India celebrated its 72nd year of Independence. Looking back through the history of 72 years, I realise that it was the time our country took to recuperate from an exhaustive Independence fight, which led to blatant nepotism, corruption and the general disarray of human life. Also in these 72 years, we have risen back from the ashes and have, as a nation, in one voice wanted to change the status quo. The results attained in the last five years of the NDA government is proof of that.
Yes, we have tolerated almost 7 decades of absolute idiocracy. As I said it was an exhaustive Independence fight and by the time we realised our fallacy of trusting dynasties to rule in a democracy, the rot had seeped into our very consciousness. Be it our unclean environment, or our general disregard for laws and country.
People were in a queue to get out of the country for greener and brighter pastures. The 80’s to the mid-’90s was proof of that. I remember an old song from a Kamal Hasan movie called Akali Rajyam. It goes something like this: “Sapatu etu ledu pata ayina padu brother….” The meaning of the song is: “Let’s sing since we don’t have anything to eat brother. In the capital city, every street is yours and mine brother. In an Independent country, death is also like marriage brother.” They say movies reflect the times we live in. As a reflection of what the society was like in a particular time period, movies are the best source material. The stories might be fictional but the society they depict is not.
So in one way, we can thank our FM of those times, Shri Manmohan Singh, who made one single greatest contribution to the Indian Society and for that, he shall always be remembered with fondness even though he presided over the most corrupt term as PM of our country.
The single defining contribution he made was opening up the Indian market for the world. The reason for doing so might also have been selfish. Presumably, the Indian market was starving and there was no big money for corrupt politicians to siphon off. Therefore they needed a fresh infusion of capital from somewhere to sink their teeth into. The opening up of our doors to the global market provided just that. The corrupt now could earn in foreign currency and become richer by the day. However, what it unwittingly also did was open up the information market. People who were blaming each other for the failing system suddenly had information in their hands. And suddenly Congress and all the other family-run parties lost their control over the masses.
Now as India has fresh energy, unlimited willingness and armed with information and knowledge, things are at last changing for the better. Tough questions are being asked. We refuse to settle for the consolation prize anymore. We want to be the best and we are not going to take excuses.
As for dynastic politics in a democracy. The answer is a resounding no. Consider the magnitude of what has been achieved in the past 6 years in this country. We have become cleaner. We have gone to Mars and now about to land on the moon. We have become one of the 4 nations to have A-Sat missile capabilities. We have built super fast trains. We have taken a pledge to eliminate corruption. We have opted for a digital economy to eliminate black money. We have faced the hardships of demonetisation to reboot our economy and eliminate counterfeit currency. We have implemented GST to become one Nation, one Tax. We have abolished Triple Talaq, thus empowering Muslim women in their quest for self-dignity. We have improved our efficiency in bureaucracy. We have improved our global standing. India is now looked at as one of the World leaders. We are no more looked at as a third world developing country at par with Pakistan. We have jumped way ahead and are now on track to land on the moon. The Armed forces finally getting state of the art equipment. And last not but the least, we have now become one nation by the rendition of Article 370 as ineffective. The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are now finally going to have only one constitution and that is the Indian Constitution. There are many other significant achievements and the list is quite exhaustive.
Yes, we have come a long way. From dreaming to fly away from the country in search of glory, we are now dreaming of flying to Mars. Yes, we have come a long way. From absolute dynastic tyranny to a meritocratic democracy. Yes, we have come a long way. From corruption as the way of life to following the law. Yes, we have come a long way. From absolute chaos of unfulfilled dreams and aspirations to the clarity of thought and purpose. Yes, we have come a long way. From selfish self-preserving interests to a nation willing to let go of their subsidy to provide for the poor. Yes, we have come a long way. From caste-based reservation to reservation to the economically downtrodden. Yes, we have come a long way. From subjugation of human rights and individual freedom to the liberation of a nation from Terrorism, nepotism and despondency. Yes, we have come a long way. From being cowered by the bloodthirst of terrorists to the Uri and Balakot strikes. Yes, we have come a long way. From two nations to one Nation.
It is still, however, too early to celebrate as this is just the beginning. Imagine what we can achieve in the next 10 years if our collective will is stronger than those who want to divide our nation for their own personal gains and self-serving agendas.