I was at a traffic signal yesterday waiting for the signal to turn green. Three poor kids, with torn clothes and all the dirt over their bodies approached me trying to sell me the Indian national flag memento. Before they could start their sales pitch, I had to leave because the signal turned green. I felt sad – not because I couldn’t buy the flag from them but because of the fact that even after several decades of ‘Independent India’, there are tens of lakhs of people in this country who’ve to spend their day for less than Rs. 5 ( ~ $0.01 ). I’ve already decided that I will not celebrate 15 August as Independence day; because I believe we never had our Independence.
Several years ago, the British got bored of staying in India as they had already stolen most of its wealth and there were growing protests and fasts by Indians. So they did what made most sense to them: Tell Indian people that they were free. Going by the facts – The British Government passed an ‘act’ in their parliament called “Indian Independence Act 1947” which cleared declared India & Pakistan as two dominions governed by the British. First I wonder whether we ‘won’ our Independence and actually made the British ‘get out’ of our country OR ‘they’ decided to do so. Both are two radically different things. Had we made them leave our country – we’d have restored all our Indian systems in place and there’d have been no traces of British rule in India. India and Pakistan and Bangladesh would have been ‘one’ country. Coming back to the point – the British government decided that India and Pakistan would be two different ‘dominions’. Note – it does not say “nations”. Go check out the meaning of dominions. It was only on 26 January 1950 that we became ‘Republic Of India’. Whatever it is called in English – I don’t like the sound of it – as it sounds totally ‘British’.
What’s more astonishing is that (and I’ve always had this question since childhood) that why did the (so called) Independence was declared at mid-night! In India, we celebrate all ‘good’ activities in the day time – not in the night. I believe Indian leaders should have questioned this at the time of Independence. The second thought which amazed me is that Mahatma Gandhiji did not attend the 15 August 1947 ceremony. Isn’t it surprising? The man who led the Indian Independence Movement, opted NOT to attend the grand finale!
I discovered the answers later. It was Nehru who was eager to become the Prime Minister of India. While the congressmen decided that ‘Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’ should become the President Of Congress and Prime Minister Of India – Nehru told Gandhi that if Patel is chosen for the PM’s post; he would quit and split Congress. Gandhiji’s worst fear was seeing Congress split into two and giving a chance for the British Governer to stay in India. Gandhiji agreed while he knew it wasn’t the best decision in Nation’s interest. He knew Nehru was a British Soul In Indian Body – and he’d keep the remote control in British hands.
…and decades after, we experience the exact consequences of it. The reports estimate 85 crore Indians are below poverty line. ‘English’ has taken over local languages. The education system has transformed from ‘Gurukul’ to the ‘British Schools’ which produces clerks who ultimately work for British and US corporations. 99% of the products we use are owned by foreign companies and take out thousands of crores of rupees out of India in insane amounts of profits. The technology we use is all ‘dumped’ by the foreign countries in India. The world dumps their ships, wastes and plastic on Indian soil. Our IT industry is totally controlled by US and British corporations. The rupee is all time low as compared to dollar. Parents think it’s uncool to talk in their native language with the kids. We’ve given up totally on Indian clothing and adopted foreign style of dressing – no matter how uncomfortable it is. Our kids learn the history as dictated by those who ruled us. Our kids believe India was always a poor country (by the way, if we were poor, why did the British came here? To catch the snakes, huh?) Our music has been destroyed. Our ‘dance’ and ‘music’ shows are all copies of the western shows. Singing without a ‘sur’ and ‘taal’ is being considered as ‘with the modern times’. Dancing only means ‘hip-hop’ and ‘salsa’. Our whole concept of ‘progress’ is copying what US and British do.
I feel sad to hear students say to me that they wish to go abroad to do MS to ‘learn new technologies’ and then implement them in India. It’s a well known fact that hardly anyone comes back to ‘implement’ the knowledge they acquire. I’m yet to meet someone who says “I’ll stay in India and Develop new technologies here”. If the foreigners can develop new technology by staying in their land, why can’t we? I wonder why can’t we develop high-quality alternatives to foreign goods?
The current young generation (including me) is spineless. We are grown up on complan and horlicks – and education that’s imported. We are, at the best good at spending time on Facebook & Twitter clicking buttons to ‘spread the message’. To all such people –
Happy Dependence Day!