The 71st Independence day will be celebrated this week, a thought is crossing my mind that is it enough being a constitutionally independent country? Are we living in a safe, liberated, clean, corruption free country? We freed ourselves from the clutches of British rule, but got into clutches ruthless, corrupt politicians who believe in dividing the country on the basis of caste and religion and are keeping us busy with blame game. Is 71 years a small time? Are we satisfied with our country’s progress?

Can we call it independence, when women and children don’t feel safe? They are not free from the violence. Do our students have the freedom to select the career they want? We have the reservation coming in way of admission in the educational institutions. The caste discrimination is ever increasing. We just don’t want to let go the discrimination of caste, because it helps the vote bank politics. So what if it creates communal tensions. In past 71 years we have failed to get freedom from corruption. We have politicians with criminal records, unqualified, non-deserving people who don’t deserve to sit in the parliament and make decisions for us. In 71 years we have not been able to solve poverty and unemployment problems. So again my question is 71 years is old or young? Are we independent?

Where independence mean self-government, we the people in India have to pay bribe to get a basic driving license, birth certificate/death certificate, marriage certificate, bribe the  to a traffic police, bribe the clerk/peon in govt. office, to even get gas connection. Is this freedom?

Violence against women is increasing day by day. Rape, female feticide, acid attacks, domestic violence, dowry deaths, honor killings, forced abortion, human trafficking, sexual violence, forced prostitution and the list goes on and on. Sadly, the percentages of these crimes are increasing every day. According to an international report, every three minutes a woman is subjected to some kind of violence in our country.

The children are also not safe; they are not free from violence inside their homes, schools, streets, parks, school bus, school toilets. They go to schools to shape their future, and many of them are becoming a target of violence. We have so many cases, where teachers, principals, peons, bus drives, cleaners and washers have harassed and raped young kids. They are easy prey for human trafficking. Government data reveals that children are subjected to gross abuses in the very shelter homes that are made to protect them. This is so pathetic, its shame on us. So are we independent?

Corruption is on increase day after day. It has been adversely affecting our economy. We are immune to paying bribes; we have accepted it as a system. The judiciary, financial institutions, government offices, schools, colleges, hospitals, even temples everywhere we pay bribe to get our work done. The amount of scams is increasing. Forget the Public Sector banks; the private banks are also not clean. Major scams such as 2G spectrum scam of 1760 billion, 2010 common wealth games scam (700 billion), the Adarsh housing society scam, the mining scandal in Karnataka, cash for vote scam and many more. Wakf board land scam, AugstaWestland arms deal, Telagi scam, Coalgate scam,  Fodder scam, Satyma scam, NIrav Modi scam…the list is big. The financial institutions and criminals are hands in glove. People have lost corers’ of money – their hard earned money in numerous scams.

Who is real minority? After 71 years each of independence, number of communities is marching for reservation as minority. While only 3% to 4% of the total population of India pays taxes, they are completely ignored by the Government. They are in fact minority. And the taxpayers are harassed the most.

We are not free from the illicit use of power of casteism, communal violence. National Integration is essential for any nation with socio-cultural, religious, linguistic and geographical diversities. Our country requires it and it is necessary. But a series of religious, communal violence in recent years just goes on to show we are not free from it.

To sum it up: after seven decades of independence that we achieved from clutches of Britishers, we are yet to experience freedom from clutches of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, communal violence, corruption, vulnerability of women and children, pollution, perilous infrastructure, malnutrition, low standards of education, low standards of health care, inferior sanitation.

Why are we called a developing nation after 71 years? What is it that is holding us back from being the super power? We have the second largest world’s population. The question gets even more intricate when we start thinking about deeper meaning of independence.

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