August 15th, 1947, a dream of independent India took over the sleep of millions who woke up in a country, which was now free after centuries of oppression and Imperial Raj.
The day did not only denote the day of Freedom but the hope, choice, Vision and attitude of a civilization. For sure the nation was not any more United now it had two wings, which were trying to fly in two different attitudes of the same civilization, but one had the peace of freedom, which millions waited to come and millions sacrificed for that.
Now the India was free…. free to choose and act as her willingness. The nation was free to choose, as it wants to grow out of its seeds. The hope and courage was left on its basin to see what it is going to be.
I am not going to quote any one here and would not remind what our Founding fathers and Mothers (not to be sexist in language at least) have thought and said about Indian independence, stead I would count each and everything what had made India what India is today, the India what I have seen while growing. From where we have come and as we have come what it has made India, the India what we know or do not know?
Year 1951, four years after independence India faced the first election to choose its national government and house representatives for Lok Sabha (the upper house), when a lot of nations were still struggling to have democratic nature of their society, India was rolling ahead to install the major system of governance, the Democracy. At the time when half of the world was pondering the question democracy India was flowing the roll of its Justice by democracy. India moved with its wisdom to choose what nations have to choose to breath a life of system with Governance. Now the India is the biggest democracy of the world.
While the half left part of India, The Pakistan has still not favored election and democracy. Still the army or dictator had ruled the nation most of the time and democracy has suffered badly there, but another side India has favored the roots of its system by galvanizing the idea of democracy, in 2004, Indian elections covered an electorate larger than 670 million people—over twice that of the next largest, the European Parliament elections. This is what Idea of India is.
I do not deny that India has emerged as the biggest force of Democratic institution but at the same time I cannot deny that the first Lok Sabha witnessed 677 sittings (3,784 hours), the highest recorded count of the number of sittings. And the 14th lok Sabha spent over 1,738 (only 332 sittings) hours in actual sittings. Even the speaker Honorable Somnath Chatterjee said at the time that ‘The time wasted due to disorderly scenes amounted to about 24 percent, which is alarming.’
According to Citizens Report on Governance and Development – 2006; between 1951 and 2003-04 the cost of running the two Houses registered an increase from Rs 100 per minute to Rs 18,430 per minute. This was estimated to reach Rs 20,000 in 2004-05.
I can not deny that there are so many people as Member of Parliament who have done a great work to enforce the medium of law and justice but at the same time I can not deny that 30.4 per cent of MP’s between 36 and 45 years, who have been elected to the 14th Lok Sabha are facing criminal cases in different parts of the country. And 18.3 per cent of them are facing grave charges, a report by Social Watch India says.
I had already written another column just after 15th Lok Sabha was elected on how the system of governance had defected to the system of Dynasty where more and more people are coming to the politics by ruling class and more and more people coming who have criminal cases against them.
This is where we have come from after independence.
I cannot deny that at the time of independence the most of the land in India was owned by a few but the reform, which came after Independence, clearly indicated what freedom meant to Indian peasants.
In 1949 the Central Government abolished the Jagirdari system. In the same year Zamindari abolition bills were introduced in a number of provinces such as U.P, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Madras, Assam and Bombay.
In 1956 Zamindari abolition acts were passed in almost all provinces. The abolition of Zamindari meant that about twenty million erstwhile tenants now became landowners. This is what India dreamed to do to strengthen the viability of Freedom.
I cannot deny that just after the independence India has to import the grains to feed its population. Thus we aimed at Green Revolution, a big leap in the agricultural field. Steps were taken to ensure fixed price for our agricultural products. This led to increase in food production. By 1980, India attained self-sufficiency in food with a surplus of about 30 million ts. India, which imported food items before the Green Revolution, began to export it. But I can not deny too that the results or effects of Green revolution has started to come clearly to Indian masses when farmers are committing suicide because the impact of Green Revolution which emphasized the farming on using fertilizer and insecticides and pesticides etc. has caused havoc to the soil and nature. The usage of fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides has increased to hundredfold in Indian agriculture and the produce is too much poisonous to eat as well its very costly to produce so we can not compete to International market and farmers can not cope up with the high price of seeds to fertilizers as well insecticides and pesticides. They are also causing the problem in soil and our underground water resources, which is getting polluted day by day.
