By: Dr. Mohammad Aleem, Editor-ICN Group
NEW DELHI: Independence Day comes without fail every year and it also gives us a new kind of joy of freedom, dignity, and respect. It duly reminds us that seven decades back we were under humiliating subjugation of the British imperialist rule. It also helps us somehow to remember at what cost we had won freedom.
But all the above-mentioned feelings fly away just the very next day of celebration of this great day. We hardly remember what went when and who said what. Even, we forget the celebrated speech of our PM every year which gets delivered from the rampart of the iconic place, the Red Fort. It now looks much more ceremonious than real nowadays.
Maybe, the old people live with this feeling of enjoying freedom for some days which was very painfully earned, but for the younger generation, it is just a celebration as we celebrate any other important festival.
This year is the year of the Covid-19 epidemic. It has brought a new kind of life and time which we had never witnessed before. It reminded us that human lives are as fragile as water bubbles. We have seen many of our friends and relatives succumbing to this strange viral disease as meekly as they had no power to fight.
But whatever calamity comes to us from nature, we reconcile with it easily. But what about those misfortunes and calamities which come from our overly incompetent, tawdry, and morally corrupt and power-hungry politicians?
If we analyze our present-day situation on the scale of gains and loss, we find more losses than gains. We are a people whose almost one half of the population goes hungry every night without proper food. The divide between the rich and the poorest is so wide and stark that we can’t bridge this gap so easily. One enjoys billions of fortune in this country appallingly, whereas millions of others languish in want and grinding poverty. It takes me to the prophetic statement of Mother Teresa who had once said that people die of hunger not due to the lack of grain and resources, but due to the brutish apathy of the rich towards the poorest of the poor. Despite all tall claims by the current political dispensation of providing jobs and proper livelihood to everyone, we could get nothing within six years of their golden rule as they vainly claim. This epidemic has exposed all our frailties as a diseased body exposes its bare bones.
Some might say that we have achieved this and we have achieved that, but, if we compare them solemnly with other developing and developed nations, we find more miseries than happiness, more losses than gains. And, there is no doubt about it.
The poor states like Bihar and UP, where a great number of our population live, could not be provided good public hospitals, schools and colleges, universities, and jobs even after 73 years of independence. People are forced to migrate to other places to earn their living often without any guarantee and security of good jobs and a steady income. They are so vulnerable that they can’t withstand any adverse situations as we have recently witnessed during the mass migrations during the first phase of the lockdown. They had suddenly become so fragile and so weak that they left their working places as they had thrown them out in jitter as a devastating earthquake threw us out from the comfy environment of our homes, out of the blue.
We are still doomed to live with hatred, religious animosity, bigotry, and under all negative destroying forces even in this new millennium. And unfortunately, this is not the case with India alone, but almost every part of the world.
We have a long journey to tread to reach our desired goal of a successful nation. God knows better if we will ever succeed or not.
But I end my article with this optimistic note that behind every cloud of darkness, there are lightening rays of hopes also. But it will happen only when we succeed in burning more lights of knowledge and wisdom every day than languishing in the darkness of ignorance. Only hollow bragging will take us nowhere.
Dr. Mohammad Aleem is an award-winning writer and journalist.
To know about his latest work, visit www.hindkeram.com