Independence day

by Michelle Fortes

​15th August is a black letter day, a day of sadness – Periyar

For seventy years we have been fooled and its really stupid of us to celebrate a ‘namesake’ independence! Why should we not celebrate independence?

ஒரு இந்திய குடிமகனின் குமுறல்:

The cry of an Indian citizen: I hardly have any reasons to celebrate independence. I respect those fought for political freedom from British. But for me, freedom is different kind. The kind of freedom we celebrate every year is political. It can only be celebrated by heartless rich who had accumulated countless wealth more than half of which is accumulated in immoral and unethical means of business. It is only be celebrated by mindless political and bureaucratic communities as a ritual but in actuality their inability, irresponsible attitude, corruption, misuse of power and authoritative behaviour fails to make citizens of the country whom these two communities are supposedly serving free (freedom) from problems. What to celebrate when a country expects citizen’s total surrender and loyalty to the authority of the politicians( by the way prime aim of the new education policy is this) and bureaucracy when it should have been other way around? What to celebrate when a university drives a brilliant scholar to commit suicide and when group of gau rakshaks flog helpless dalits out in the public? What to celebrate when caste Hindus are ready for suspension or banning of the temple festival instead allowing dalits to be part of it in Tamil Nadu? What to celebrate when 16 years of hunger strike of irom sharmila could not move the government to review an Act against which she was fighting? What to celebrate when the country mindlessly is celebrating GDP growth but hold dubious record in all social indexes in the world. What to celebrate when children in some parts of Orissa are suffering from lack of nutritious food? What to celebrate when in country upper caste involving in beef export and they placing the country in number one position in such export is not a problem but skinning dead cow by dalits for leather trade and eating legally allowed meat by many deserves death, torture and public humiliation? What to celebrate when in some parts of UP people are making some sort of grass cakes as food? What to celebrate when top official in a hospital in Mumbai involve in kidney racket and when child in a hospital let to die because bribe was not paid in time Hyderabad? What to celebrate when a dead cow has become more important than dalits and Muslims? What to celebrate when a sanitation worker die everyday from lack of free and fresh oxygen? What to celebrate when freedom of speech make you anti-national? What to celebrate when criticism of a party, its leaders and its ideology results in getting Pakistan passport as a gift? What to celebrate while people fighting against superstitions get death as punishment and called anti-nationals, while promoters of the same are praised? Where is freedom? Freedom from British has been celebrated for long, and it can continue for ever because we use this day for feeding our own monster called nationalism that is causing too many hardships to too many people. But is it not correct, after 70 years of self rule, to review, assess and examine, if people of this country are having freedom from lack of food, having freedom to speak their mind, having freedom to exercise their choices, having freedom to practice ones own culture and religion and having freedom from pains and sufferings politicians and bureaucracy. Guess not, Then what is the point?

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