"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...India discovers herself again."
These were the few words from the speech titled, “Tryst with Destiny” given by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of our day of independence…15th August,1947…the day when this golden bird was ready to break free of its shackles and take its flight towards the high sky where it rightfully belonged. The struggle for freedom that had begun in 1857 when a group of sepoys mutinied against the East India Company bore fruit almost 90 years later. After almost 200 years of British rule, our country, our Mother India finally got its freedom but not without paying the heavy price of partitioning of our country into India and Pakistan and the violent communal riots that took thousands of lives.
Today, almost 65 years down the line India can proudly proclaim itself to be a self-sufficient independent nation. Today India has made tremendous progress in every field mentionable – art, science, literature, politics, sports or any other field. It is at par with the other developed nations and is said to have the potential of becoming the next superpower in the near future. However with all the progress that India has made and with all the probabilities of future India we still need to ask ourselves a question – is India really free and independent?
What do we really understand by independence? It means self-governed, self-sufficient, freedom from all dependency. Freedom – a birthright of every human being. It is the right to live freely. Freedom of choice and expression, freedom to believe and follow any religion, freedom from hunger, illiteracy, freedom of justice and more importantly a life free of corruption – these are the few freedoms that we expect a free country to provide its citizens. But being a part of an independent nation do we really get to enjoy all these freedom?
Though India has a rich culture and civilization, the country is still engulfed in western civilization. May be the country has not yet been able to free itself of the influences of 200 years of foreign rule. Young India today blindly apes the western civilization and thus is losing its identity. Other countries are still invading our country and building factories to produce goods at a cheaper rate which they cannot do in their own country. The country has also lost its freedom to another evil – corruption, which in recent times has gained tremendous power. Today hundreds and thousands of people have been and are being affected by terrorism, social evils like child labour, and discriminations on religious grounds, caste distinction still prevails in our society. For instance if you are a Muslim you would always be a prime suspect if there is any terrorist activity. It is very sad that due to the deeds of a few corrupted minds a whole community has to suffer. The country belongs to them as much as it belongs to us. The sacrifices that were made in our struggle for freedom were equal on both the sides. The country is still to free itself of communalism. In the recent times our government’s reputation has been seriously bruised by a string of high-level corruption scandals – the scandals revolving around the Common Wealth Games 2010, the 2G spectrum scam, Adarsh Housing Society Scam and several other such scandals in which public property and money was misused.
With all these corruption that our country is presently engulfed in has marred the joy of our hard earned freedom. The glory of the sacrifices made by our freedom fighters is tainted. The reputation of a country which was once called the golden bird is severely scratched. Our motherland is wreathed with evil forces and she is bleeding profusely, she is crying out to her sons to free her from these evil and let her breathe. The eagle that took its freedom flight on 1947 has been chained down again and it’s groveling in mud but this time it’s not any foreign force that has curtailed its freedom, the evil resides deep within its own heart. If we want our country to be independent again we need fight these evil from within, from the grass-root level. We need to be optimistic; we need to be proud of our country, proud of our ancestors, our heritage. We should always remember: “sare jahanse achha hundustan hamara, hum bulbulain hai iski yeh gulsitan humara…”
No country is absolutely free from corruption no country is perfect but we should at least try to make our motherland a better place to live in. Our freedom is in our own hands. Sitting idle and blaming others would not work. It’s time we stand up for our country; fight for our freedom, our independence. Jai Hind!