I cannot deny that there were 27 universities and 578 colleges in India in 1951. Today there are about 250 universities and 11 000 colleges in the country. Today we have medical colleges in the health education sector, engineering institutions including IIT’s and IIM’s for management studies. Literacy rate, which was 18.33 percent in 1951 rose to 65.38 percent in 2001. This is a great achievement as far as a country with such a huge population like India is concerned, but I can not deny too that the education in India has become too expensive for the general masses and the money which we spent in IIM’s and IIT’s to which we call world class; their student never stay in India to work for the country which has given them education in fact as soon as they finish their degree they fly out to find the jobs which never helps India, I always question what is the basis of these institution which is not helping India as a whole? And why taxpayer’s money should be wasted in this sort of Higher education. India’s problem lies in its basic education and always there was not enough money for primary school still if one shall visit the villages one could find that there are not enough teachers or they are busy in their election duties (most of the time in any state some sort of election goes in and the election are convened by school teachers). Teachers are not paid well so their qualities are not as such who can prepare the future of India. While we are talking all this, there would be more universities by the so-called educationist or imperial educationist of our time for whom the school and collages are a way to make money, is not it? Check the bill of your education and compare with your kids.
I do not deny that we have increased life expectancy from 32 years to 65 years. We have built about 1.25 million miles of new roads; bit I can not deny that these roads have come because a huge amount of agriculture land was swallowed by government, I can not deny we have multiplied our steel production by over 50 times and cement production by almost 20 times but I can not deny that it has all come on the sake of environment where regulations are never made and now we have started to see the impact of our ignorance when the scarcity of water and day to day degradation of nature is clear to us. I can not deny that we have increased our exports from a few million dollars at the time of independence to more than $125 billion now, with about $150 billion of imports but also I can not deny that our exports are part of cheap labor, and the condition in which we have kept our working class, is pathetic, with no insurance and no health policies.
This is what we have come to….
These are few print of the Indian achievement what it has achieved after independence a growth, which no one ever thought about. India lived and lived and still living to synthesize the stigma to its future, which rolls the band of world future.
But India is also a country, which has taken a big leap on those turns from where the silence of dreadful time is alarming but we are not yet ready to listen those alarm sounding just next to us with the blow of our future.
There are several things in which India could feel proud on her children but there are enormous reasons where she must be feeling ashamed to be the mother of us. Let me discuss that well too. The challenges what we are going to face in coming years and decades and some we are already facing now.
India is on the brink of its suicide… And why not we have paved the way for it. Now we could say that we have big cities, new cars, restaurant and housing societies where people live as they never thought about even, but at the same time if we just look to our basic necessities we will find that day by day we are falling somewhere we do not know.
We have bigger houses but there is not enough water because our planning had failed us to secure the basic human right to live, we had not fulfilled the criteria for those who are still waiting for safe drinking water supply and the people those who had water are not getting enough because we have raped the mother nature, the resource from where the water used to come now the aquifers are dried, farmer are drilling deep and deep raping whatever is left, city government going as far as they can to secure water for their cities but hardly one ever question why suddenly we have no water?
Recently I have been visiting central India and I got to see that water for Bhopal is coming from at least 100 kilometers far from Narmada river which is dried now because this many dams were made on that river that no water is left any more. The farmers those who were fed on agriculture and lived near by river or around are not doing farming anymore because dams have taken their all water which was used for food growing so now a peasants have become labor in the cities. The same is true for so many other cities.
