact that a majority of Indian population still lives below the poverty line with poor sanitation and in unhygienic conditions in urban slums. Every day dozens of farmers across the country and NRIs across the world are committing suicide for various reasons. Violence against women and weaker sections of the society has been continuously increasing in all parts of India. The country figures very low in both Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and the Human Development Index (HDI).

One the one hand the country has recorded enormous strides in economic growth and on the other hand the gap between the rich and the poor has been continuously widening. Crores of people in rural India are in debt and unable to meet the rising cost of medical services.

Even though the remittances by NRIs from across the world are billions of dollars much higher than the Foreign Direct Investment, they are literally deprived of voting rights even today. The government is relying on excuses to brush aside supreme court’s ruling that e-ballot voting should be allowed for an estimated 11 million NRIs across the world.

One of the major problems with our democracy is that people’s representatives do not actually represent the people. They in fact represent their own interests. Lack of honesty, fake patriotism and apparent hypocrisy among rulers are some of the root causes for many of the ills in our system.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who came to power 15 months ago with tremendous public backing, today seized the opportunity of addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort to promote his party ahead of polls in Bihar. During the 85-minute address, his clarion call to defeat casteism, communal frenzy and corruption and his reiteration of commitment to work for the development of farmers, apparently contradict with the policies of his government. The hypocrisy reaches its height when the PM says, “Mai ne koi bhashan nahi diya; karke dikhaya!”

Indian government must realise the necessity of liberating the impoverished from the plague of poverty and meet the aspirations of the Indians across the world. It is time to launch a new movement to liberate Indians from the clutches of poverty, communalism, casteism and capitalism.

Independence Day: A time for introspection

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