Tuesday, August 15, 2006


India got its independence from British this day 59 years ago but we are shackled by many other ills that is slowly eating the fabric of the society.

Some of these shackles are new and some are age old.. Nevertheless, India needs independence from:
  • Terrorism: India celebrated its independence from British amidst unprecedented security. Delhi was brought under complete security blanket about a week ago and closer to home, Kalpakkam security was handed to over to Army, which declared curfew and passed shoot at sight orders to protect the nuclear installation. India continues to bleed in this low intensity war with no end in sight. We need independence from terrorism.
  • Corruption: I don't know the history of corruption in India, but this cancer is in its advanced stages. There seems to be rate for everything from license to medical care to school admission to jobs. Why, Indians have to bribe even after death. Extra money has to change hands for receiving body from Government mortuary and there is a rate for even burning bodies at funeral grounds. India desperately needs independence from corruption.
  • Caste/religious considerations: On one side there is loud cry for equality but that seems to be just lip service, as caste / religion plays a big part every walk of life in India. From temple priest to seats of higher learning, caste matters. Equality cannot be attained by perpetuating caste in all spheres of life. India needs independence from caste.
  • Women Enslavement: While politicians of all hue and cry crave for more reservation, they seem to be hesitant to consider some quota for women. No society can afford to enslave half of its population and yet aspire to be great. Women of India have made great strides in the last 59 years yet the scales are still tilted against her and that needs to change. For that, India needs independence from women enslavement.
  • Child Labor: By some statistics, India's population is the youngest in the world and has the largest network of schools and colleges. Yet, countless children toil in hotels, factories and other places to bring succor to their family. There may be laws against child labor, but they seem to be hardly enforced. Child labor is clearly visible in cities like hotel and construction industries. A kid's place is school and play ground and NOT factories and food outlets. To eradicate this, India needs independence from Child Labor.
  • Any other independence ..?


  1. Absolutely true! very good post!!

  2. Ram,

    You have written what I had in my mind. Yes... we need independence in many things. There was a social worker in a village known to me. One day he died due to snake bite and since he was an orphan the villagers wanted to cremate his body. When they wanted a death certificate, I was told that the concerned official wanted something to issue the same. This happened many years before and I do not think this has changed now.

  3. Usha

    The sense of fear overrides the urge to question / challenge.. People withhold for the fear of getting 'hurt'..

    This is where, the leadership has to come and 'change' the mindset.. which is long drawn affair..

    Many things.. yes.. Some might never happen.. at least we should attempt to marginalize those things.. (as they say.. corruption can never be eliminated.. but can be controlled to a certain extent..)

  4. Ram, a good thought-provoking post. You have covered the big ones. The question that comes to mind is how they can be accomplished. With such a large population, it is going to be very difficult to achieve. But that shouldn't stop one from starting these on an individual level (instead of waiting for someone else to do something). My two cents, that is all.

  5. Nithya

    Definitely.. As some wise person said.. 'Thousand mile journey starts with one step at a time..'
    While bottoms-up apporach might work.. what is desparately needed is the governance / eco-system in which individuals can do this..