Monday, November 22, 2010

India's New Freedom Struggle

India’s New Freedom Struggle
It took several years for India’s freedom struggle from the British Rule to dawn on the Nation in 1947. But it is unfortunate, that the country today is thrown at the mercy of a rat race. Rat race for Power, Money and Authority with no people in thought. The so called Largest Democracy in the world the name of “For the People, By the People, To the People”, today is nothing but a big joke. 60 years of Independence, and we as the Nation struggle for real freedom. Freedom of speech, Freedom of Governance, Freedom of Growth, Freedom for a Nation free of fear, free of poverty, free of unemployment, free of pollution, free of corruption and free of agitation and restlessness. Today, we the Citizens of India are proud of our achievements in the Global Stage. Same time, we are ashamed as part of the Nation, still struggling in the clutches of a fragment of society that dominates and destroys the Nation. There has to be a new revolution. A new struggle for Freedom. This fight is not against the miscreants of an external India. This is a fight against the internal thief’s. It is very easy to eliminate an external enemy, but it is very difficult to uproot an “Inte Donga- in Telugu” which means, a thief within the house.

Freedom of Speech -

Yes, I know it is our fundamental right and we Indians, are privileged to this right. But it is only when you don’t hurt the sentiments of your brethren. As a political fiasco, you can talk anything. Refer to Laluji’s English speeches in the Parliament, but if a sensible writer tells the truth., no wonder she is threatened to be jailed…I am referring to none other than Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy.

Freedom of Revolt-

You have to be a RSS franchise or a Mangalore Babu’s to revolt. You cannot afford to be an ordinary citizen. How many times Medha Patkar had been arrested just because she is fighting for a genuine cause like Narmada Bhacho Andolan? How many times Sunitha Krishnan of Prajwala will be beaten up to death, just because she fights against the brutality of rape victims and rescue small children and women from the involuntary prostitution rackets? Close to 3000 children are rescued by her in the last several years, she being a 15 year old gang raped victim in the past. Why the hell cannot our governments do something about it??

Freedom from Equality-

Yes, I understand we are a secular and socialistic Republic???? But in what sense??? Are we not having a divide of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, right from the way the neighborhoods react to incidents, support and care? Are we not divided in the name of language within every 400 kms of the geographical landscape of the country. I am not talking about the secular freedom of equality. Freedom of equality in terms of how government react to various situations? Example: When a soldier sacrifices himself for the sake of National Security, we give his mother or widow , a medal, no use certificate and 1 lakh rupees and forget. Same way, when a illicit liquor consumer in a remote village dies, his family is also paid 1 lakh rupees and the victim gets a placeholder in the front page of newspapers and becomes a hero! If a cricketer scores 100 runs, he is paid 5 lakh rupees and given adversting revenue, government paid quarters, paid jobs which he never attends and what not? Why the hell I would I encourage my younger generation to ruin their personal lives to preserve our borders and die for our country? How many of our politicians or film stars are sending their kith and kin to fight against terrorism or protect our borders? Are they not eating the bigger piece of the apple pie??????

Freedom from Fear

If a politician is killed, or murdered or even die for natural causes, the whole place is turned like a war zone. People are scared to step out. Worst is when a politician is convicted in a court case, we just don’t know what repercussions will be there around? How can we forget the hard truth of Dharmapuri Bus tragedy, where three college students were burnt alive? Who will bring back those lives to their parents. How many shops were destroyed in Karnataka just because they had their hoarding and boards in English? How many churches were burnt in Kerala in the name of stopping spreading the preaching? Still the traces of the Pastor and his sons being burnt alive in the car remain? The notorious killing of Shivani Bhatnagar, a young journalist who did everything to gain information first hand for Indian Express do not fade our memories. We are still surrounded by Nithari’s and Rathores, and don’t dare to send our young girls alone outside? Where is the Freedom that Gandhi wanted???? To let the women walk with free mind at the midnight…Forget about midnights Babu, now your children cannot even dare do it in broad day light. Are we becoming a sex starved Nation? Are we becoming a Violent provoked society?????

Freedom from Retirement…

Common guys, now don’t take me wrong. You are to retire at the age of 60, if you are Peon, A Teacher, A Professor, A clerk, A Engineer and what not? But stop, you just don’t need to retire at all till your death if you are a politician. For politicians have this unique physical ability to make right decisions, run errands on economic development, do excellent planning, and commendable job on governance and execution and you know what, age is the wisdom factor for running our country. But guess what, to be a nurse or a ayyama in a school, you have to be not older than 60. Yes, you forget your basics to teach or support patients when you are 60, it doesn’t depend on your ability or individual strength. Then, again, for becoming an IAS officer in India, you should not be older than 28, older than 32 if your MBC or SC/ST. But there is no there is no Upper Specification Limit to be a part of the Indian Parliament. So all retired aunts and uncles, out there,, get ready for the next General Election, for that is the only place where you can still work…..

Freedom from rusted judicial system….

