As our 60-th Independence Day dawn on us amidst the veritable din of patriotic songs and parades it’s almost time the new generation paused to ponder for a while and took stock of things. A country celebrating 60 years of independence from foreign rule should be considered a ‘Mature Democracy’ judging by world standards and it would be juvenile to associate the same pomp and show, the same joy and jubilation that was characteristic of its 50th year bash. Sentiments must take a back-seat now. Awareness must reign supreme. One as in his individual capacities and the nation in its entirety must take a more circumspect, a more futuristic approach to the road ahead. And that’s where, I feel, our true emancipation lies.
Though dollops of newsprint have been already spent on driving home such points and instilling nationalism amongst the fast-paced youth of today I am sure, as happens every year, the fizz would soon fizzle out from such an endeavor. Headlines would soon be snatched by issues more appealing than idle retrospection typically unsuited to business over a prolonged period. Though cynical it may seem to some still, there remain much to be questioned and much to be answered regarding the conduct of the annual rituals of the ‘Great Indian Independence Itch’. Every year in build-up to this momentous day articles are written, debates are organized; documentaries are televised as to how far we have come. Hackneyed questions are raised. Is this the best that we could have done? What should be our approach towards the future? How we should be feeling proud of our heritage, our freedom struggle and our motherland. How can the youth be further inspired in nationalism and loyalty? And everybody jumps in to convey their well thought out opinions. But what we miss within this bedlam of celebratory banter is the very essence of independence that we savor within this chaos. The fact that
Though the progress made cannot be denied over these past 60 years in fields of science and technology, trade and commerce, burgeoning job-markets at home and abroad, mushrooming of industries and entrepreneurs, an impressive GDP, growth-rate on an upward climb numerous issues remain unattended or ill-diagnosed. Education is still to see the upward spiral that was so solemnly promised from the eve of our first Independence Day, urban congestion wed to problems of population and pollution are demons leading us to doomsday by the passing hour, corruption remains as perceptible as the pole-star on clear nights and the political system is still to be made suitably accountable to the masses. Still, as a true Indian I continue to be an unrelenting optimist though streaks of cynicism escape out of my system every now and then.
So, here’s hoping