Independence has to be a reality and not a mere illusion.  Speaking from the heart and with a fearless mind in tune with the current sordid ground reality, we could in fact celebrate that historic 15th August only when we are once again truly and factually independent being free from a dictatorial and despotic regime. Independence means enjoying freedom and empowering others to do the same.

We are today far from being independent. The hard work of those who toiled for our country’s freedom has all gone down the drain since the BJP assumed Power at the centre in 2014.

We all know that freedom of speech is today a myth.  Nobody knows in which direction our once democratic nation is being channeled into. Our independence will only have some meaning when we, the world’s largest democracy once again have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. A country where its citizens can participate freely in shaping its future and supporting its democratic principles and ideals and without fear express their views and constructive criticism on the actions of an elected government.

All that we sense is that our once great Nation is on the verge of bidding our once prized democracy a farewell and possibly on the path to adopting Vladimir Putin’s Russian model. In the current circumstances, where democracy, the rule of law and the foundations of our Constitution are in peril, is there any scope or reason to celebrate the hard-won Independence that we attained in 1947? Since that original Independence Day we have increasingly become more interdependent. The success of our country is now based on the belief that we need each other more than ever as we share one common destiny.  

Mahatma Gandhi the architect of our Independence famously said ‘I personally crave not for independence, which I do not understand, but I long for freedom from the English yoke’. One wonders how true that saying rings today as people long for freedom from the yoke of this Government.

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