Is India Really Independent?Aug 15th, 2010 | By Valentina | Category: Articles
“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, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance… We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again.”
These are the impressive words of the speech titled, “Tryst with Destiny” given by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on August 15, 1947. The real struggle for independence of India had begun almost 90 years before in 1857, when a group of sepoys mutinied against the East India Company.
Nevertheless it needed another 90 years for India to become an Independent State.
But, today, one must take a moment to ask oneself – is India really free and independent?
Other countries are still invading India. They build factories which produce goods they can’t produce in their own country for the same money, even if it means ignoring the safety regulations. Child labour is still common, and not a lot of eyebrows are raised when a ten year old boy serves us a cup of tea.
Hundreds and thousands of people have been, and are being, affected by terrorism, still we say India is free and independent?
Corruption rules the country, still we say India is free and independent?
A sizeable population does not know where their next meal is going to come from, still we say India is free and independent?
At such times, we should look back at times when India was really free and independent, even if that was a long, long ago. The Wikipedia has this to say about that time:
The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from c. 3300 to 1300 BCE, was the first major civilization in India. A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture developed in the Mature Harappan period, from 2600 to 1900 BCE. This so called Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age which witnessed the rise of major polities known as the Mahajanapadas. The following 4000 years have been known as the classical period of Indian history, during which India has sometimes been estimated to have had the largest economy of the ancient and medieval world, controlling between one third and one fourth of the world’s wealth up to the 18th century. But what happened then. India lost the freedom to the East Indian Company and the British. They invaded the country and the downfall of the Indian Empire has begun. It needed 200 hundred years of foreign occupation to destroy a thousands year old history of freedom.
India is definitely free and independent now, even more so on paper. But, a question that needs some thought is what does this freedom really mean. How long will it take before each of the citizen’s life is guaranteed? How long will it take to beat corruption? How long will it take to understand the real meaning of freedom ?
These lines have been written by a person who isn’t an Indian Citizen – not on the paper at least – but feels a deep connection with the country, and has thoughts of freedom and independence topmost in her mind.
Lastly, I would say Indians be proud, proud of your country, proud of your ancestors, and let your children be proud of you. Jai Hindi!
Image Courtesy: svilen001 from sxc.hu