Our Tryst With Destiny – Independence Day Special


Today is our Independence day. It was exactly this day way back in 1947 that our forefathers made a tryst with their destiny. They made a choice that we as a generation can now feel the effects of and can analyse as to what went wrong and what was right. Before we move on, it is only right to first analyse the journey we went through to earn our freedom at the stroke of the midnight hour. India, at the time the Brits landed here was the Golden bird of the world. ( A lot of the early navigational discoveries were in search of the famed land called India.. remember America? Ever wondered why they called the natives as Indians? )

India at the time of the invasion was a nation with a lot of potential but lacking in swabhiman, A precious gem but unaware of its own worth, Lucky enough to have a lot of resources but stupid enough to be divided. At this time, the Brits and in fact most of the european countries were riding a wave of fanatic nationalism which is not a thing which one should possess but fortunately for them and unfortunately for us, it worked for them. It enabled the Brits to be so proud of themselves that all they could see was their supposed “superiority” over the native race. I dont know if a race can ever be better than the rest or the opposite but what I know is that the feeling of superiority ( read cognitive frames ) can make you do a lot of wrong and that too with a lot of conviction.

So, when we finally united to fight the common evil, our feeling of nationalism was at its peak in 1947. A feeling of hate towards the people and their culture that exploited us but deep below we were transforming into the english ourselves and losing our swabhiman in the process, Chasing a culture which was not our own but trying to be like the firangs and this was mainly coz all of us wanted to be rich and in those days being rich meant that you have to be like the sahib ( Ever wondered why do all of us want our kids to study in English medium and convent schools? )
In short, 1947 was the time when an India of the elite, rich and English-speaking got freedom and started enjoying the fruits of a truncated independence achieved at the cost of an unprecedented massacre.

Farmers, tribals, the common folks and almost everyone else who could not speak English remained out of the so called New india which our leaders so proudly claimed was progressing while in reality the common man was still getting out of the complex of the white man who he still believed to be superior to him ( Brits have always been strong with their propaganda in this part of the world ). Then came the advent of English as the popular language. This gained popular acceptance when Coca Cola introduced hindi language in a new avatar i.e. with the latin script and thus we found a fun way to use all the imported gadgets and phones we used, by using the English language but written as hindi! The frenzy caught on and soon every young guy on the street was using the new desi English and looking at the new world opening up to him. The dream to become the big sahib was no longer just a dream but everyone had an access to it now. Some people from that generation defied the logic of Rich = English speaking and made their own paths and today they are known as legends for instance Dhirubhai Ambani. But on the whole, English had by now become the language of the upper class and the barrier between the rich and poor or the sophisticated and the gawaars.

The Result of this is: It is 2009 and English is the standard communication channel and our young people do get jobs and can go abroad thanks to our IITs, New avenues have opened up and we can now interact with the world, we can also get jobs which have never existed before in the history of the job markets, all thanks to outsourcing. But what price have we paid for it? What have we done to the common guy?

The common man is the one who goes to regional language medium schools and finds himself unemployed coz we don’t have quality education in India or most of the colleges have exams only in English.

We have been so used to the use of the foreign language that we no longer find it wierd, rather some one who does not know English is labelled a weirdo. The common man without knowing a foreign language cannot move up the economic ladder leave alone moving up the social ladder.

If you want instances of discrimination against non-english speaking people in our own country you just have to look around. For instance, the NDMC area in Delhi is not navigable by the common man coz the signage is only in English!

It is not possible to seek justice in this country coz the higher courts function only in English!

You cant join the army if you speak any Indian language coz their exam is only in English!

I would say try out this simple task in your own lives for a day. Try speaking in any Indian language without using English. 😀 It is impossible!

Imagine growing up in your own country with your own culture and then realising that you will not get a decent life coz the guys in power cant do more than lick the feet of the west! What would that do to your self esteem?

These are the people who suffer are the ones who make up Bharat while the elite make up India. While bharat has a badly wounded pride coz they don’t get good jobs based on who they are but they rather have to become like the firangs to get a decent job and a decent life and on the other hand India is reaching for the stars without realising that a tree cant grow without its roots firmly on the ground.

It is Bharat that travels sleeper class in unreserved coaches and sees every day new schemes for the affluent elite, yet keeps on working, happier with an NREGS and giving votes in the biggest numbers thus protecting the honour of our democracy. Bharat tills the farms, sees the water level going down every year, weaves the mats for schools, works a coolie to the nation and yet always gets the slap, the hurt and the punch of all that’s decided by those who never had a feel for the underprivileged except when they seek votes. It is this bharat that comes alive every 5 years to vote and then vanishes back to its slimy lives.

