Azadi: India’s 70th Independence Day
“That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfill the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over.”
– Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (Tryst with Destiny)
India has had an eventful journey towards its path to sovereignty- from the days of being a resourceful colony for British imperialists to being a (or trying to be a) sovereign secular socialist (really?) democratic republic, India has faced its own set of challenges that are integral to the land and Indian people. Our country had been successful in securing freedom for the land from the British Raj, however, we are still to see the dawn of a paradigm where we can render our nation, along with its people, independent.
In the discourse of this eventful journey, few would debate the view that Mahatma Gandhi, through his avant-garde philosophy of Swaraj, had been the biggest ideologue of a new India, that, he envisioned, would have to be steered on the principles of Satyagraha- a non-violent mass movement to achieve self-governance.
Gandhi idealized a future state where there would be no capitalism, no communism, no religious violence, no corruption, and freethought, in a nation that lived in a rural patchwork. Gandhi’s vision of Swaraj encompassed the idea of self-rule over the governments, and over one’s mind and passions. The said self-rule of Swaraj was to be fulfilled if only the masses engaged themselves into self-actualization. Gandhi believed in a utopian future for India; but unfortunately, India has been burdened by its socioeconomic woes to such an extent that awakening of mass consciousness has to this day, been a distant dream.
India ranks 4th in terms of the size of its economy, which marginally surpasses the economy of UK (and this fun-f