All through it has been a best of times and some moments of disappointment, disagreement, hopelessness and helplessness. It has been a long journey as 3 quarters of a century is not an insignificant period.
India witnessed a horrible scenario of partition. It is estimated that around 1–2 million people died during the partition of British India and 10-15 million people suffered the pangs of displacement. Nehru on the eve of independence gave midnight speech that reads “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”.
When we talk of freedom we must not forget the role of a few young men who went to gallows without any fear viz Sheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Chander Shekhar Azad, Raj Guru and Sukhdev. Indian Constitution was promulgated and many new initiatives have been taken for the welfare of teeming millions. In certain sectors definite progress was made and steps were taken for an all-round development. There is also a dark side of the story which wrenches our nerves. Despite progress there are still many people who have yet to enjoy the fruits of independence. In the last few years we have seen hate and intolerance in plenty which is the making of our politicians. Poverty and illiteracy still stare us in the face. In the elections the electorate has been insidiously bribed as shortcut politics is the mantra. A culture of freebies is taking a heavy toll and the level of debates in the parliament has taken a nose dive.
It was shocking to hear Sar tan se juda slogans and see on the idiot box, nude photo shoot of Ranvir Singh. Aamir Khan’s Lal Singh Chadha movie is being boycotted by many as it hurts the sentiments of a section of people.
All of us witnessed Covid-19 disaster and the suffering of migrant workers still haunts. Bulldozer justice has also been witnessed and dostvad model is also being discussed. 10 Lakh crores of loans of some have been waived off, 5 lakh crore tax of industrialists and super rich waived. A few states are not getting their share of funds. In a nutshell a complete book can be written on Kya Khoya Kya Paaya.
Let me sum up with the famous words of Tagore:
“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action –
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”.