Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Is this Independence?
On the auspicious occasion of the 66th anniversary of India's Independence, I would like to express my deep anguish at the state of affairs in the so-called, world’s largest democracy. We freed ourselves from British rule in 1947, but, are ruled by corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, thugs and sycophants today. The values for which India has been praised by global leaders & thinkers for centuries, stand eroded and we are part of and witness to the shambles that surround us.
Here are some such quotes about India:
“If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India!" ~ French scholar, Romaine Rolland
“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!" ~ Mark Twain
“We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made!" ~ Albert Einstein
“India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border!" ~ Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA
“She (India) has left indelible imprints on one fourth of the human race in the course of a long succession of centuries. She has the right to reclaim ... her place amongst the great nations summarizing and symbolizing the spirit of humanity. From Persia to the Chinese sea, from the icy regions of Siberia to Islands of Java and Borneo, India has propagated her beliefs, her tales, and her civilization!" ~ Sylvia Levi
If you felt your chest swell with pride as you read the above quotations, you are a true Indian and still take pride in our country. If not, please do not bother to read any further.
What our freedom fighters achieved for us after many sacrifices, sixty five years ago, stands in ruins today. A very capable and intelligent people who have made their mark in all walks of life despite grave adversities, are today at the risk of losing their freedom to corrupt manipulators who form the very system that is supposed to serve the people in a democracy. By definition, Government is necessary to the existence of civilized society. But unfortunately, rather than providing an infrastructure and framework to support its people, when those in power are only looking to further their own wealth and political interests, there is little hope for its citizens. We have seen several instances of politicians, bureaucrats and the judiciary, being investigated, accused of and arrested for rampant corruption over the past couple of years. However we are yet to see these very public servants being punished for their crimes, which is a clear indication of the fact that our system is already in an advanced state of decay.
In a country where parents think that giving a donation to get their wards admission in a reputed Kindergarten is perfectly acceptable, the very foundations of a generation are weak. Children are exposed to corruption at practically every stage, till they grow into corrupt adults. And nobody sees anything wrong with that!
It is high time that all of us patriotic Indians who cringe at the very thought of what is happening to our society, woke up and realized that we are to blame for allowing corruption to breed around us. We need to eradicate this evil ourselves, by not acceding to unjust demands or actions that are contrary to the interests of others in our society. We need to get the crooks and goons who have infested our system to realize that we are not going to tolerate them any longer and that we are not afraid of them, but, they need to fear extermination.
Let us not get carried away by the inflammatory speeches of those who seek power for themselves and only intend to use us as a means to that end. Let us shun violence and respect public property, as damaging it only diverts more of our scarce resources from the infrastructure, which is so essential for our growth. Let us respect the efforts of those around us who are making a positive contribution to the growth of others, as that takes our nation forward.
Let us all pause for a while in our pursuit of material assets and think how we can contribute to the change that we want to see around us. Remember none of us can survive in an environment that is poisoned. We need to cure it ourselves…