It’s Bharat that needs freedom from the Indian colonialists who decide, sign files, devastate huge chunks of land for big dams and power projects and do not care a hoot about the rehabilitation of the evacuees. It’s India that doesn’t hesitate to start projects killing the Ganga up in the hills making it trickle where it used to roar like a lion enchanting the entire region.

Bharat is the voter, India the ruler.

That’s visible in most of the rural areas that makes the real Bharat. From Nandigram to Sylhet and Udalguri to Phulbani. India acts through khaki. Killings, arrests and no hearing and accountability. If the common folks revolt against the Indian brown sahibs, they are threatened with numerous court cases and since they cant ask for justice unless they know English, they have no option but to revolt or take up the gun. Why should I have to live with a state that doesn’t have any relation with me except collecting votes and tax and giving bullets and backwardness in return? What have we done to deserve this?

All of this is the outcome of the choices our forefathers made on the midnight of 15th august 1947. The question is that have our people really achieved freedom? I don’t think so. The gap between India and Bharat needs to bridged to solve a lot of problems confronting us. I can love Bharat as my nation but the state power’s ruthless rudeness needs to be punished. But how? Through guns? Or use people’s power?

Gun never succeeds, it never has.

The only solution lies in collecting strength on the basis of positive resolution of people’s consolidation. It alone wins ultimately. Gandhi did it and succeeded. Hedgewar did it and showed it works. So can us. The time is right to realise that the state in nothing with the power of the people.

They may put down one of us or two of us but. I am up for it!

PS: I am not against English or any foreign language rather I am against discrimination faced by our people in our own free land only coz they cant speak a foreign language.

  • Aswin

    I agree with most points…but I don't.

    I am for India…a strong, united India that does not leave even one man behind. An India without the rural-urban divide. An India that uses technology for a better agricultural picture.

    To start with, a language is nothing more than a medium of communication.

    We need English. I can not understand Hindi and you cannot understand Thamizh. English is what helps me understand your work and thoughts. The rashtrabasha has not penetrated the southern states much. not yet.

    On the other hand,

    We are not a self sufficient country. We need to communicate with other countries for getting our work done. We need English there! We also need other languages like Spanish, French, German to a certain extent.

    If the Delhi area you mentioned had just Hindi signage, I'd be lost there. I can't ask routes from the common man there without Hindi, unless I am lucky enough to meet anglicized Indians walking on the road. :)

    We need education in both English and the native language of the land. We need signage in two languages.

    PS:
    I have always preferred the name "Bharat" to "India".

    PS2: Long comment. Whew! :)

  • Aditya Kumar Nayak

    @ Aswin Thanks for giving an in depth feedback.

    I agree with you. I would like to reinstate my point. I am not for hindi as a standard. or I am not against English.

    I am against discrimination against our people in our own land coz they cant speak english.

    Hope that clears it up a bit :)

  • Shaurya

    Although a little diversion..true we are sometimes what we see,not only the issue of jobs and their discrimination,I'm in for the education bit too..wat of the people who have grown wid their parents dreamin of studyin abroad,among thosse whose parents have already studied abroad,i mean,we are growing up directly to the fact that Indian education isn't worth our time…it seriously miffs me..Even in my own school,ivee seen..most of the students who have an aptitiude worth praising not just for academics but pure talent…they have their dream in a US university..true our education system isn't comparable to the Ivy colleges in the US..but c'mon…it gives me a feeling of desertion..i for one had already decided im not leavin India..I can study here have a respectable job and and show my frnds abroad that I live my life happily in my own homeland…and a line well taken from the movie Rang De Basanti-"Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, use perfect banana padta hai.
    Police mein bharti honge, military join karenge. IAS ban kar is desh ki sarkar chalaenge.
    Ye desh badlega, hum badlenge isse."….I wud have written the whole sentence in complete enlgish,I just feel the dialogue wud lose its value widout Hindi.

  • Shaurya

    Although a little diversion..true we are sometimes what we see,not only the issue of jobs and their discrimination,I'm in for the education bit too..wat of the people who have grown wid their parents dreamin of studyin abroad,among thosse whose parents have already studied abroad,i mean,we are growing up directly to the fact that Indian education isn't worth our time…it seriously miffs me..Even in my own school,ivee seen..most of the students who have an aptitiude worth praising not just for academics but pure talent…they have their dream in a US university..true our education system isn't comparable to the Ivy colleges in the US..but c'mon…it gives me a feeling of desertion..i for one had already decided im not leavin India..I can study here have a respectable job and and show my frnds abroad that I live my life happily in my own homeland…and a line well taken from the movie Rang De Basanti-"Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, use perfect banana padta hai.
    Police mein bharti honge, military join karenge. IAS ban kar is desh ki sarkar chalaenge.
    Ye desh badlega, hum badlenge isse."….I wud have written the whole sentence in complete enlgish,I just feel the dialogue wud lose its value widout Hindi.