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Unlocking the 74th year of independence

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Inbetween Policy and Politics. Literature and Photography on other days,

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the season of Light, it
was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of

Tale of two cities, Charles Dickens.

With an appeal to mask-on and encourage social distancing, Bharat is all set to celebrate the 74th Independence Day on 15th August, 2020. Unlike the last decades, this year is not only different in nature of celebration due to COVID- 19 but also marks some very historic and tragic events that marked the 73rd year of Independence.

The Spring of 31 st October, 2019– The implementation of Abolition of Article 370 and Unification of J&K and Ladakh as Union Territories, brought with it a new ray of hope for Radhika Gill and the ‘Safai Karamcharis’ community. Radhika, a young athlete with many trophies lined on her shelf and many
more dreams in her eyes was forced to sacrifice golden opportunities of her career, many a times. Despite qualifying for exams of Central forces during recruitment, Radhika’s candidature was rejected as she failed to produce a domicile certificate or State subject. Radhika tried to approach the authorities
for PRCs but her requests were rejected on the grounds of provisions such as Article 35A and Section 6 of J&K constitution. But now, the abolition of Article 370 has un-masked her dreams to fly freely.

On a chilled December of 2019 amidst a 6 and half hour debate, with 125 Ayes and 105 Noes- Rajya Sabha passed The Citizenship Amendment Bill. The CAA amends the definition of illegal immigrants for the minority groups of Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians from the neighboring nations
who have been sheltering in Bharat without proper documentations. The hues and cries on the bill were echoing in various parts of Bharat, from Shaheen Bagh to Assam, with different narratives and questions filling the sky. While on one hand, various petitions run across the corridors of the Judiciary,
challenging the Bill, on the other, Dharmvir and Tara Chand- Hindu Migrants from Pakistan who finally secured an identity for themselves stood to mark their solidarity with CAA in the heart of Delhi during a Pro-CAA rally.

It was February 2020, slogans and posters were daunting the lanes of National Capital, Delhi, alongside the state elections to the assembly. I distinctly remember living in an anticipation throughout the time, with Shaheen Bagh protests in background, debates on ‘PMGKY Ayushman Bharat –
Medical Scheme’ to Twitter meme war between BJP, AAP and Congress, the atmosphere was utterly mystifying until 11th of February, when Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal celebrated his wife’s birthday with a second-term sweeping victory.

The summer of May was a silent spectator when China started objecting Bharat’s road construction in the Galwan valley, leading to the 15th of June’s tumultuous fight between Bharat and China, both on the ground and diplomatic arenas.

On 17th of July, standing in the cross-road of COVID-19 to diplomatic animosity with the neighbouring countries, Bharat was unopposed elected to United Nation’s Security Council as a Non-Permanent member for the 8 two-year term. This came as a see-saw balancing the geo-political climate and Bharat’s role in international arena.

Standing with the confidence of Atmanirbharta in the peak of tension at borders, on 29th June, Bharat imposed a ban on 59 Chinese apps. The Government proclaimed that these apps were prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and defence of the country.

As a final year student, living with normalized uncertainty, I relate the most to
the last leg of July and my article – The New Education Policy.

On 29th of July ,replacing the 34-year old Education Policy, Bharat experienced a glittering set of ideas making the New Education Policy.

Bearing in mind, it is equally difficult to break an eye from the devasting moments of Amphan Cyclone, Assam and Bihar floods and the crash of Air India flight at Calicut resulting in the death of 18 civilians and 2 pilots.

The 74th Independence Day is a challenge for futuristic sustainability and institutionalized ground implementation of the heterogeneous decisions, policies and events that made the entire 73rd year of Independence.

As India awaits the dawn of 15th August, with pride in our heart and a gloomy smile for not being able to make to the Parade ground this year, I remember the words of Lech Wałęsa, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Poland- “We hold our heads high, despite the price we have paid, because freedom is priceless…”

Jai Hind !

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