Thursday, August 16, 2007

India @ Sixty - What does it mean to Independent?

What does it mean to be independent?

There has been an overdose of patriotism past few days to coincide with 60 years India's independence. Every one got a day off, schools had special meetings and distributed sweets, media went on overdrive with stories on India's Independence. Not to be outdone, India Inc., got on to the bandwagon. Airtel flooded the airwaves with its catchy Jayahe tunes composed by none other than AR Rahman.

Sifting through all this noise, what does it really mean to be independent? Sure, India is now being led by Indians, but are Indians better off today than 60 years ago? The answer might be different depending on the person. Some people would list a basket of problems and some folks would talk about the IT revolution some other would talk about every thing in between.

From my perspective, universal franchise and its continuous exercise is the true meaning of India being independent. Yes, there are umpteen problems with the universal suffrage but this fundamental ability given to all Indians disregard to their color, caste, creed or education has changed India like no other program or right. It has brought about a paradigm shift in the social status of countless millions and has given opportunities that didn't exist 60 years before.

What is your take? What does it mean to be independent for you?

ps: Yesterday, I asked several people (over 10) to articulate the difference between Independence day and Repbulic day.... and surprisingly none did.. Can you?

Tomorrow: India @ Sixty - Ten events that changed India.


  1. Independence means different things to different people. It depends on circumstances.

    • If you were a physically challenged person, then independence might mean being able to look after yourself without having to rely on someone helping you get dressed and bathed.
    • If you were a teenaged person, independence might mean being able to grow mustache, dress well to attract good looking other gender, eating out, and if it is America get your driver license and buy your own car and live in your own apartment.
    • If you were an elderly person, it might mean being able to live in your own house without needing someone to do the housework and cook the meals.
    • If you were me, independence would mean not needing to rely on anyone else for financial security.

    Independence in World’s biggest democracy means:

    1. Disparity in income is minimized.
    2. Spread the development of Industry and Agriculture equally among all parts of the country
    3. Make Higher education available to every one irrespective of color, creed, faith and opulence
    4. Personal interest must be replaced by common interest
    5. Disruption of public life is not an option for expressing dissent
    6. Hoarding of any item needed by public is a punishable crime
    7. Roads and canals are not meant for human living
    8. Corruption and bribery are uprooted
    9. Licensing Raj should be changed by free trade
    10. Common people should have access to housing
    11. Adulteration of food items is a punishable crime
    12. Legislators must be upholders
    13. Prohibition to unsolicited advices

    People should smell the freedom and get prepared for the opportunity. When opportunity meets preparedness, luck will take care of every one. What is luck? “Labor under correct knowledge”.

    Vante Maataram.


  2. Independence day is when the government stopped reporting to the British Queen.
    Republic day is when the government started reporting to the people of India.

  3. The word "republic" is from Latin: Res publica means "public matters" or "the state."

    the word "independance" means freedom from control or influence of another or others.

    With that said in my opinion India
    is neither.

    The power in India still resides and wielded by person who is not elected 'by the people' and whatever it is worth 'foreign born'. However, it is not the person's fault.

    It is not a democratic nation as someone suggests. Its leaders are elected by bribery and thuggery.
    Evaluate the recent Presidential
    selection (it is not an election)
    where qualified person was not even considered. This is not an exception. A decade ago, another qualified person was discarded because he was a 'Brahmin' and not
    In the south it is ruled by a dravidian racist,aethist and self serving person, In the west, a Hindu fanatic rules the western state and he provides no justice for citizen muslims. In the east, the commies make a deal with the
    greedy industrialists to rob the land from the poor. In the middle,
    its security for the politicians provided by the state to make the citizens feel insecure. In the capital, its dope, crime and bribe rules the day. In the north there is no justice for the Hindu Pandits or the Muslims. This is a failed
    Nation from the perspective of what Gandhi, Nehru and Vinoba? stood for.
    The industrialists and the IT pimps go for mega richdom. They abuse their workers, tax the infrastructure for personal gains. None of the Mega rich has contributed significantly to
    the building of the nation and for the poor or the children. None of them spent as little as 10% of their income for building India. The ancient Kings of India had more wisdom than the current ruling Kings and Queens.

    The common Indian still remains
    'stupid' and accepts the abuse and
    is looking for someone else to take care of the problem or hours yada yada-ing excuses or want the 'elephant god' to do divine intervension.

    India after 60 years still not a place worthy of being called neither 'democratic' nor 'republic'
    nation. It is a place millions of
    psueo educated humans fail to exercise their energy in pursuit of liberty and the pursuit of justice and happiness. They have liberated
    themselves from being a 'coolie' to the white man to become being satisfied with being 'white collar' coolies to neo-IT Lords and meekly bowing to political thuggery.

    This evolution is no revolution and it is not being 'televised'.

    In parting, I do want Indians take
    a few minutes and look at the sacrifices of Gandhi and the freedom fighters and ask 'what for ?'

  4. Independence Day is the day India could label itself a country, no longer a part of the British Empire. It's important because it was the culmination of 90+ years of a struggle.

    Republic Day marks the anniversary of a decision taken by the Indian National Congress at their Lahore session to secure independence for the country. It was on this day (26th Jan) in 1950 that the Constitution came into effect.

  5. check this link out