Our constitution can only be written once. I agree. We make amendments and pass bills and change provisions as deemed necessary. Thankfully the new Direct Tax Code has some breather for the age old Income Tax Laws of 1960’s…. But are the Laws of the Nation ever amended? Are they not written when people were under control and fear of British Raj. Are they not written keeping the economic and GDP of 1940’s in Mind. Today, one of the most enjoying community of holidays are our lawyers …they have winter sessions holidays, summer and spring holidays…Spring???In India? Ok, may be. Probably, I don’t think any other community of Professional enjoy that big a holiday in a single year….Not even teachers today…For I see the schools making them slog in holidays, correcting papers, preparing study material for next year, working on overall growth and improvement. How can a fine be just Rs.100 for a theft and Rs 5000 for a rape? Does it worry any of them committing those sins? Is there a fear any longer in our verdicts about the way the punishments are given???? Why do we encourage to appeal and appeal ever to high courts. Can you imagine that close 23 death penalties are lying on Madam President’s table for clemency petitions.

Freedom from our own cruel Police Stations
Believe me, I am so scared to enter a police station. Just because I was not able to differentiate between those working there or those brought in there for investigation. They both looked similar in all manners. There could be exceptions and people who are sincere, more approachable, and polite to common man. I have witnessed a sad neighbor who was pulled to a police station after having been found in a drunken state in a local railway station. He was beaten up to death, his family was humiliated, and finally the frustration did never let the youth come out. He passed away few months after that incident. When a stray fire accident happened in my bed room, instead of finding the real culprits, the police dragged two of our lady servants who worked for several years. They showered suspicion everyone in the house too.. When a house was locked for several week, a thief tried to break it, and finally when all neighbors woke up and caught him, he spell the beans. He got the information of the locked house from a policeman who takes rounds in the nights in that area. The deal was to share the booty 30-70. Speechless.

Freedom from Terrorism

In Dec 2008, when I was travelling back from Detroit to India, a co-passenger was so considerate asking if it is safe to travel back to India. I felt sad…terribly sad. I have to fear travelling back to India, my country…and the constant images on the CNN TV in the Airport is the reason…showing images of burning Taj…continuously for the 4th days. Terrorists, Naxals, Moists, Jihad’s and the list goes on. Fear of terror is everywhere. Right from the serial blasts across the cities of Lucknow, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai ….till the struggle of Telengana region and never ending Kashmir menace….no where people feel safe and secure. The shades of terror is wide and vibrant. And victims suffering is endless. We still go easy on Kasab’s and Ajmal’s in the country even after the whole Nation witnessed their atrocities on CCTV and live televisions. Attack of Nation’s Parliament and Attack on Civilians in Mumbai is still cases of further appeal and mercy petitions???? No wonder, we can never curtail terrorism.

Freedom from Corruption

This is not the last, but the giant of factors that we want freedom from. One of my friend yesterday, reported on Face book, that he waited in the queue to get a receipt from Registrar office for Vehicles, and finally he could not get his job done without paying that damn bribe. I did it when I wanted extra copies of birth certificate for my child after running for 4 days, and hearing problems of the employee not being there, printer not working and what not, and everything worked the minute I paid him the “gift”. 16 year old drunken drivers in Mumbai, kids of rich dads, go Scott free after killing hard working day laborers sleeping on the pavements. A old aged lady have to pay for getting her pension clock start after her retirement in the Pension Pay office. Loans get sanctioned without even the supervisor visiting the sites….all for a price. Even for issuing a death certificate to a grieving family, our government office staff don’t function without taking that extra money. I know a Peon working in a commissioner office building a big bungalow in the centre of the city….and that’s because he is the binamy for collecting all these funds for a corporate pool that gets shared at the end of the day – everyday….No wonder, no body shouts or revolt for so low a salaries in the Government offices. For getting an electricity connection, you pay “that” or just be ignored. To get a College admissions, forget mark sheets…think about the ‘Building Fund”…for Professional College Admissions….remember “Capitation fee” , Management Quota, Donations….. and is there anywhere our kids scoring between 70-90 can get proper admissions??? Either your percentage have to be above 90% or your parents bank balances big enough to hold your dreams….Ridiculous. To me Tirumala had been my place of heaven on earth. But somehow, my devotion these days don’t get overboard to venture into this commercial hub now in the name of darshan. There were couple of times, I had to come back without proper darshan , after being victimized with ‘jaragandi, jaragandi’… and now I know to handle this ‘Jaragandi’ lot…the minute , I tuck a Rs 500 in one of the ‘Jurangandi-Move Move’ crew, I will be pulled behind them, and others get victimized for juragandi..and I am given 2 extra minutes to look at the deity, forget about worshiping amidst that mad rush….. I believe my Balaji will understand my plight and still take care of me, if I worship him from a distance, may be from my home Even the medical fraternity is no immune to this…and it is a sad state of affairs…Believe me, even to get justice, you have to bribe in our country and that is the sad part….And once again, I am only talking about small time corruption….for I am a small time writer who cannot dare to write about Mega Scandals and Shameless Scams that ruin my country from moving forward….

I am now tired, of writing this post….There is so many things that we want freedom from,,,like Freedom from Poverty, Freedom from Rich and Poor Divide, Freedom from Glass ceiling, Freedom from Craze of Foreign goods, Freedom from pollution, freedom from traffic…freedom from increasing costs….freedom from adulterated food grains….. and the list is longer than I expected when I started to write. I think freedom from British was much easier!!!!

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