Today is Independence Day; Tricolor received self-government rights from the Union Jack. I was so happy in the morning and started from my home with a bunch of tricolors in my hand to wish everybody around for the “Independence Day”, the day we have been celebrating since last 63 years.
As I walk proudly, those golden words by Jawaharlal Nehru rings in my ear; “At the stroke of midnight, when 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.”
Then suddenly, I was remembered, hey 63 years ago when Union flag was replaced by and divided into a tricolor and a crescent & star, we left something to hang on. Something; which is still bound by Article 370 and is behind both tricolor & star crescent. I saw a bunch of agitated youths throwing stones and feeling oppressed by the people who claim to have freed them 63 years ago. I didn’t dare to give them tricolor to celebrate… Left one of the tricolor from the bunch there to turn black.
I moved forward and was bumped in a 20 something young man; he turned around, I saw heavy deformities on his face. At the place, people usually have eyes, he had two big holes. It’s not Friday, the 13th and neither have we started to celebrate Halloween in India. I apologized for bumping in him and wanted to wish him Independence Day with a tricolor in hand. Then, I saw a file folder in his hand which had a bundle of documents and it read “Bhopal Gas Victim compensation”. He must have been a year old or in womb when that calamity happened and culprit was let scot-free. Couldn’t dare to wish him independence. He is still waiting for justice and compensation. Left one of the tricolor from the bunch there to turn black.
After going for few more strides, saw a poor man in his small hut trying to feed his two little kids with onion and a potato veggie. They wanted milk and bread. He murmured to his torn-saree laden wife, “Onions are 15 rupees kg, how the hell I am suppose to afford 34 rupees litre milk. By the way, rupee had a new symbol and new identity in whole world”. Little one asked, “Baba, does this make things cheaper?” I couldn’t dare to wish him his poverty and inflation stuck independence. Left one of the tricolor from the bunch there to turn black.
I glanced at a new swanky looking Terminal building at the New Delhi Airport, saw a beautiful architecture Talkatora stadium and Yamuna sports complex and while walking looking at them, stumbled on the wide potholed road. I thought, they were paid to make Delhi ready for commonwealth games, but they got paid to fill their pockets. A minister successfully “delivered” CYG, which made him realize growth potential in this industry if he makes it large and move beyond Youth. Y was replaced by W. It is CWG now. Wow!! This profession pays a lot. I couldn’t dare to feel proud of my Independence… saw all my tricolors turning black in my hand due to the ill-effects of the corruption and beaurocracy. India, a place where people have to pay to get their case registered by police and hey that too after 100 gets connected.
India was part of allied forces in World War II, which supposedly won the war. Germany and Japan lost the cities, people, economy and war. Over 60 years after the war ended, winner India is way behind the Technologically advanced Japan and Germany. We are still called “Developing” country. 63 years after independence, we are still developing!!!
Many of the infrastructure projects lay incomplete; many of the sportsperson have to pay out of their pocket to perform at international events. Reason is said to be “Lack of funds”. Bill for increasing salary of MPs and MLAs is passed by thumping majority in parliament. Now, I know where my funds go. People like me, pay almost 50% of their earned income in taxes (30% in Income tax, then there’s service tax for services, sales tax for goods, VAT etc.).
We have Maharashtrians, Tamils, Punjabis, Biharis; but not Indians. Real meaning of Independence day is a paid holiday, but that was also on Sunday this year, Damn!!
Whenever it feels that everything’s over, life brings new dreams, a new hope; after all hope is the crux of living… and in this hope I wave the Tricolor in my hand…
Happy … Day