This is not it.. It had various impact on our system of lives if we could just see Madhaya Pradesh and around Bhopal we would find that most of the areas near by Bhopal is getting dried because the water of Narmada river which was working as the metaphor for farming is not there any more because of so many dams which were built on the river and getting built at the same time this river used to recharge the aquifers underlying in ground for the water use now which is not happening this is why the places are dried and water has become a source of mutiny and fights among city dwellers.
We have big houses and air conditioner to keep it cool but there is no electricity to run this AC? The power cuts are normal, now India is a nation of power cuts, more then before, we never question? Because we do not see what is happening around us. After 62 years of Indian freedom and we do not have enough power to feed the capacity of this nation? Strange! But this is what we have come through. Of course there is chaos of population buzz but this is not only the problem of Power shortage. We have done the biggest mistake in our planning and still fully relied on. Most of the power comes from the Coal generating plants almost 75% which is not environment friendly, we have 21% power coming from hydroelectric plant about which every one is known how they have come in being, destroying villages and villages and millions of acreage of farm land but the pity is that even in this time of monsoon state like MP are facing power shortage, strange?
We relied upon the sources which are going to exhaust one day if not then any change on weather pattern is going to cause problem but we have done the biggest investment in these two sectors only and now when coal shortage is obvious and weather pattern and rain fall is below normal the clear sign of our foolish planning in front of our eyes.
This is where we have come from….
Of course we have taken growth in our industrial approach what on what’s stake? Shared water of villages to the polluting Industrial companies of US and Europe? Shared electricity of our households to produce garments and etc. for rich market of US and Europe? Created hundreds of special economic zones on the name of development by acquiring agricultural land of the poor farmers who have become laborers after selling their peace of land for so called national interest?
This is what we are doing after independence….
We have of course opened several school to eradicate the illiteracy all across nation but in these school we do not find good teachers, or if we have teachers they are not at school most of the time. This is why private schools are prospering with such a costly affairs due to that less income generating parents can not afford to send their children in those school or try to generate income by any means sometime we see those means as a corruption…. yes?
There is not enough done to carry the transport of common mass from one place to another but to sustain the 18% growth in the civil aviation sector, the government is planning to redevelop 45 big and small airports around the country. Foreign equity of up to 100% has been permitted through automatic approvals for Greenfield airports. The recently cleared Greater Noida airport near New Delhi will involve the acquisition of 1,500 hectares of farmland. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and the Haryana state government have jointly proposed a Greenfield international-airport-cum-cargo-airport at Jhajjar, near Gurgaon, for which 4,347 hectares have been earmarked. If similar demands to build new airports come up from 20 cities or SEZ’s, 50,000-80,000 hectares of farmland would disappear. Again, poor would pay the prices for riches need. And again the think tank of the country would sleep, deep sleep, never to wake up until it’s too late.
This is what happening around us on the name of national interest after Independence.
And who would say all that because the one who is going to say all this definitely is going to utilize al the facilities so things are shut as it had.
One Mahesh bhatt comes to the TV channel with a petty actor to communalize the issue of even house transfer but that same man who is authorized my media does not come out to see and talk to the people those who are loosing their land and committing suicide because government grants are not enough or not working to wake up agriculture sector. Because the power which supposed to be given to farmers are now given to industry which brings the foreign money on the sake of Food and a class of farmers, or nation had not seen how companies of agriculture sector are destroying the national health by promoting inorganic agriculture where if you are trapped nothing remains to come out except suicide.
I do not deny that India has not taken a leap forward to development but at the same time I do not deny that on what sake we have taken this big leap.
I do not deny that 41000000 people are using cell phones but how can I deny that we do not have power to charge these cell phones!
I do not deny to have a great deal about LAKHTAKIA car (the car which TATA promised in Over a Lakh Rs.) But how could I accept that when I know that having not car like that we face strong problem in our cities of traffic where it seems chaotic, where regulation does not work, I just wonder what is going to happen when millions of these car are going to run on our roads where the infrastructure is not made for that.
I do not deny that India is free to choose its own future but I can not deny that what we have chose up to now is not what I call freedom.