Every time we celebrate Independence Day, we are reminded of the valiant and selfless efforts of our freedom fighters. However, it is also important to consider Independence from a different perspective. While Independence means that we are no longer under some other country’s rule, perhaps, we can only consider ourselves truly ‘independent’ when we have achieved the following:
When our country’s borders are secure and we no longer fear the possibility of terrorist attacks on our soil. When Freedom of Speech is exercised judiciously, by an upright and courageous media, instead of the kind of media that is forced to kowtow to the powerful and wealthy. When the Law is respected and followed, ensuring safety for one and all. When Discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion or financial status no longer exists in Society. When Education, Housing , Food and Employment is within the reach of even the poorest of the poor. When every senior citizen is able to lead his life safely, and with dignity. When a woman is given her due respect and place in society, with the same privileges that are available to a man. When corruption is weeded out, in all forms, in every aspect of our lives. The list could go on…
On the bright side, the above wish list may not be entirely unachievable.
The Gramin Rojgar Hami Yojana will ensure employment to many people. Free education is already available to all those under the age of 14 years, and up to 12th standard for girls. Plans like the Green revolution and White Revolution will increase food and milk production respectively, in an attempt to meet the demands of the nation. Probably our greatest development has been in the field of Software and Information Technology, with Indians surging ahead of the other countries in this field. Our Defence Forces are quite literally, a force to reckon with, for we have the capability of deterring the strongest threats possible. Our economic growth is commendable with a concurrent increase in per capita income. The Media is now less restrained and almost every other day, we hear of some scam being exposed. The Right to Information Act has ensured some form of accountability in the working of the Government.
We have a long way to go before we achieve the goals our forefathers have set for us. In this venture, we could borrow a leaf out of a book from the Far East. The Japanese have a term called ‘kaizen’ which means ‘continuous improvement upon the existing self.’ Incorporating this concept into our development would certainly go a long way in realizing our goals.
With that, I wish to convey my heartfelt wishes to all of you on this Independence Day.